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8-Bit MCUs

Get Started Now with AVR® Microcontrollers

Did you know that you can begin prototyping with AVR® microcontrollers (MCUs) in just three easy steps? Follow this guide to get started quickly. 

Step 1: Download an Integrated Development Environment

The first step in development is selecting and downloading an Integrated Development Environment (IDE). Developers using AVR microcontrollers have their choice of using either Atmel Studio 7 or MPLAB® X, whichever they’re more comfortable with. Additional information, as well as download options, for both IDEs can be found in the links below.

Atmel Studio 7 IDE

Atmel Studio 7 is an easy-to-use integrated development environment (IDE) for writing, developing and debugging all AVR microcontroller applications.


Those already familiar with our MPLAB X IDE can use it to program and debug AVR devices – adding a layer of versatility to your development toolset.

PRO TIP: Atmel START is an innovative online tool for intuitive, graphical configuration of embedded software projects. The tool is platform independent and can generate project files for both Atmel Studio 7 and MPLAB X IDE.
Step 2: Connect an Xplained Development Board

Curiosity Nano Development Boards are a rapid prototyping and evaluation platform for AVR MCUs. These low-cost evaluation kits can be customized using a wide range of expansion boards and integrate seamlessly with both Atmel Studio 7 and MPLAB X IDE.

Featuring a low-power-capacity AVR core and intelligent hardware peripherals, the ATmega4809 MCU is engineered for real-time control. Use the ATmega4809 Curiosity Nano  Development Board to create reliable designs with reduced overall system response time.

PRO TIP: You can easily plug different Curiosity Nano boards into the Curiosity Nano Base for Click boards™, which allows you to try out different MCUs without redesigning your hardware. The three on-board mikroBUS™ sockets make it simple to add MikroElektronika Click boards to expand the features and functionality of your design.

Step 3: Follow Along with Our Examples

Step through an introductory tutorial alongside a Microchip technical expert with the Getting STARTed with AVR video series. In addition to video tutorials, hundreds of examples are included in START. Each example includes an accompanying guide. You can download the hex file directly into Atmel Studio, or modify the source code in the browser.

Discussion Forums
Did you know there is a developer community for AVR users? Users world-wide are constantly discussing new topics and inventions using AVR microcontrollers. Be a part of the communities, participate in discussions, and get valuable feedback on any issue you may have through AVR Freaks discussion forums.

PRO TIP: A wide variety of application notes are available on every product page. These documents, written by technical experts, show you how you can take your embedded design further.

Getting Started with AVR
Take your first steps through AVR programming with a Microchip technical expert. In this series, you’ll begin by learning how to import examples, and eventually move on to opening your own project and implementing advanced AVR capabilities. Getting STARTed with AVR series offers a quick, yet thorough introduction to AVR.  

AVR Insights
From the core to the peripherals, AVR Insights dives into different features of AVR MCUs. Learn how you can enhance your embedded design by following along with the examples posted in each video description. 

PRO TIP: Tune in to our Livestreams for a unique opportunity to discover how you can use your MCU more effectively, learn insider tips/tricks and get your questions answered by Microchip engineers, all live – or, as we like to say, in real time.