The Atmel® AVR® ATmega8 is a low-power CMOS 8-bit microcontroller based on the AVR RISC architecture. By executing powerful instructions in a single clock cycle, the ATmega8 achieves throughputs approaching 1MIPS per MHz, allowing the system designer to optimize power consumption versus processing speed

The Atmel® AVR® core combines a rich instruction set with 32 general purpose working registers. All the 32 registers are directly connected to the Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU), allowing two independent registers to be accessed in one single instruction executed in one clock cycle. The resulting architecture is more code efficient while achieving throughputs up to ten times faster than conventional CISC microcontrollers.

The ATmega8 provides the following features: 8 Kbytes of In-System Programmable Flash with Read-While-Write capabilities, 512 bytes of EEPROM, 1 Kbyte of SRAM, 23 general purpose I/O lines, 32 general purpose working registers, three flexible Timer/Counters with compare modes, internal and external interrupts, a serial programmable USART, a byte oriented Twowire Serial Interface, a 6-channel ADC (eight channels in TQFP and QFN/MLF packages) with 10-bit accuracy, a programmable Watchdog Timer with Internal Oscillator, an SPI serial port, and five software selectable power saving modes. The Idle mode stops the CPU while allowing the SRAM, Timer/Counters, SPI port, and interrupt system to continue functioning. The Powerdown mode saves the register contents but freezes the Oscillator, disabling all other chip functions until the next Interrupt or Hardware Reset. In Power-save mode, the asynchronous timer continues to run, allowing the user to maintain a timer base while the rest of the device is sleeping. The ADC Noise Reduction mode stops the CPU and all I/O modules except asynchronous timer and ADC, to minimize switching noise during ADC conversions. In Standby mode, the crystal/resonator Oscillator is running while the rest of the device is sleeping. This allows very fast start-up combined with low-power consumption.

The device is manufactured using Atmel’s high density non-volatile memory technology. The Flash Program memory can be reprogrammed In-System through an SPI serial interface, by a conventional non-volatile memory programmer, or by an On-chip boot program running on the AVR core. The boot program can use any interface to download the application program in the Application Flash memory. Software in the Boot Flash Section will continue to run while the Application Flash Section is updated, providing true Read-While-Write operation. By combining an 8-bit RISC CPU with In-System Self-Programmable Flash on a monolithic chip, the Atmel ATmega8 is a powerful microcontroller that provides a highly-flexible and cost-effective solution to many embedded control applications.

The ATmega8 is supported with a full suite of program and system development tools, including C compilers, macro assemblers, program debugger/simulators, In-Circuit Emulators, and evaluation kits.