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ATMEGA2560-16AU: An 8-Bit Microcontroller with In-System Programmable Flash

ATMEGA2560-16AU isa low-power, yet high-performance Microcontroller (MCU). There is a notion that “any MCU with low-power usage might not perform so well.” It is the breaking of this stereotype and the provision of many unique features that sets ATMEGA2560-16AU apart from your “everyday Microcontroller.”

If you are interested in a Microcontroller (MCU) that offers the higher performances possible even though it consumes lower power, we will be pleased to refer you to the ATMEGA2560-16AU.

ATMEGA2560-16AU Depends on the Execution Process

Microcontrollers (MCUs) are used in consumer electronics with the intent of enabling the repetition of predefined series of tasks. That is also what the ATMEGA2560-16AU offers but with a clause – it has to be thorough with the execution.

The “execution” here refers to the deployment or application process of how ATMEGA2560-16AU functions. Typically, it involves the execution of “powerful instructions in a single clock cycle.”

Through this medium, ATMEGA2560-16AU achieves a higher throughput that can potentially attain 1 MIPS per Megahertz (MHz). This throughput also enables to achieve other important performance-centric processes, including a higher processing speed and a balanced power consumption.

ATMEGA2560-16AU’s Memory Technology


A Microcontroller (MCU)’s memory can either facilitate data transfer or inhibit the same. When you are working with the ATMEGA2560-16AU, the chances are that the memory processing process would be better.

The excellent memory technology used here is the high-density, non-volatile memory technology that seeks to offer a combination of excellent data transfer and data erasing.

The non-volatile memory technology is processed via the On-Chip ISP Flash. The Flash allows for the in-system programmability of ATMEGA2560-16AU by leveraging on the SPI Serial Interface. It is also the medium through which the MCU supports other memory configuration options, including the:

  • The memory optimization via an On-Chip Boot program that runs on the AVR core.
  • Support for the memory programming by the traditional method of using a conventional non-volatile memory programmer.

ATMEGA2560-16AU is not Short of Programming Tools

A Microcontroller (MCU) needs to be fine-tuned for the best results and for that purpose, it needs to have a suite of tools.

ATMEGA2560-16AU is not short of such tools. The AVR offered on most of the variants is supported with a full suite of system development and programming tools. Examples of these tools are:

  • Evaluation kits
  • C compilers
  • In-circuit emulators
  • Program simulators and debuggers
  • Macro assemblers

External Memory Interface Support

ATMEGA2560-16AU also has an external memory interface, which is the medium for “communicating with the outside world.”

The external memory interface serves as the primary between the ATMEGA2560-16AU MCU and the selected peripherals and devices. The supported peripherals and devices are D/A, External SRAM, A/D, Flash, and LCD-display.

Besides the external connections established here, the external memory interface can also be used to minimize power consumption by enabling the bus keepers on the data lines. It also supports four (4) different wait-state settings, selectable number of bits dedicated to the address high byte and independent wait-state settings, which are used to configure the External Memory sectors.

The System Clock Settings

ATMEGA2560-16AU uses a set of principal clock systems, which are enabled on the AVR Microcontroller.

However, these clocks needn’t function uniformly, as they do not necessarily need to be activated at the same time.

Instead, these clocks are to be effectively managed so they can offer the best clocking performances, albeit at the respective active times.

It is for this purpose that the ATMEGA2560-16AU has enabled different modules on the clocks to reduce current consumption by turning on the respective sleep modes when not in use.

The following are some of the supported clock modules:

1. I/O Clock

This is a clock dedicated to the Input and Output (I/O) modules, ranging from the USART, Timers, SPIs and Counters.

The I/O Clock is versatile and can therefore, be used by other devices. For example, the External Interrupt Module can use the I/O Clock to facilitate the interruption or halting of the different clock modules when necessary.

Despite the versatility with the aforementioned modules, the I/O Clock might not be used all the time. For example, it might be halted and yet, the start condition detection in the USI Module can still be asynchronously carried out.

2. ADC Clock

Noise is generated via the digital circuitry and that is not a cool feature for a working Microcontroller.

The noise can be tackled by the ADC Clock module, which oversees the halting of both the I/O and the CPU Clock.

Halting those clocks helps the ADC Clock to effectively reduce the noise generated via the digital circuitry. This in turn, translates to more accurate ADC conversion results.

3. CPU Clock

It is the primary clock on the ATMEGA2560-16AU. The CPU Clock, also called the clkCPU is designated to the core parts of the Microcontroller (MCU).

These core parts include but are not limited to the data memory holding the Stack Pointer, the General-Purpose Register File, and Status Register.

As the primary clock, the CPU Clock works hand-in-hand with the AVR core and a disconnection from that end could prevent the aforementioned core components from performing both the general calculations and the general operations.

4. Asynchronous Timer Clock

This is also called the clkASY clock. It is used for allowing a direct clocking of the Asynchronous Timer and Counter from an external 32kHz clock crystal or an external clock.

Noteworthy is that the Asynchronous Timer Clock has a dedicated clock domain, which allows for the Timer and Counter to be used as a real-time counter even when the target device is already on the sleep mode.

5. Flash Clock

The Flash Clock is also called the clkFLASH. It is the dedicated clock domain that controls the operations of ATMEGA2560-16AU’s Flash.

For the best performance, the Flash Clock is often synchronized for an active working relationship with the CPU Clock.


ATMEGA2560-16AU supports a wide range of peripherals, including the Brown-Out Detect (BOD), which helps in highlighting the drop or dip in the ATMEGA2560-16AU Microcontroller (MCU)’s voltage supply.

ATMEGA2560-16AU is one of the best MCUs you can use for multiple applications and for the best results, consider reoptimizing the clocks and programming tools to fit into the device requirements.