March 20, 2012 AT 7:00 pm

ASK AN EDUCATOR! “Is there a free AVR simulator I can download or use online?”

Fablab asks:

I am without my board and I need to test my code for a board I built with an attiny44 is there a free osx simulator I can download or use online?

Interesting question and sorry to hear you are without your dev hardware! I did some poking around online and came up with some possible solutions. Although most seem to be geared toward Linux and Windows, we have some possible options:

Fritzing is an open-source initiative to support designers, artists, researchers and hobbyists to work creatively with interactive electronics. It also happens to have a user submitted ATTinyx4 part:

The SimulAVR program is a simulator for the Atmel AVR family of microcontrollers. (ATtiny and ATmega) SimulAVR can be used either standalone or as a remote target for avr-gdb. There is a python- and TCL interface. When used in gdbserver mode, the simulator is used as a back-end so that avr-gdb can be used as a source level debugger for AVR programs.

To run on OS X –

Pic and Avr Microcontroler IDE, debugger and circuit simulator.

To run on OS X – Needs Gputils and Gpsim
Gputils –
Gpsim –

Avrora, a research project of the UCLA Compilers Group, is a set of simulation and analysis tools for programs written for the AVR microcontroller produced by Atmel and the Mica2 sensor nodes. Avrora contains a flexible framework for simulating and analyzing assembly programs, providing a clean Java API and infrastructure for experimentation, profiling, and analysis.

Eclipse, avarice and avr-gdb on OS-X
The forum describes an attempt using Eclipse and CrossPack. Although not working, it seems to be a good start.

I haven’t thoroughly analyzed each piece, so I certainly hope this points you in the right direction. Good luck!

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“Ask an Educator” questions are answered by Adam Kemp, a high school teacher who has been teaching courses in Energy Systems, Systems Engineering, Robotics and Prototyping since 2005.


1 Comment

  1. Hi!

    I described here: a mix of suggestion 2 and 5 using osx. It works but not all devices are supported.

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