The ATtiny85 is a compact and low-power microcontroller developed by Atmel, now a part of Microchip Technology. This microcontroller is a member of the AVR series and is highly favored in hobbyist and DIY projects for its small size and flexibility.
At the core of the ATtiny85 is an 8-bit AVR RISC-based processor, which strikes a balance between processing speed and power efficiency. It comes equipped with 8 KB of in-system programmable flash memory, 512 Bytes of EEPROM, and 512 Bytes of SRAM. This memory capacity is generally sufficient for a wide range of simple to intermediate applications.
One of the distinctive features of the ATtiny85 is its 6 general-purpose I/O pins. These pins are versatile and can be used for various functions, including digital input/output, analog input, and PWM. The microcontroller can run at a clock speed of up to 20 MHz, but it’s commonly operated at 1 MHz with the internal oscillator for better power conservation.
Operating within a voltage range of 1.8V to 5.5V, the ATtiny85 is particularly well-suited for battery-powered applications. It can be programmed via an ISP (In-System Programming) interface, and is compatible with several programming languages, most notably C/C++ and the Arduino IDE when equipped with the appropriate bootloader.
Additionally, the ATtiny85 includes several peripheral features like an on-chip comparator, an internal and external interrupt system, a programmable watchdog timer, and a Universal Serial Interface (USI) which can be utilized for communication protocols such as SPI and I2C.
Due to its low cost, small footprint, and power efficiency, the ATtiny85 is an ideal choice for projects where size and power consumption are critical, including wearable electronics, small robotics, and customized sensors.