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AEther: Networked Microcontroller Prototyping history
last edited: October 6, 2004

(under construction as we speak!)  

AEther is a lightweight but powerful prototyping board for adding network connectivity to small projects. ARP, TCP, UDP, HTTP, DHCP and ICMP support code in AVRGCC is open sourced. Hardware is based on the CS8900A 10baseT Ethernet chip and the Atmel Atmega32 microcontroller. Total cost is less than $50 per board. $30 for quantities of 10. 2 rows of 20 pin single header allow AEther to be plugged into standard solderless breadboards. The pinout is a full breakout of the microcontroller and matches the same pinout of the Atmega32 in the 40-DIP package. There is also a DC plug and diode-protected 5V linear regulator for powering the board.


AEther is a hardware system, comprising of a PCB and matching firmware. After constructing the PCB, the firmware is loaded onto the microcontroller. The firmware includes driving software for the CS8900a chip, as well as a simple TCP/IP stack that includes ARP handling (for low level address translation), DHCP client (for networks where the client must request an IP address), ICMP client (allows you to 'ping' the board) and an example of HTTP GET. The design is free, the code is free*, the compiler is free....you pay for parts, solder, and coffee.

*Under the MIT open source license.