What is the difference between ATmega8L and ATmega8u2 | applied electronics engineering

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What is the difference between ATmega8L and ATmega8u2

By Applied Electronics - Monday, April 17, 2017 No Comments
The ATMega8L or ATMega8 and ATMega8u2 are both 8 bit CMOS microcontroller product of ATMEL. The main difference to users is that the ATMega8u2 has USB support while the ATMega8 or ATMega8L does not. In the new version of Arduino UNO, the ATMega8u2 IC is used for transferring data from Computer(PC) to the Arduino via the USB.

Other features of the two chips, ATMega8 and ATMega8u2 are similar. Particularly they both have 16 MIPS Throughput at 16 MHz. Flash memory, EEPROM, SRAM are same, instruction set is little different- the ATMega8 or ATMega8L has 130 instructions while the ATMega8u2 has 125 instructions, pheripheral features are also similar.

Another difference is that the ATmega8u2 does not come in PDIP package. It only comes in QFN32 (5x5mm) / TQFP32 packages while the ATMega8 comes in both the PDIP and QFN/TQFP package. That implies that ATMega8u2 is a surface mount IC.

Many people confuse these two types of chips because they have the same name except at the end there is u2 in ATMega8u2. One reason why people are interested in ATMega8u2 chip is that they are used in Arduino UNO for USB communication. Since USB communication or interface is required not only for making homebrew Arduino UNO but also because USB interface is required in many other electronics products. This has led user to believe that they can use the ATMega8u2 chip for interfacing microcontroller to USB in similar fashion the popular FTDI chip. One thing to note is that FTDI chips is a full blown USB support chip whereas ATMega8u2 is not. For higher speed USB application the ATMega8u2 will now provide sufficient speed.

Below is a picture that shows how ATMega8u2 IC looks like.

 And the following picture shows ATMega8L


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