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ATMega328-PU now obsolete

Shirley Dulcey KE1L
 

Microchip/Atmel just announced that the ATMega328-PU, one of the two processor types that can be found in many QRP Labs kits including the QCX, is being discontinued.

Don't panic! The ATMega328P-PU (the version with the micropower modes) will continue to be available. The two chips are interchangeable in QRP Labs products; the firmware does not use the micropower modes, which are not applicable to how the microcontrollers are used.

BrianB
 

I wonder if the micro power option can will be integrated into QRP/LABs products? I can see an energy savings for SOTA, floaters, etc.

73,
BrianB
N6CVO

Graham, VE3GTC
 

I had to go looking for the EOL announcement or some other details on this.

yes indeed, it appears as the ATMega328-pu PDIP-28 is scheduled for EOL, from Mouser's web site:


However, none of the other ATMega328 variants  (i.e. MLF-32,  MLF-28, TQFP-32, QFN-32 or ATmega328P-PU  PDIP-28  ) are so identified as EOL.

cheers, Graham ve3gtc



On Fri, Jul 3, 2020 at 1:19 PM BrianB <brianb@...> wrote:
I wonder if the micro power option can will be integrated into QRP/LABs products? I can see an energy savings for SOTA, floaters, etc.

73,
BrianB
N6CVO

Hans Summers
 

Hi Brian, all

Note that both the ATmega328-PU which is reported to be going End-Of-Life and the ATmega328P-PU (low power version) are compatible with all QRP Labs products that use ATmega328 - specifically Ultimate3S (and earlier Ultimates), VFO kit, Clock kit, QCX and QCX+ kits. So there is no issue with supply. 

I haven't made any particular effort to utilize low power modes of the ATmega328P. I could investigate this but the payback is minimal. RX current is around 120mA and shaving a couple of mA from that has rather little benefit. 

The U4B balloon tracker project uses an STM32 processor (32-bit ARM) not an ATmega328. 

73 Hans G0UPL 

On Fri, Jul 3, 2020, 16:19 BrianB <brianb@...> wrote:
I wonder if the micro power option can will be integrated into QRP/LABs products? I can see an energy savings for SOTA, floaters, etc.

73,
BrianB
N6CVO

Shirley Dulcey KE1L
 

The discontinuance of the ATMega328 in PDIP is yet another sign of the disappearance of DIP packaging in electronics manufacturing. It's pretty much all surface mount now. If Atmel/Microchip had enough customers that were using that specific part in applications like medical devices that require lengthy approval processes they might continue to make them; I guess they don't. Everybody else can easily switch to the ATMega328P; there are no code compatibility issues.

Larger SMD packages are also starting to disappear in favor of smaller ones, like the SOIC version of the FST3253 from ON Semiconductor. Alternatives like the 74CBT3253 from TI and the QS3253 from Renesas (formerly IDT) remain available for now, but someday we may have to redo our mixer designs to use the TSSOP package instead. It's harder to solder by hand, but no worse than the Si5351A that we're already dealing with.

The ATMega328P in PDIP won't disappear any time soon. Its widespread use in hobbyist/maker products, notably the Arduino Uno and its relatives and clones, should mean sufficient demand to keep it available for years to come.

So as I said the first time, don't panic. The sky is not falling, this time.

Now if you want to talk about cases where disappearance of older devices IS an issue, we can talk about the vanishing 2N2222A in the metal TO-18 can, the near-impossibility of finding real 1N34 germanium diodes (not Schottky diodes pretending), the discontinuance of the J309 and J310 JFETs in non-SMD packages, and the second disappearance of dual-gate MOSFETs. (The first time was when classic devices like the 40673 and 3N201 went away. Then we saw dual gate MOSFETs come back in SMD form with parts like the BF992 and BF998, but those are also getting discontinued now. The few that are still being made are enhancement mode MOSFETs, rather than the depletion mode MOSFETs of old, so they can't be directly substituted in classic designs.) But that's a subject for another day and probably another list, as they are not relevant to QRP Labs products.

I wonder if the vanishing 2N2222A is why FDIM is killing off the 2N2222 Power Challenge after 2021? You just can't get as much power out of the plastic version...

Meanwhile, I'm waiting for my new hot air rework station to arrive. It's a replacement for the cheap one that caught fire a few days ago. Yes, for real, while I was working on updating the Antuino I took home from FDIM last year. I had to finish the job with a soldering iron, which was a pain because it's a LOT easier to remove SMD components with hot air. (The challenge with hot air is NOT removing components *grin*.) Nothing was damaged other than the station itself, but as repair parts for those things are not available it's a total loss. I will open up the box to see if there are salvageable parts like transformers before tossing it, and I'm keeping the nozzles because they might be useful with the new one if I have a size that isn't in the new set.

On Fri, Jul 3, 2020 at 1:26 PM Hans Summers <hans.summers@...> wrote:
Hi Brian, all

Note that both the ATmega328-PU which is reported to be going End-Of-Life and the ATmega328P-PU (low power version) are compatible with all QRP Labs products that use ATmega328 - specifically Ultimate3S (and earlier Ultimates), VFO kit, Clock kit, QCX and QCX+ kits. So there is no issue with supply. 

I haven't made any particular effort to utilize low power modes of the ATmega328P. I could investigate this but the payback is minimal. RX current is around 120mA and shaving a couple of mA from that has rather little benefit. 

The U4B balloon tracker project uses an STM32 processor (32-bit ARM) not an ATmega328. 

73 Hans G0UPL 

On Fri, Jul 3, 2020, 16:19 BrianB <brianb@...> wrote:
I wonder if the micro power option can will be integrated into QRP/LABs products? I can see an energy savings for SOTA, floaters, etc.

73,
BrianB
N6CVO