Yesteday I read interesting blog post at CNX-Soft blog about new Arduino clone which sells for $8, so far nothing new, you can’t beat Chinese in prices or post shipping rates.
What was really interesting for me though is that it uses Chinese AVR clone instead of ATMega32U4 or ATMega328.
The company behind this clone is called Logic Green and it uses MAVR (hahaha) processor core for these chips.
The features are humble 8K Flash, 1K RAM, 504B EEPROM, they say it works from 1.8 to 5.0V and supports up to 32Mhz clock which beats normal AVRs, but with the Chinese specs there is always catch, you can never believe them until you test as normal AVRs can be also overclocked to 50Mhz but it is not safe to use them at such frequencies and Atmel will never publish specs which are not throughly tested.
Reading the data on the web site I understand that with their aim to “improve” this chip they made some instructions to execute faster than in the normal AVR which will lead to software incompatibilities when your code depend on tight timings.
So Adruino based on this clone chip may or may not work completely as basically these chips run code with different timing. Of course it’s possible to go through all libraries and update timing etc but I doubt the Chinese Arduino vendor will bother to do this.
Brief check on the price of LGT8F88A through Chinese sources shows $0.60, so if they have used Monocleus bootloader as on Tiny85 instead of separate USB-RS232 bridge CP2102 they may came up with $3 Arduino made just with LGT8F88A🙂 of course the bootloader will probably not work out of the box due to the different timing.