Maker Nation

Archive for July, 2008

Craft: Amazing Demo in 8.5k of Atmel Assembly

If you remember downloading the latest demoscene releases from back in the days of 2400 baud modems BBS’s, you know that demos were (are?) notorious for squeezing every last drop of performance from a processor with unbelievable realtime 3D graphics and wicked tunes. Seriously, a couple of those old Future Crew demos are still stuck in my head some 20 years later!

Well, Linus Ã…kesson managed to squeeze a very cool demo onto a 20 Mhz ATmega88 microcontroller with only 1K of RAM and 8.5K of Flash/EEPROM program space! It’s incredibly cool — a full-fledged demo with all the “classical” demo effects (3D shapes, plasma, starfields, fire, etc.)! Then when you consider that he’s doing all the timing of VGA signals in software and and still manages to generate waveforms for audio while the screen is blanking, it just boggles the mind (and says a lot about the ATmega88)!

Check out Linus’ site for build details, lots of explanation, and full source code!