Has anyone tried these? Does the ATtiny have a bootloader? What software is used to program the chip? Arduino compatible?

Looks a lot more convenient than programming the ATtiny via an Uno.



Image of the product in hand

  • > Does the ATtiny have a bootloader? does it have an attiny?
    – dannyf
    May 28, 2017 at 13:53

6 Answers 6


If you don't have experience working with AVRs at a low level then stay away from that. It doesn't provide any connection for a programmer and relies on the Micronucleus bootloader already being in place.

If you really want to experiment with ATtiny development then go with either an Adafruit Trinket or a Digistump Digispark (both of which already have Micronucleus loaded), or get an AVR programmer and (optionally) a ATtiny13/25/45/85 development board that includes a 6- or 10-pin programming header

  • 2
    It appears to break out all pins, so I would dispute that it does not provide a connection for a programmer. May 28, 2017 at 17:09
  • @ChrisStratton: You can wire a programmer to it, but it does not use the standard 6- or 10-pin connection used for AVR ISP. May 28, 2017 at 17:33
  • Six pins are pretty much only a "because Arduino did that" idea, but if this is an impediment the asker should probably not be attempting embedded projects at all, as essentially anything but blinking an on-board LED will require making individual connections. May 28, 2017 at 17:44
  • 1
    Digispark (micronucleus?) USB connection is not reliable: one has to reconnect multiple times for the sketch upload to succeed. "Arduino as ISP" is much more robust solution, it allows changing the clock frequency, does not take any extra memory and startup does not take extra seconds just to decide if someone wants to reprogram it (I used Arduino Nano as my ISP -- a bit clunky setup, but achieves maximum customizability).
    – MariusM
    Jun 15, 2017 at 10:31
  • The layout of the 8-pins is compatible with the regular 6-pin Arduino ISP, two of the pins just go unused. Only problem is that not all 6-pin cables will fit with two extra pins in the way, but drilling some extra holes in the connector or soldering an adapter together is pretty straight forward.
    – Grumbel
    Aug 19, 2017 at 16:23

TL;DR: It's basically a bigger digispark with a socket and different header.

Just for completeness:

It depends on the product description, recently I ordered two of your link and some of these. Those seem to be the same board as you asked for, but in your link the "Package includes" only mentions the board without MCU, which would render the question pointless.

Like Ignacio already said correctly, without proper equipment you wont get this to work with the Arduino IDE. Once you have a bootloader (e.g. micronucleus) on it (the MCU), you can use it like a digispark.

In fact the USB connection works just like on the digispark and ist not only for power.

The mounted ATtiny85 was preflashed with micronucleus v1.6 and registered as vendor=16d0, product=0753, which means you could even start with it right away, with Arduino IDE and the digistump board manager.

Personally I use these for prototyping small projects with those tinies on the go where you often don't need a programmer. Once you're done or want to do more you can always remove the bootloader and continue with a real programmer. Or you want to reflash while using the reset pin for I/O, also handy.


This board supports Attiny25/45/85 MCUs. It is possible to use bootloader with this board. It can be a low speed (1.5MBps) USB device. More info can be found in this article: https://makbit.com/web/firmware/breathing-life-into-digispark-clone-with-attiny-mcu/

  • ATtiny13A is also supported Apr 18, 2019 at 21:13

I just used one of those boards in conjunction with a cheap tinyISP board to program a DIP8 attiny85 using ISP from Arduino IDE.

The pinout matches if you put the IDC cable the right way around. I used a 10-pin IDC cable - I think you'd have to use at least an 8-pin IDC because a 6-pin wouldn't fit with the extra pins on the programmer board, unless you only soldered on the 6 header pins that you need for ISP.


If you program the digistump bootloader onto the attiny85 then you should be able to use the USB socket on that board to reprogram it. But if it's a blank attiny85 then you have to use ISP to program it in the first place.

Here's how I hooked them up:

enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

You can see from the silkscreen that the pins are clearly designed to match up to the Arduino ISP pinout:

enter image description here


I don't see than much usefulness in these boards.


  • The USB port is only for power. Not for programming.
  • You have to buy an ATTiny chip to put into the socket. It's not included.
  • There is no way to put this into a breadboard.
  • There isn't even a way to get to the output pins. So you have to put the chip into this programmer, program it, remove it from the programmer, and place it back into the circuit.
  • It seems to use an 8-pin header to break out the 8 pins on the ATtiny. You'd have to use some female jumper wires to connect to them.


  • There is a voltage regulator, so you can connect a higher voltage to the VIN pin
  • There is an 8-pin ISP header, so you can easily connect a ISP programmer, like an USB-ASP

So in conclusion, some minor plus sides, and some major downsides.

Just place the 8-pin DIP ATtiny in a breadboard.

  • AVR ISP uses 6 or 10 pins, never 8. You might be able to force a 6-pin connector in there, but you probably wouldn't want to. May 8, 2016 at 9:46
  • @IgnacioVazquez-Abrams Oops. I guess this isn't a programming header, but it's the 8 pins of the DIP-chip broken out into a 2x4 header.
    – Gerben
    May 8, 2016 at 12:40
  • 1
    The claim that the USB port is only for power is likely erroneous - the surface mount components next to it strongly resemble those used to enable a software-based "close enough" USB data interface, and bootloaders leveraging that idea exist. While limited, this type of board can be useful for "blink an LED on USB command" type tasks, or even simple ones that do not need data communication in operation. May 28, 2017 at 17:09
  • @chrisstratton I think you're correct. You'd however still need to program the digispark/mononucleos/trinket bootloader. There also seems to be a led attached to one of the pins for a blink sketch. I however stand by my conclusion that it's a rather useless board. Just get a digispark clone if you want USB support. Or better a USBASP and some bare ATTinys.
    – Gerben
    May 28, 2017 at 20:00

The socket is important. One of the huge benefits of using these 8 pin packages is the ability to plug and pull over and over again. Sadly there are few development boards not obsessed with USB. Thankfully this one's is a power header and can be removed easily enough. The Digi/Ada offerings and their clones are not socketed. They are also simple enough to do your own boards.

You can program the x5's with the SparkFun Tiny AVR programmer, based on a design by D.A.Mellis using leads, or by transplanting the mcu. And you can do it from an Arduino, either way you are making up or sourcing a lead, as squid style flying leads are tedious.

Otherwise there is a 2k or so bootloader that can be used, which would be most useful for the 85. Without serial support from USB or FTDI this will be hard.


  1. Arduino with core from https://github.com/SpenceKonde/ATTinyCore
  2. avra and avrdude from the command line for assembler, you could also compile C/C++ from the command line but this is not common.
  3. AVR plugin for Eclipse.
  4. Sloeber stand alone Eclipse based Arduino IDE, some quirks.
  5. Atmel Studio 7 based on Visual Studio, requires Windows, requires genuine "Microchip" programmer. Note this is free and includes an emulator.
  6. There is some effort to get this possible with C-Lion by JetBrains.


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