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The answer needs to have multiple parts: Yes, in principle you can create a bootloader for any microcontroller, which acts like the Arduino's. Please be aware that there are different bootloaders, not just the common STK500 compatible one. Each of these bootloaders implements a certain protocol to transfer the binary code to the target system. ...


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You cannot just load a sketch into any microcontroller, because every microcontroller has different memory layout, peripherals, ways of uploading, FLASH size etc. You can use the atMega (or any microcontroller) for production purposes though. Of course each MCU type has operation conditions (like min/max temperature), so in e.g. automotive or military ...


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The bootloader is a 'program' that resides inside the Atmel IC and makes that IC an 'Arduino'. The bootloader takes care that a sketch can be retrieved by UART (via the USB) and stored inside the Arduino. The programmer is an external hardware device that can upload a sketch without using the bootloader. Another Arduino can also be used as programmer. In ...


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