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Arduino Internals by Dale Wheat

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Available Peripherals

You've already used several of the Arduino's built-in peripherals in the example sketches. The serial port lets you communicate with the host PC as well as other serial devices. The digital ins and outs let you turn things like LEDs on and off, as well as tell if buttons have been clicked. The pulse-width-modulation (PWM) outputs are an excellent way to simulate an analog output using a digital interface, which is perfect for dimming lights and controlling motor speeds. Driving the PWM outputs are the lower-level timer/counter peripherals, which can be used, as their name implies, for both timing and counting purposes.

The Atmel AVR also has a couple of true analog peripherals, including the analog-to-digital converter (ADC) ...

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