Compiler overview

Name/link Platform Comments Price Availability Supports
Ron Kreymborg's SmallC for AVR DOS Nice SmallC implementation with source code. No longer free, will cost $49 Beta
SPJ Systems' C-AVR Windows Almost-ANSI C, generates assemble code that can be assembled by AVRASM $199.95 Now All devices with SRAM
JAVRbasic Dos/Windows Basic compiler for the AVR. Optimized for small code. Free Beta
Bascomp AVR Windows Basic compiler for the AVR. Hardware emulator for LCD display etc. Simulator under development. Highly compatible with Microsofts QB/VB $69 Now
GNU C for AVR Linux AVR port of standard EGCS with source code. GPL Now
LCC-AVR Linux, Windows AVR port of the LCC compiler, with source code. PD (?) Beta
AVR-GCC for DOS DOS, Windows DOS and Windows ports of the GCC compiler, with source code GPL Now
IAR's C compiler Windows and DOS Commercial ANSI C compiler. Demo available. Probably the AVR compiler which generates the best code. * Now
Baradine's AT90S1200 C compiler DOS, Windows Commercial K&R (with extentions) C compiler for the 1200. Integrated Development Enviroment looks like Borland C IDE. $299 1200 only
Dunfields AVR development kit DOS, Windows MicroC, includes IDE, optimizer, assembler $99.95
Imagecraft's C compiler DOS, Windows, Linux Full ANSI C compiler. Imagecraft claim only 5-20% bigger code than the most expensive compilers. $199, professional version $499 Now All parts with SRAM
PascalE Windows Pascal compiler with IDE and floating-point support.  Integrated with AVR Studio. Supports multi-tasking. $590 Now
SwiftX Windows Forth compiler with IDE ?
Embedded Pascal Windows Pascal compiler with IDE Shareware ($129) Now All parts with SRAM
KISYP Pascal Windows Pascal compiler under development. Freeware Under development
CodeVisionAVR Windows C Compiler for AVR with IDE $150 Now

PD=Public Domain, FREE=Freeware, SW=Shareware, GPL=GNU General Public License

* Price varies from country to country. IAR also has a Baseline version, which costs about 1/3 of the full package. It does not support the Mega parts, it does not have support for floating-point numbers, and it does not include technical support.

General comments

Don Kreymborg has decided to charge money for his compiler. This makes the various GCC etc, C-compilers seem more attractive. Among the commercial compilers, I think the compiler to look out for is Imagecraft. There are now a lot of commercial C-compilers available for around $200, but I haven't had time to look into what differentiates them yet.
Also, for us Pascal junkies, Embedded Pascal seems nice. I haven't had the time to test it yet, but I've heard some good things about it.
PascalE also seems nice, but is too expensive for my tastes.
Finally for those projects where money is no object, the IAR C compiler is the best compiler (in terms of efficient code generation) available for the AVR. This is no shock, as IAR provided input during the design of the AVR architecture... Also, IAR has compilers for a lot of other microcontrollers, and they all share the same interface.
Update 16.01.2000 : I've now finished with my master's thesis, and I've also (almost) finished moving to my new home. Hopefully, I will have time during the next few weeks to write some code. The plan is to write code for a MIDI-CV converter for the two compilers I've received test copies of (IAR and SPJ Systems), and use my experiences with the compilers to write a first impressions test. After that, I will gather benchmark code to test the code generation properties of the compilers.
Update 31.07.2002 : First update in two and a half years... Sorry folks, but I haven't had time to do anything with this page in a long time. I do more than enough work with MCUs at work, and I do not have energy to use my free time on microcontrollers as well. However, it seems that some people still visit this page, and I will correct outdated info when I am informed of changes. So, if something is incorrect, please let me know and I'll fix it.


Matt Tidwell has a page where some benchmarks for various compilers are presented.


The information on this page is believed to be accurate. I have received review copies of some of the compilers, but most of the info on this page is gleaned from web sites. Hopefully this will change as people send me review copies of their compilers, and that I get some free time to test them. The comments in this page are based on my own opinions, so your milage may vary. If anybody finds any factual errors in this page, please contact the author. Any commercial vendors wishing to submit products for review, are free to do so.

Page created and maintained by Karl H. Torvmark. Any comments about this page are welcome.
Last updated 31.07.2002