The system consists of a generic Socket Card, on which the AVR device is inserted, and a device-specific Routing Card, which routes the signals from the socket pins to the different functions on the STK600 Starter Kit Main Board depending on the device. This design simplifies hardware setup when switching from one AVR device to another, since all connections from the device to the motherboard are determined by the Routing Card, a custom board for each device. The routing system is purely passive; no electronic components route the signals, so all I/O pins are directly accessible on the connectors with no altering of the electrical behavior.
The STK600 Starter Kit offers access to all device pins and several useful hardware functions such as pushbuttons, LEDs, and data flash to create a complete system for prototyping and testing new designs. The Atmel Studio Integrated Development Environment (IDE) lets designers write and compile firmware in either assembly or C language and download the code to the target AVR device.
The Atmel / Microchip Starter Kit Main Board also has an adjustable voltage supply and adjustable clock to the target AVR device. The VCC level and clock frequency can be adjusted on the fly from Atmel Studio, giving designers the ability to test the performance at different voltage levels and clock frequencies with just the click of a button.