AVR ATmega103/ATmega103L serial programming

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Hi,

I am looking at a circuit built around an ATmega103L device.
The circuit is supplying 4.08 volts (uncalibrated DVM) to the ATmega103L -
the cct-diagram says VCC is 5V.

The ATmega103L data sheet contains these specifications:

Device : Power Supply (page 132)
-------------------------------
ATmega103L : 2.7 - 3.6V
ATmega103 : 4.0 - 5.5V

Device: Supply Voltage during Programming (page 100)
---------------------------------
ATmega103L : 3.2 - 3.6V (serial*)
ATmega103 : 4.0 - 5.0V (serial*)

*Note: this is not the ISP serial programming mode.

Question is:
Are these voltage ranges critical?
I.e.
If the ATmega103L WAS programmed with a supply voltage at 4.08 volts, would
this cause problems?
If the ATmega103L WAS operated with a supply voltage of 4.08 volts, would
this cause problems with the stability of the device (disregarding the
effect on other components).

Or is the lower voltage range simply a constraint to keep device withing the
L(ow) power specification, yet if it is exceeded, the device still functions
correctly but with a higher power consumption?

What do you suppose would happen if this device were operated in the dead
supply area of 3.6 - 4.0 volts?

Joe




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