(I guess what I'm asking is once the data has been shifted into the 5940's register, could I just supply it with power, put the ATmega to sleep, and have the fades still loop?)
You aren't helping one bit. Stop post farming or help.
I won't be doing visual processing at all. Its just a few leds and sensing capabilities. The thing that gets me still is the power consumption, like the guy said earlier, I could use interrupts to solve that, although I will then run into another problem with clock speed. This will be powered by a LiPo battery (3.7v) and to get the ATmega32u4 or 328p up to 16MHz clock speed, I need the full 5v. I've never done a buck-boost application or basic transistor stuff. Is there a simple solution that can solve that or would an 8MHz clock speed be okay for just sensing with gyro, megneto, and accel sensors?
Actually, nothing will be running on 5v.The whole thing will be powered by a 3.7v LiPo.I remember I once tried to burn a bootloader for an ATmega328p on a breadboard for 3.3v use at 8MHz and I couldn't get the darn thing to work. Since then, I haven't figured it out.
Thats a good point. I could still boost things up if needed, but nothing needs to be at 5v. I understand what you mean by unprotected but I don't quite get how I would become protected. What components would I need to make sure I didn't discharge too much?
although I've never looked specifically for an IC that doesn't need the clock signal, i've never seen one.
I'm left wondering if it could be controlled by the TLC 5940 library.