is there an alternative to attiny?

something small cheap readily available that can be programmed similarly, using arduino? by a different company, preferably chinese made.

Frankly, the completely assembled Pro Mini boards are small enough and so cheap that it would be somewhat foolish to attempt to construct your own version, even for small production runs.

But what do you mean "by a different company"? Why?

Not with Arduino IDE support. Microchip's PIC line is similar in capabilitY (I think a bit faster), but no Arduino support.

You need someone with enough time and motivation to make Arduino work with them, and write versions of the core libraries for it.

too bad no one has "arduino-ized" stm8 which is undoubtedly the lowest cost mcu resembling avr and venerable 6502 architecture. not nasty like pic, arm, 8051, etc. sdcc is so nice and friendly not that tragic though.

by a different company, preferably chinese made.

To what purpose? Chip or module? Most Chinese-made chips are not easily available outside of China. One that made the press a while ago was the LogicGreen LGT88; an ATmega88-like chip. (人妻人人做人碰人人添青青.最新女人另类ZOOZ0.亚洲国产色播AV在线.娇妻被黑人杂交下呻吟..), but I don't know where you could buy one (and they're relatively large compared to most ATtinys.)

ATmega8s from Chinese dealers (Aliexpress, etc) are cheaper than ATtinys from Digikey... (shucks, the pre-made "Pro mini" clone BOARDS are cheaper than some ATtiny CHIPS from digikey :frowning: ) "Digispark" clones (w ATtiny85) are also available from Chinese dealers for slightly less than Pro Mini clones.

ESP8266 modules sort-of fit your description. I'd suppose that you don't HAVE to use the wireless internet parts...

like all mips/arm type esp is a pig compared to avr in terms of power, toolset friendliness, architecture, and signal stability. however silly to even try to compare them imo. both cheap but otherwise very little overlap.

btw lgt currently available from multiple sources. i got hands on a couple but no competition in terms of price and, again, toolset friendliness. turns out not all that compatible either. maybe someday a collectors item to sit beside the scenix and 4004 in my ic museum.