A closer look at Atmel’s SAM4S Xplained Pro eval kit

Based on ARM’s powerful Cortex-M4 core, the SAM4S series extends Atmel’s Cortex-M portfolio to offer increased performance and power efficiency, higher memory densities (up to 2MB of Flash and 160KB of SRAM) as well as a rich peripheral set for connectivity, system control and analog interfacing.

The SAM4S – which operates at 120MHz – also integrates Atmel’s Flash read accelerator and optional cache memory to increase system performance. Key specs include a multi-layer bus matrix, multi-channel direct memory access (DMA) and distributed memory to support high data rate communication.

“In terms of low power consumption, the SAM4S series achieves 200µA/MHz in dynamic mode at a low operating frequency; 30mA at 120MHz; and 1µA at 1.8V in back-up mode with the real-time clock (RTC) running,” an Atmel engineering rep told Bits & Pieces.

“Boasting some of the best power consumption/performance rates on the market for standby mode, the SAM4S reaches 120MHz+ operating frequency with a RAM retention mode below 25µA. Plus, integrated hardware code protection prevents access to on-chip memory to protect intellectual property (IP), while supporting secure device reconditioning (chip erase) for reprogramming.”

Atmel also offers a SAM4S Xplained Pro Evaluation Kit, a hardware-based platform that allows engineers to more easily evaluate the SAM4SD32 microcontroller. Supported by the Atmel Studio integrated development platform, the kit provides easy access to various SAM4S features, explaining how to integrate the device in a customer design. Like other Atmel Xplained Pro evaluation kits, the SAM4S Xplained Pro is capable of significantly expanding its original functionality by linking to additional Xplained Pro extension kits.

For a complete and ready to go package, the ATSAM4S-XSTK starter kit includes the Atmel I/O1 Xplained Pro, OLED1 Xplained Pro, and PROTO1 Xplained Pro extension boards, a bundle that can be purchased here.

Aside from the SAM4SD32 microcontroller, key SAM4S Xplained Pro Evaluation Kit specs include:

  • One reset button
  • One user pushbutton (wake-up, bootloader entry or general purpose)
  • One yellow user LED
  • USB interface, end-point
  • 2Gb NAND flash
  • 32.768kHz crystal
  • 12MHz crystal
  • SD card socket
  • 3 Xplained Pro extension headers
  • One display header
  • One PIOD connector with all PIO signals
  • One SPARE signal connector
  • Embedded debugger
  • Auto-ID for board identification in Atmel Studio 6.1
  • One yellow status LED
  • One green board power LED
  • Symbolic debug of complex data types including scope information
  • Programming
  • Data Gateway Interface: SPI, TWI and 4 GPIOs
  • Virtual COM port (CDC)
  • USB powered

Interested? The Atmel SAM4S Xplained Pro Evaluation Kit can be purchased here from the official Atmel store.

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