In-circuit emulation for AVR and ARM SAM D20 chips

You can do a firmware upgrade on your JTAGICE3 and it will work with the ARM M0+ based SAM D20. If you don’t want to use a separate emulator, there is also a debugger on the $39 SAM D20 Xplained Pro eval board. Atmel has a long history of providing inexpensive development tools. The $49 “Butterfly” eval board and $200 STK200 in-circuit emulator (ICE) was what got me to switch to Atmel micros back in 2000. These days we have three in-circuit emulators, sometimes called debuggers. The $49 Dragon is low cost and does all AVR chips, even the 32-bit AVR chips. The AVR ONE! is much more expensive, about 500 bucks, but it does have trace. That means you can go back and see where your program went as it executed. This can be worth every penny if you have complicated program flows with internal and external interrupts.

Most engineers like the JTAGICE3 emulator Atmel offers for only $99. Like the JTAGICE2, that predates it, the JTAGICE Mark3 can do all the AVR chips, including the newest XMEGA families. The great news is that Studio 6, the integrated development environment (IDE) program Atmel gives away for free, can do a firmware upgrade on your JTAGICE3 so it can work with the new SAM D20 ARM chip Atmel just released.  From the news bulletin:

Atmel Studio 6.1 SP2 includes a firmware update for the JTAGICE3 which adds programming and debugging support for the SAM D20 devices. The JTAGICE3 firmware will be automatically updated when a programming or debugging session is started in Atmel Studio 6.1 SP2.

Atmel Studio 6 users who want to take advantage of this firmware update will have to upgrade to Atmel Studio 6.1 SP2, which will be available for download at http://www.atmel.com/tools/atmelstudio.aspx starting August 15th.

Technical details can be found at http://www.atmel.no/webdoc/jtagice3/jtagice3.whats_new.html.

This is just too cool. Studio 6 has always supported code development of Atmel’s ARM MCU (microcontroller) chips, the ones with internal flash. Now you can debug the M0+ ARM-based SAM D20 with the same JTAGICE3 you use for AVR and AVR-32 chips.

I have to laugh when my buddies say Atmel tries to make money on our eval boards and emulators. We don’t look to make any appreciable profit on the tools. We give away Studio 6 for crying out loud, and anyone that has done product design knows what a cheap deal the eval boards and these emulators are. Atmel sells chips and touchscreens (XSense). That is where we make our money. So you folks that have bought a JTAGICE3, celebrate, you can now debug our great SAM D20 with it. Like I said, “Friends don’t let friends go without a debugger.

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