A closer look at Atmel’s new SAMA5D3 Xplained board

Earlier this week, Bits & Pieces got up close and personal with Atmel’s SAM R21 Xplained Pro, an evaluation kit that allows developers to more easily design connected lighting, smart metering and wireless sensor network systems based on true Internet-connectivity and open standards such as IPv6 and 6lowpan.

Today, we’re going to take a closer look at Atmel’s new SAMA5D3 Xplained board – a low-cost, fast prototyping and evaluation platform for microprocessor-based design.

The board, which recently debuted at Embedded World 2014, is built around Atmel’s SAMA5D3 ARM Cortex-A5 processor-based MPU and packed with a rich set of ready-to-use connectivity and storage peripherals, along with Arduino shield-compatible expansion headers for easy customization. 

The platform is also a perfect target for headless Android projects, while a Linux distribution and software package facilitates rapid software development.

Aside from Atmel’s ARM-based SAMA5D36 Cortex-A5 microprocessor (MPU), key specs include:

  • 2GBit DDR2 – Micron
  • 2GBit Flash – Micron
  • 1- Ethernet 10/100/1000 (- Phy + connector)
  • 1- Ethernet 10/100 (-Phy + connector)
1- USB Device connector, 2- USB Host connectors
  • Active Semi PMIC
  • Power measurement straps
  • SD/MMCPlus 8-bit Card slot
  • 1- Micro SDCard 4-bit slot footprint
  • 1- 6-lead 3V3-level serial port
  • 10-pin J-TAG connector
  • 2- push buttons, reset and startup
  • 1- general purpose push button
  • 2- general purpose LEDs
  • Arduino R3-compatible header plus LCD connectors mounted
  • Linux distribution
  • Bare Metal C code example
  • Headless Android support

Simply put, the new board offers features such as mid-range graphical user interfaces, capacitive touch capability, wired and wireless communication, free of charge Linux distribution and a QT developer’s kit.

As we’ve previously discussed on Bits & Pieces, the ARM-based SAMA5D3 series is ideal for wearable computing and mobile applications where low power and a small footprint are critical. Key SAMA5D3 Xplained features include:

  • Fully documented and readily available Cortex-A5 based MPU solution
  • Rich set of peripherals, specifically on connectivity
  • USB power (no need for power adaptor)
  • Flexibility – Arduino-compatible connectors, enabling the user to leverage the extensive Arduino shields ecosystem
  • Open Source hardware – All design files available; easy to reuse in customer projects
  • Software package with drivers and examples for bare metal developers
  • Qt developers kit and Linux distribution free of charge

The new SAMA5D3 Xplained board is available from Newark element 14 at a $79 price point.

1 thought on “A closer look at Atmel’s new SAMA5D3 Xplained board

  1. Pingback: ARM 5 and 9 MPUs, Atmel’s big iron microprocessors | Bits & Pieces from the Embedded Design World

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