The new Atmel-ICE debugger is here

I ordered the new Atmel ICE debugger as soon as it appeared on the company store. I see there is still stock so feel free to put in an order with us or your favorite distributor. Don’t get this new one confused with our JTAGICE3,  sometimes called JTAGICE markIII or mk3. It looks similar, but this new one has two debugging connectors. One is for the AVR microcontrollers, and one is for ARM MCU devices. There is a nice slide-show and explanation on our Norway site.


The new Atmel-ICE is white and has two connectors for debugging. The old JTAGICE3 (inset) is silver and only has one connector, although you can upgrade the firmware so it can debug SAM D20 ARM-based MCUs.

Best yet, just like we lowered the priced between the JTAGICE2 and JTAGICE3, we lowered it again for the Atmel ICE. You can get the fancy high-zoot version for 85 bucks. It has the pretty box and all the cables. Then there is a stripper version with just one debug cable for $49. Finally, you can get a bare-board version with no case or cables for a measly $32. This is a great deal when you think that a JTAGICE2 was $399.


This new Atmel-ICE replaces both the Dragon and the JTAGICE3. The only other ARV debugger you might need is the AVRONE! debugger that has trace capability. It’s 600 bucks, but that is worth every penny if you are trying to figure out where your program went or how it entered a subroutine or interrupt vector.

For the “big iron” ARM MPU (microprocessor units) with external memory you can use the SAM ICE. The SAM-ICE is in our store for 100 dollars. This works with Atmel’s MPU chips like the ARM Cortex A5-based chips like the SAMA5D series, and the ARM9-based SAM9x parts.

I unboxed my new Atmel-ICE today, here are the pictures:


The box has a Norse warrior on it, as tribute to the brilliant Norwegian engineers that invented the AVR chip.


Open the box and you see the Atmel-ICE on the left, safely snuggles in anti-static foam, and a box on the right with the three cables and breakout PCB.


Here is a close-up of the debug connectors. Identical, but the one on the right is for AVR and the one on the left is for ARM-based MCUs.


The Atmel ICE uses the micro USB connector. The two more expensive versions come with the cable, the bare PCB does not.


To keep costs down we didn’t paint the logo on, you can see it is nicely inset, as are the “AVR” and “SAM” indicators to tell you which debug connector is which. Check out how nice and small the unit is. This is another improvement over the JTAGICE2, and a real benefit on a crowded desk or lab bench.


Here is the cables that come in the 85-dollar unit. You also get the USB cable. Note the one cable comes with that cool breakout board.


The breakout board has a silkscreen on both sides to help you figure out what it plugs into.

12 thoughts on “The new Atmel-ICE debugger is here

  1. Rob Gray

    Is there any documentation for the header pinout required for this ICE. I’d like to add a JTAG header on a new ATnega2560 board and keep finding different pinouts.


  2. David Flory

    Is there any reason to prefer the JTAGICE3 over this board? How do they compare in speed when debugging AVR processors? Is the $32 board really the same hardware as the $89 model?



  3. Daniel

    I try to find out what the difference is between this one and the Atmel JTAGICE3?

    Need to debug crashes and hang ups in Atmega 328. (arduino style)

    It looks like this kit have appropiate cabling that comes with it.

    Is there a way to compare these debuggers ?

    Thanks Daniel


  4. Daniel

    JTAGICE3 seems to support
    -Supports up to 3 hardware program breakpoints or 1 maskable data breakpoint (depending on the OCD module on the AVR device)
    -Supports symbolic debug of complex data types including scope information.
    -NanoTrace (if supported by the device)

    Are these features gone in the Atmel ICE?


    1. stefank007

      I ordered the Atmel-ICE just based on specs at the Atmel storefront, it seemed like this part obsoletes many of the others in the lineup; I wish I had had your little article here first, it would have made the store less confusing.

      For a hundred usd I bought the ICE and Atmel Studio on CD. Installing Studio is not easy even with the CD because you get bombarded with notices to upgrade this and install that, the devil knows that the inter-dependencies and cascaded requirements are. But we persevere, guessing, downloading, upgrading like mad all the way. It takes a few hours of unpleasant uncertainty. Then we get to the details of the ICE, trying to identify a manual for it, etc. When I do, the first thing it says is, ICE requires Studio 6.2, not the 6.1 that comes on the CD. Usch!


  5. zain

    Hello There!
    Cannot find any info for pin connection for ATmel ICE for connection such as MOSI, MISO, RESET,SCK, VCC ,GND.
    PLEASE guide!


  6. Andreas Paulin

    Can this Debugger finally, hopefully now debug the external RAM that hangs on the EBI? This is the most nagging thing with the JTAGICE3, for which i’m praying for a solution the most.


  7. Remko

    I’ve bought the atmel ICE to debug the atsam4e-ek eval board, but I do not get it working. Everytime it comes back with error 4109, device not available. I am stuck. Is there anyone who can help me out?



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