Step up your Arduino game with the SparkFun SAM D21 Dev Breakout


The SparkFun SAM D21 Dev Breakout is an Arduino-sized breakout board for the Atmel ATSAMD21G18.


If you’re ready to step your Arduino game up from 8-bit MCUs, the newly-unveiled SparkFun SAM D21 Dev Breakout is a great way to start. The Arduino-sized breakout for the Atmel | SMART ATSAMD21G18 — a 32-bit ARM Cortex-M0+ processor with 256KB of Flash, 32KB SRAM and an operating speed of up to 48MHz — provides you with an Arduino hardware option that solves the problems of low storage limits and dynamic memory stack overflows that have plagued the previous iterations of the Arduino family. Even better, the SparkFun SAM D21 Dev Breakout is fully supported in the Arduino IDE and libraries for the Arduino Zero.

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The SparkFun SAM D21 Dev Breakout has been equipped with a USB interface for programming and power, surrounded with an RTC crystal, and a 600mA 3.3V regulator. By utilizing the Pro R3’s extra PCB real-estate, SparkFun has been able to leave room for a few extra GPIO pins and an integrated LiPo charger. To power this board, simply plug it into a USB port on your computer via its micro-B port.

Not near a USB port? Don’t fret, the SparkFun SAM D21 Dev Breakout is also equipped with a LiPo Battery connector and unpopluated supply input to solder on your own PTH Barrel Jack. If you’ve used any Arduino before, this pinout shouldn’t surprise you – the layout meets the Arduino 1.0 footprint standard, including a separate SPI header and additional I2C header.

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One of the most unique features of the SAM D21 is SERCOM — a set of six configurable serial interfaces that can be turned into either a UART, I2C master, I2C slave, SPI master, or SPI slave. Each SERCOM provides for a lot of flexibility: the ports can be multiplexed, giving you a choice of which task each pin is assigned.

SparkFun has made a SAM D21 Mini/Dev Breakout Hookup Guide available online, which includes step by step instructions of how to connect your board as well as a few circuit examples to test out. Intrigued? Head over to its official page here to get yours!

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