Tag Archives: Analog Aficionado Paul Rako

Video: Debugging with Atmel-ICE

In the latest episode of Atmel Edge, Analog Aficionado Paul Rako discusses our newest debugger, the Atmel-ICE.

As Rako notes, the Atmel-ICE is a powerful development tool for debugging and programming Atmel ARM Cortex-M based Atmel SAM and AVR microcontrollers.

Key features include:

  • Support for JTAG, SWD, PDI, TPI, aWire, SPI and debugWIRE interfaces
  • Full source-level debugging in Atmel Studio
Support for all built-in hardware breakpoints in the target microcontroller (number depends on the OCD module in the target)
Up to 128 software breakpoints
  • 1.62 to 5.5V target operation
  • USB powered
  • Offers both ARM Cortex Debug Connector (10-pin) pin-out and AVR JTAG connector pin-out


Atmel-ICE is currently available from the official Atmel store for $85 here.

Video: Drawing schematics with Paul Rako

In this episode of Atmel Edge, Analog Aficionado Paul Rako describes the importance of drawing schematics with inputs on the left and top, as well as outputs on the right and bottom.

“The most fundamental thing about a system-level schematic is that there is a flow to it – and that flow is from left to right and from top to bottom,” Rako explains.

“Anyone can pick it up and they know they can look at the left edge and tend to see inputs, or look at the top and tend to see inputs. Then they can look to the right edge or the bottom and tend to find outputs.”

Well, perhaps it isn’t that simple, says Rako, because what about a bus?

“How do you represent something that has bidirectional flow? Do you put things on the top or the left edge? That’s kind of a style, but if you just stick to these basics, you’ll be a lot better off,” he adds.

Watch as Paul provides a little bit higher level tip than just grounds, capacitors and resistors, plus topics we’re going to discuss in the 101 series. Stay tuned!

Video: Atmel’s Paul Rako talks CE and FCC testing

In this episode of Atmel Edge, Analog Aficionado Paul Rako discussed three clever tricks to keep your high-speed circuit boards from radiating energy and failing CE or FCC testing.

Flip your planes, stitch around the edges, or bring the power and ground planes really close together to keep them from oscillating and pumping RF out the edges. These three quick PCB layout tricks will help you pass FCC emissions in no time!

More specifically, says Rako, you take inner plane layers on a four-layer board (or more), bringing them to the outside, effectively creating a containment vessel that prevents radiation from escaping. 

The second?

“Istvan Novak works at [Oracle] Sun Microsystems,” Rako explains. “He says there is prior art; he didn’t invent it, but he figured out you could stitch RCs all around the edge, and that would keep the radiation from not only leaking out, but from bouncing back in.”

As for the third trick, if you go cut up power planes, you can ultimately bring them very close together.

“You can bring them close together and use other planes to contain the RF – distributing your power and ground with intimate one-mil spacing between the planes. That brings the same kind of damping in as the other trick with putting RCs around the edge,” he adds. “So those three tricks are ways to get you through FCC and CE immunity testing.”

Interested in learning more? You can watch the full video here.