Tag Archives: ARM Cortex-A5

element14 debuts new Atmel SAMA5D4 Xplained board

The latest Atmel | SMART development kit features video decoder and advanced security features.

element14 has debuted the Atmel | SMART SAMA5D4-XUL Xplained board, featuring an ARM Cortex-A5 microprocessor. The newly-announced development kit enables users to evaluate, prototype and create high performance, application-specific designs. The SAMA5D4 Xplained Ultra is packed with 4Gb DDR2 external memory, one Ethernet physical layer transceiver, two SD/MMC interfaces, two host USB ports and one device USB port, one 24-bit RGB LCD and HDMI interface and debug interfaces.


The 720p video decoder and playback at 30fps alongside the LCD controller with graphics accelerator are targeted for consumer and industrial designs, including terminals and Internet of Things (IoT) applications. In addition, the SAMA5D4-XULT leverages the advanced security features found on the board’s microprocessor, like ARM Trust Zone, secure boot, encrypted DDR bus, tamper detection pins and secure data storage.

Seven headers, compatible with both the Arduino Uno and Due and two Xplained headers are available for various shield connections.

“Our partnership with Atmel continues to grow with the latest addition to the Atmel Xplained family of development kits,” explained David Shen, Premier Farnell Group CTO. “The comprehensive security features and display capabilities of the SAMA5D4-XULT are key to the advancement and implementation of IoT applications where the user interface and security information are critical.”


As we’ve previously discussed on Bits & Pieces, the SAMA5D4 is optimized for control panel/HMI applications requiring video playback and is well suited for other use cases that require high levels of connectivity in the industrial and consumer Internet of Things market. The new ARM-based series is a high-performance, power-efficient Cortex-A5 MPU capable of running up to 528 MHz. Furthermore, the device integrates the ARM NEON SIMD engine for accelerated signal processing, multimedia and graphics as well as a 128 KB L2-Cache for high system performance.

The SAMA5D4 Xplained – priced at $93.50 – is now available and can be found on the element14 Design Center. Those interested in learning more can also head over to the development kit’s official page here.

Designing an industrial control panel with Atmel’s SAMA5D3

An industrial control panel or terminal provides a visual interface for operators to monitor and control equipment, typically in a factory setting.

Clearly, industrial control panels must support high-end graphics without negatively impacting system communication. And in today’s connected world, the panels must also be capable of linking and seamlessly interfacing with a wide variety of external peripherals as well as accessories.

Atmel’s SAMA5D3 (ARM) Cortex-A5 eMPU, paired with a maXTouch-powered display, is an industrial control panel platform that is more than capable of fulfilling the above-mentioned requirements.


“Atmel’s platform offers high processing power and bandwidth for optimized graphics performance with the ARM Cortex-A5 based SAMA5D3 – which boasts a fully integrated MMU and a floating point unit to accelerate graphics processing. Meanwhile, our 32-bit DDR-2 memory interface provides high bandwidth to support high resolution screen displays and render complex animation,” an Atmel engineer told us.

“We also offer three high-speed USB Ports with integrated PHY, providing simultaneous support for three USB clients – which removes the need for an external hub. Plus, there are multiple interfaces available, including Gigabit EMAC with full IEEE 1588 support.”

In terms of graphics, the SAMA5D3 offers integrated resistive touch screen support, along with a direct interface to an external (maXTouch) capacitive touch screen module. On the software side, support for Linux 3.6.6 includes sources, pre-built demos with installation scripts, build instructions, along with various tips and tricks.

Atmel’s extensive development system also includes in-house and third-party modules, kits, OS/RTOS/Middleware and UI options, with the SAMA5D3-EK Evaluation Kit enabling rapid code development.

Additional information about the SAMA5D3 can be found here.

Designing portable fitness devices with Atmel’s SAMA5D3 eMPU lineup

Atmel’s lineup of ARM Cortex-A5 processor-based eMPUs (embedded microprocessor units) do not compromise when it comes to performance, power and ease of use.


Operating at 850DMIPS at under 200mW, the SAMA5D3 eMPU is ideal for a wide range of high-performance, low-power and cost-sensitive industrial applications, including control panels, smart grid devices and bar code scanners.

Of course, the SAMA5D3 eMPU lineup can also power fitness and outdoor portable electronic equipment, which are often used to measure performance (or provide navigation) for various outdoor activities, including running, cycling, hiking and golf.

Such devices offer low active and standby power consumption, while reducing battery size and extending time between charges and offering fast wake up to respond to user commands.


Key (supported) features include direct support for TFT displays, capacitive touch,
camera sensors and audio. On the software side, designers can look forward to Atmel’s extensive SAMA5D3 dev ecosystem, which offers up in-house as well as third-party suppliers in modules, kits, OS, RTOS, Middleware and UI solutions. Atmel also provides and supports Linux 3.6.6 as well as Android 4.0 (ICS) packages, while the SAMA5D3x-EK evaluation kit facilitates quick evaluation and development.

Interested? Additional information can be found on Atmel’s SAMA5D3 ARM Cortex-A5 eMPU homepage.