Tag Archives: Atmel SAMD21

Building a barebones Arduino Zero


One Maker has created a minimalist Arduino Zero-like board with an OLED display and LEDs.


Looking to migrate from the world of 8- to 32-bit Atmel MCUs, Maker “kodera2t” — who you may recall from his SD card-sized Arduino — decided to build a barebones version of the popular Arduino Zero. His goal? To design a board that packed the punch of the Cortex-M0+ using nothing more than a few key components.

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First, he created a minimalist MCU with only a USB interface — no output. With an Atmel SAMD21G18 at its core, the board included zener diodes, an XTAL for the clock, a 3.3V regulator and some supplemental capacitors. According to the Maker, this helped him “learn the difference between AVR and the SAM D [family].”

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From there, kodera2t proceeded to develop another one, this time with a little more functionality. For this iteration, the Maker once again included a SAM D21 along with a I2C OLED, three LEDs for operation check, and a USB connector for uploading code. The Arduino Zero-like device is also powered by a 3.3V battery pack.

Intrigued? Head over to the project’s Hackaday.io page here, or watch kodera2t provide an overview of the two boards in the video below.