Tag Archives: Atmel Studio

The first-ever Rad Tolerant megaAVR is out of this world!


With billions of AVR chips already deployed throughout the world, it’s now time to take them into space!


This news may come as one small step for boards, one giant leap for Maker-kind: the ATmegaS128 has launched! Not only does Atmel’s first uC Rad Tolerant device share the popular features of the megaAVR family, this out-of-the-world MCU delivers full wafer lot traceability, 64-lead ceramic package (CQFP), space screening, space qualification according to QML and ESCC flow and total ionizing dose up to 30 Krad (Si) for space applications. What’s more, the ATMegaS128 is “latch up” immune thanks to a dedicated silicon process: SEL LET > 62.5Mev at 125°C, 8MHz/3.3V. SEU to heavy ions is estimated to 10-3 error/device/day for low Earth orbit applications.

space

With billions of commercial AVR chips widely deployed throughout the world, the new space-grade AVR family benefits from support of the Atmel Studio ecosystem and lets aerospace developers to the industrial-version of the ATmega to prototype their applications for a fraction of the cost. The latest board is available in a ceramic hermetic packaging and is pin-to-pin and drop-in compatible with existing ATmega128 MCUs, allowing flexibility between commercial and qualified devices, enabling faster-time-to-market and minimizing development costs. With this cost-effective approach and a plastic Hirel-qualified version, the ATmegaS128 can be also considered in more general aerospace applications including class A and B avionic critical cases where radiation tolerance is also a key requirement.

“With nearly three decades of aerospace experience, we are thrilled to bring one of our most popular MCU cores to space — the AVR MCU,” explained Patrick Sauvage, General Manager of Atmel’s Aerospace Business Unit. “By improving radiation performance with our proven Atmel AVR cores and ecosystem, the new ATmegaS128 provides developers targeting space applications a smaller footprint, lower power and full analog integration such as motor and sensor control along with data handling functions for payload and platform. We look forward to putting more Atmel solutions into space.”

Among its notable features, the space-ready MCU boasts high endurance and non-volatile memory, robust peripherals (including 8- and 16-bit timers/counters, six PWM channels, 8-channel, 10-bit ADC, TWI/USARTs/SPI serial interface, programmable watchdog timer and on-chip analog compactor), power-on reset and programmable brown-out detection, internal calibrated RC oscillator, external and internal interrupt sources, six sleep modes, as well as power-down, standby and extended standby.

maxresdefault

The STK600 starter kit and development system for the ATmegaS128 will provide users a quick start in developing code on the AVR with advanced features for prototyping and testing new designs. The recently-revealed AVRs are supported by the proven Atmel Studio IDP for developing and debugging Atmel | SMART ARM-based and AVR MCU applications, along with the Atmel Software Framework. Intrigued? Check out the uC Rad Tolerant device here.

SOMNIUM’s DRT software tools now available in Atmel Studio 7


Build smaller, faster, cheaper and more energy efficient software for Atmel | SMART devices with the SOMNIUM DRT Atmel Studio Extension.


As the desire for the world to become more connected increases by the day, we see more and more devices connecting to each other and sensors being built into everything around us. The advent of the Internet of Things means that MCUs need to be smaller and more energy efficient than ever before, but at the same time these processors need to be smarter and cheaper, and from a developers perspective, need to be easy to program as well.

studio7__google_1160x805

Fortunately, the Atmel | SMART ARM-based family has been optimized for cost and power sensitive use cases, targeting applications such as the IoT, smart metering, industrial controls and domestic appliances, to name just a few. Moreover, the recently launched Atmel Studio 7 has introduced a new capability to measure energy consumption during development — a clear indication of the growing significance of this factor to developers in their embedded designs.

Easily measuring energy consumption during development is clearly important, but once you know your consumption what steps can you take if you need to reduce usage in your design? The MCU itself certainly contributes, and typically a smaller device will need lower power. As a result, many designers’ first strategy is keep the energy consumption low in their design is to reduce code size, thus allowing them to devise on a smaller MCU. This often requires a fair amount of manual code optimization, a time consuming and costly task.

What if there was a way for you to not only take advantage of the innovative Atmel | SMART MCU lineup and the added features of Atmel Studio 7, but also take your embedded software designs to the next level, further reducing your energy consumption, shrinking your code size without manual intervention and at the same time improving performance? Now there is, thanks to the SOMNIUM DRT Atmel Studio Extension.

DRT%20ATMEL%20Black%20Small

DRT supports all Atmel | SMART ARM Cortex-M based MCUs, and is the only product that offers improved code generation while maintaining full compatibility with industry-standard GNU tools. What’s more, the extension enhances Atmel Studio 7 by enabling superior quality C and C++ code generation, resulting in reduced flash requirement for applications, faster code execution and reduced power consumption. DRT installs as an alternate toolchain, seamlessly replacing the Atmel GNU tools, making SOMNIUM’s patented-resequencing optimizations available to Atmel Studio users without complex software rewriting and staff retraining.

Unlike traditional tools which only consider the ARM Cortex processor, DRT is aware of the coupling of the processor and its memory system, automatically applying a new series of device-specific optimizations. DRT analyzes the whole program, identifying all instruction and data sequences and the interactions between them. Knowledge of the Atmel SMART MCU’s memory system and ARM Cortex pipeline are used to intelligently resequence your program.

Soo

“By adding the SOMNIUM DRT to Atmel’s software and tools ecosystem, our developers can take their projects to market with improved code generation,” explained Henrik Flodell, Atmel Senior Product Marketing Manager, Development Tools. “With access to high-quality tools, developers can optimize memory-constrained systems for performance along with power efficiency. SOMNIUM’s advanced technology brings additional value to our customers in these areas.”

Interested? A 21-day trial of the SOMNIUM DRT Atmel Studio Extension can be be downloaded free of charge from the Atmel Gallery. An annual license with full commercial support is also available from SOMNIUM for $750.

Atmel Studio 7 is now live!


Atmel Studio 7 accelerates MCU designs for both developers and Makers alike, bridging the gap between the MakerSpace and MarketPlace.


For those who may have attended the recent World Maker Faire in New York, this announcement should come as no surprise. However, if you were unable to get to the New York Hall of Science to swing by the Atmel booth or sit in on one of our panel discussions over the weekend, we’ve got some great news. The highly anticipated Atmel Studio 7 is now live!

Studio7__Google+_1160x805

Atmel Studio is a comprehensive, free integrated development environment (IDE) for microcontroller design using both Atmel | SMART ARM-based and AVR MCUs. What’s more, we are also excited to be launching Atmel START — a new, extremely intuitive graphical platform for creating and configuring embedded applications that allow developers to build custom software platforms.

Due to increased complexity and more demanding requirements, embedded developers are turning to IDEs to deliver more intelligence, performance and ease-of-use. Based on the latest Microsoft Visual Studio Shell, Atmel Studio 7 dramatically reduces overall design time by delivering significant performance enhancements for developing and debugging with a simple user interface, improved responsiveness for consumer, industrial and Maker markets, and much more. Plus, the brand-spankin’ new IDE provides real-time application data and power visualization to better optimize application performance and power utilization.

Ideal for the Maker community, the IDE lets Arduino developers quickly port their sketches created in the Arduino environment as C++ projects, and seamlessly migrate their prototypes into the professional Studio 7 environment. This will further streamline a Maker’s ability to help migrate their projects from ‘the MakerSpace to MarketPlace.’

Given the rise of the Internet of Things market and the projected billions of devices to follow, high quality, well integrated embedded software is key to enable designers to devise robust, smart solutions based on today’s connectivity and security standards. Cognizant of this, we are pleased to launch Atmel START which is a web-based tool that helps developers easily integrate basic software building blocks and focus on their own applications rather than having to deal with the headache of configuration and integration.

“Atmel Studio 7 IDE and Atmel START extend our commitment to bridge the gap between the Maker and professional environments, accelerating time-to-market for developers of all levels,” says Steve Pancoast, Atmel Vice President of Applications, Software and Tools. “Our new, innovative development tools and software provide Atmel’s customers with solutions for embedded system designs in low power and wireless communications such as our power visualizer and Atmel START. We are committed to bringing the best tools to market, enabling developers of all levels — from professionals to students, hobbyists and Makers — to get their projects quickly to market.”

Atmel START gives software developers the ability to graphically select software components and configure them for Atmel’s large family of evaluation boards or for their own custom hardware. Developers can build software platforms consisting of low-level drivers, advanced middleware, Real Time Operating Systems (RTOS), high-level communication stacks and more, as well as download the configured software package into their own IDE and make their application.

Atmel START supports graphical configuring of pin-muxes, along with clock trees, and the configured software package can be downloaded for a variety of supported development environments, such as Atmel Studio 7, IAR Embedded Workbench and Keil µVision. In addition to all that, the tool is entirely web-based so no installation is required before you get started — and the downloaded code will always be up-to-date.

“The Atmel START platform makes it easy for developers to get projects off the ground quickly and obtain the most benefit from working with ARM Keil MDK tools,” adds Reinhard Keil, ARM Director of Microcontroller Tools. “By using CMSIS, Atmel has once again proven the value of creating a platform built on a standards-based approach. Atmel START creates a robust and portable software management system that makes it easy for developers to deploy applications in any environment.”

Interested? Atmel Studio 7 is free of charge and is integrated with the Atmel Software Framework (ASF) — a large library of free source code with 1,600 project examples. Those wishing to get started with the IDE can head over to its official page here, as well as explore Atmel START in more depth by downloading the latest white paper on the platform.

This wearable device gives you an extra sense for better orientation


Inspired by birds, TheSixthSense is an ankle device that gives wearers a better sense of direction. 


Release a homing pigeon thousands of miles from home, and it’ll find its way back using its innate ability to sense the Earth’s magnetic field. Following the same principles, Maker Sebastian Foerster has developed what he calls “an extra sense for a better orientation.”

2525481431018766805

Initially inspired by his father’s balance disorder, TheSixthSense is an ankle-worn device that uses vibration motors to help guide a wearer in the right direction. Ideally, a gadget like this could one day prove to be invaluable for the visually-impaired, for those with a lack of orientation and in environments where there is limited visibility.

The wearable itself is comprised of a small, two-layer circuit board featuring an ATxmega32E5 at its core, along with an accelerometer, a magnetometer, a LiPo charger, a 2.5V LDO regulator and some MOSFETs to drive the set of vibration motors. TheSixthSense is also equipped with a 700 mAh LiPo battery, which boasts a life of about 30 hours before needing to be recharged. To program the system, Foerster employed Atmel Studio and the Atmel Software Library.

TheSixthSense must be calibrated before wearing. Once completed, the program is ready for magnetometer readings. Simply push its small button and turn the PCB around the different axis; push again and the calibration data is written to the EEPROM section. Beyond that, an accelerometer is used to make a tilt compensated compass, which means the exact position of the PCB on the anklet doesn’t matter all that much.

IMG_1828

“However, the inconstant movement speed of the foot is a problem. When you walk the ground vector is moving with the acceleration of your feed. Since the acceleration is raising and falling in one step an additional filter is required to determine the true ground vector,” the Maker explains.

Once the magnetometer output is read, the two vectors can be used to calculate the angle to magnetic north. Afterwards, the correct motors are activated and set to the desired intensity.

“For my first test, I used four motors. As it turns out, four motors don’t work well enough when it comes to exact positioning. The shin isn’t sensitive enough to detect the small differences between two vibration sources. The solution for my second prototype is to use eight motors,” he adds.

5555751431018591417

“At the time, TheSixthSense works well and it is rather comfortable. I have been wearing it for three days during my time in the office and nobody could hear the vibration,” Foerster writes. “Nevertheless, in a noise free environment, it is loud enough to be heard by other people in the same room. It can be easily washed since all of the electronic parts can be taken out of the belt.”

Looking ahead, the Maker hopes to improve its filter, test adaptive vibration time, create a case for the circuit board and battery, as well as integrate Bluetooth Low Energy connectivity. More on TheSixthSense, which is currently a semi-finalist in this year’s Hackaday Prize, can be found on its project page here.

Zodiac FX is the world’s smallest OpenFlow SDN switch


Zodiac FX is the first OpenFlow switch designed to sit on your desk, not in a data center.


Up until now the power of Software Defined Networking (SDN) was only available to the administrators of large corporate networks like Google and Facebook. However, one Australian company has shrunken those capabilities down to a palm-sized form factor of just 10cm x 8cm to create what they’re calling the world’s smallest OpenFlow-capable switch.

board

With aspirations of getting SDN into the hands of Makers, students and hobbyists, the Zodiac FX is the first OpenFlow switch meant to sit on your desk, not in a data center. The idea was initially conceived by Northbound Networks founder Paul Zanna after finding that there was a persistent gap between SDN controllers and simulation software and OpenFlow-capable hardware.

What’s nice is that the Zodiac FX packs many of the features of an OpenFlow switch all for a fraction of the cost and size. Based on an Atmel | SMART SAM4E Cortex-M4 MCU, the board includes four 10/100 Fast Ethernet ports with integrated magnetics and indicator LEDs along with a command line interface accessible via USB virtual serial port. Aside from all that, the Zodiac FX is equipped with the layer 2 and 3 switching capabilities of the Micrel KSZ8795 Ethernet controller.

4cffa3708d9014824b563a94b918a690_original

Designed with the SDN development and Maker communities in mind, the Zodiac FX firmware is completely open source. This means that anyone can download the code and use Atmel Studio to produce their own custom version. From there, it can be reloaded onto the board via USB.

“The Zodiac FX firmware utilizes the Atmel Software Framework (ASF) for generic device drivers such as USB, SPI, etc. On top of this it then adds a custom written driver for the KSZ8795. FreeRTOS is used to provide task and memory management for the three core processes; Command (CLI), Switching and OpenFlow,” the team writes.

It should be noted that, although the Zodiac FX may be the company’s first foray into the hardware world, Northbound Networks has been extensively involved with SDN development utilities. Are you looking to develop an SDN application? Head over to Zodiac FX’s Kickstarter page, where the crew is seeking $30,693. While delivery for the beta version is expected to kick off in October 2015, the final units aren’t slated to ship until January 2016.

FreeRTOS+Trace v2.7.4 is now available


FreeRTOS+Trace v2.7.4 features improved Atmel Studio integration, making it very convenient to use with any Atmel debugger. 


Our friends over at Percepio have revealed that an updated version of FreeRTOS+Trace is now available. While there may only be minor changes, updating is not strictly required, although recommended. According to the team, this will most likely be the last v2.7 release, as they are now focusing on finalizing v2.8.

views

For those unfamiliar with the program, FreeRTOS+Trace is a run-time diagnostic tool for embedded software systems based on FreeRTOS. Trace captures valuable dynamic behavior information for offline display in more than 20 graphically interconnected view, thereby giving developers a new level of understanding and allowing for better designs, faster troubleshooting and higher performance to accelerate time to market.

FreeRTOS+Trace is comprised of two components: a PC application and a trace logging library provided as C source code for easy inclusion in a project. It can be used side-by-side with a traditional debugger and complements the debugger view with a higher level perspective.

What’s more, Atmel Studio 6.2 seamlessly integrates with Trace to provide unprecedented insight into the run-time of embedded software with leading-edge trace visualization. Percepio Trace for Atmel Studio features control-flow trace (tasks and interrupts), custom data plots, application debug output, statistical code profiling, support for viewing MCU event counters and RTOS awareness.

So what are some of the upgrades you can expect to see in v2.7.4 from v2.7.0?

– Improved integration with Atmel Studio, making it very convenient to use with any Atmel debugger.
– Added support for ARM Cortex-M0/M0+
– Enhanced J-Link integration and updated J-Link driver
– Minor changes in the recorder and demo application

As always, users can find the latest version on Percepio’s downloads page here. The team notes that, if you are using Atmel Studio, you should install the FreeRTOS+Trace version from Atmel Gallery (.vsix) — not the stand-alone version (“.exe” or “.tgz” packages).

Atmel Studio 6.2 goes live in Nuremberg (EW 2014)

Atmel has rolled out Studio 6.2 for its ARM-based and AVR-powered MCUs. The latest version of the popular integrated development environment (IDE) boasts a number of new features, including support for the Atmel-ICE probe, which provides advanced programming and debug connectivity, as well as the ability to capture data trace information.

As Steve Pancoast, Atmel’s VP of Software & Tools notes, Atmel-ICE allows engineers and designers to more easily develop and debug applications in a single, integrated environment.

studio662

Atmel’s Studio 6.2 also seamlessly integrates Percepio Trace, providing optimized insight into the run-time of embedded software with advanced trace visualization.

More specifically, Percepio Trace for Atmel Studio features control-flow trace (tasks and interrupts), custom data plots, application debug output, statistical code profiling, support for viewing MCU event counters and real-time operating system (RTOS) awareness. In addition to Percepio Trace, Atmel Studio 6.2 adds data breakpoints and live watch.

“With time-to-market pressures constantly increasing in today’s competitive market, advanced visualization support is a necessity,” explained Dr. Johan Kraft, CEO, Percepio AB.

“The integration of our Percepio Trace allows Atmel MCU designers to produce higher quality software in a shorter time and at a lower price point.”

Atmel’s Steve Pancoast expressed similar sentiments.

“With the increased complexity in today’s embedded designs, developers are differentiating their products through software and advanced peripherals. With Atmel’s latest Studio 6.2 version, we combine all the tools in a seamless, simple-to-use platform,” he said.

“As a leading provider of MCUs, we are committed to bringing an extensive and sophisticated eco-system to our software developers to ensure they have all the right tools to differentiate their products in this highly competitive market.”

Atmel 

Studio 6.2 can be downloaded here, free of charge.