Tag Archives: debugging

Introducing the new Power Debugger

Atmel has unveiled a new high-performance debugging tool with advanced power visualization for ultra-low-power designs.

If you’re seeking a high-accuracy debugging tool that lets you visualize the power usage of your product during development, you’re in luck. That’s because Atmel has unveiled a new Power Debugger, the latest dev tool for debugging and programming both Atmel | SMART Cortex-M–based and AVR MCUs that use JTAG, SWD, PDI, debugWIRE, aWire, TPI or SPI target interfaces.


With ultra-low power being such a critical factor in next-generation IoT, wearable and battery-operated devices, having the ability to locate code where power spikes occur is crucial. The Power Debugger features two independent current-sensing channels for collecting power measurements during application execution (one high resolution channel that can measure 100nA to 100mA and one lower resolution channel that can measure 1mA to 1A), and streams such collected measurements to the Atmel Data Visualizer — available in the Atmel Studio 7 IDE — for real-time analysis and display. The program graphs power usage and utilizes this data to estimate application battery life. What’s more, the Data Visualizer allows developers to correlate power samples with the code that was executing when the sample was taken, greatly reducing the time required to identify “hot spots” in the developers’ application.

“Lowering overall power consumption is key to many customer designs and essential for battery-operated and wearable designs,” explains Steve Pancoast, Atmel Vice President of Software Development, Applications and Tools. “Atmel provides cost-effective, easy-to-use tools that make it possible for our developers to profile the power usage of applications running on their own hardware as part of the standard development cycle. The Power Debugger is part of Atmel’s pledge to bring the latest tools to market, enabling developers to quickly get their prototype to production with the lowest power consumption.”

The Power Debugger is now available on Atmel’s online store and and through a variety of distributors. Each kit consists of a main unit with plastic back-plate, two USB cables, a 10-lead squid cable, a flat cable (10-pin 50mil connector and 6-pin 100mil connector), an adapter board (20-pin 100mil connector, 6-pin 50mil connector and 10-pin 100mil connector) and a 20-pin 100mil jumper cable.

Dr.Duino is like a doctor for your Arduino projects

Dr.Duino — which recently completed a successful Kickstarter campaign — is a fully-equipped breakout board for testing all features of the Arduino platform. Created by Long Island-based Innovative Electronic Solutions LLC, the newly-launched device enables developers using the popular board to have a genuine fixture for testing their Atmel based designs. Think of it as a shield for your shields!


“Do you love Arduino development but dread testing your hardware because there is no easy way to attach things like your meter, oscilloscope or probes?” asks Guido Bonelli, President and Founder of Innovative Electronic Solutions.

Designed with the hobbyist and DIYer in mind, Dr.Duino features easy access to all pins including ground and source voltages, while a built-in siren with volume control easily identifies high- or low-voltage condition. The Dr.Duino also boasts four push-button switches, which can be be tied to active-high and active-low probes, and provides six 10K potentiometers fed directly into the analog input pins with jumper sockets that are easy to grab and are on standard 0.1-inch centers.


Bonelli says he invented Dr.Duino because there was nothing on the market like it available for purchase. “I was tired of disassembling my stacked Arduino boards every time I needed to test something which was in between layers.”

Now, users can simply position the Dr.Duino between their shields and utilize the jumper sockets to break the connection between both shields without needing to take apart their stack time and time again.


The “world’s first test fixture for the Arduino platform” delivers everything a developer needs to debug, troubleshoot and validate their projects quickly and easily. The new device brings every pin on the [Atmel poweredArduino to a header, in addition to providing test points, an onboard RS232 interface, and a pass-through capability that allows test signals to pass to other Arduino board layers or to be intercepted and routed to one of the POTs, switches or LEDs.


The Dr.Duno’s reset switch offers quick, convenient board restarts. There are four ground points along with four 5.0V and 3.3V test points, all of which are extra-large and color-coded. The device also comes with RS-232 support in addition to Vref, Vin and extra I/O points.


“The Dr. Duino makes debugging your Arduino projects super fast,” a company rep writes. The unique design of Dr.Duino places all of its testing pins around an open middle which gives an unobstructed view of the board under it; resultantly, making probing of any and all signals easy.

At the moment, Dr.Duino only works with Arduino Uno (ATmega328) and other compatible boards. “Given all of the various vendors providing Arduino boards, there is no way possible to have tested each and every variant,” Bonelli explains.

“If you’ve ever been struck in the middle of the night by your next invention but didn’t have hardware on hand, you can use Dr.Duino and start writing your application code within milliseconds utilizing common hardware needed in almost any design. Just plug your Dr.Duino into an Arduino and start writing code!”

And today, we’ve received word that the Dr.Duino is now available for pre-order! Those interested in learning more can head on over to its official page here.


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.