Tag Archives: JTAGICE-mkII

In-circuit emulation for AVR and ARM SAM D20 chips

You can do a firmware upgrade on your JTAGICE3 and it will work with the ARM M0+ based SAM D20. If you don’t want to use a separate emulator, there is also a debugger on the $39 SAM D20 Xplained Pro eval board. Atmel has a long history of providing inexpensive development tools. The $49 “Butterfly” eval board and $200 STK200 in-circuit emulator (ICE) was what got me to switch to Atmel micros back in 2000. These days we have three in-circuit emulators, sometimes called debuggers. The $49 Dragon is low cost and does all AVR chips, even the 32-bit AVR chips. The AVR ONE! is much more expensive, about 500 bucks, but it does have trace. That means you can go back and see where your program went as it executed. This can be worth every penny if you have complicated program flows with internal and external interrupts.

Most engineers like the JTAGICE3 emulator Atmel offers for only $99. Like the JTAGICE2, that predates it, the JTAGICE Mark3 can do all the AVR chips, including the newest XMEGA families. The great news is that Studio 6, the integrated development environment (IDE) program Atmel gives away for free, can do a firmware upgrade on your JTAGICE3 so it can work with the new SAM D20 ARM chip Atmel just released.  From the news bulletin:

Atmel Studio 6.1 SP2 includes a firmware update for the JTAGICE3 which adds programming and debugging support for the SAM D20 devices. The JTAGICE3 firmware will be automatically updated when a programming or debugging session is started in Atmel Studio 6.1 SP2.

Atmel Studio 6 users who want to take advantage of this firmware update will have to upgrade to Atmel Studio 6.1 SP2, which will be available for download at http://www.atmel.com/tools/atmelstudio.aspx starting August 15th.

Technical details can be found at http://www.atmel.no/webdoc/jtagice3/jtagice3.whats_new.html.

This is just too cool. Studio 6 has always supported code development of Atmel’s ARM MCU (microcontroller) chips, the ones with internal flash. Now you can debug the M0+ ARM-based SAM D20 with the same JTAGICE3 you use for AVR and AVR-32 chips.

I have to laugh when my buddies say Atmel tries to make money on our eval boards and emulators. We don’t look to make any appreciable profit on the tools. We give away Studio 6 for crying out loud, and anyone that has done product design knows what a cheap deal the eval boards and these emulators are. Atmel sells chips and touchscreens (XSense). That is where we make our money. So you folks that have bought a JTAGICE3, celebrate, you can now debug our great SAM D20 with it. Like I said, “Friends don’t let friends go without a debugger.

Designing industrial sensors with Atmel AVR: Part 2

Yesterday, Bits & Pieces took a closer look at how Atmel’s versatile AVR portfolio can be used to power industrial sensors which are typically tasked with detecting, positioning or identifying an object or rotating axis in a factory-automated system.

And today we will discuss an Atmel-powered sensor reference design, or more specifically, the HMT7442 IO-link transceiver and optimized IO-Link device MESCO software stack – courtesy of Atmel, HMT and MESCO Engineering.

“IO-Link is the emerging industrial communication standard to connect the control unit to sensors and actuators. The standard is backwards compatible with the commonly used binary switch signaling and introduces a bi-directional digital communication. These capabilities bring several benefits to the end user, including easier cabling, remote diagnostics and configuration,” an Atmel engineering rep told Bits & Pieces.


“For many sensor designers, the physical size constraint is the key factor for integrating the IO-Link capability. And that is why Atmel, HMT and MESCO Engineering have placed a strong focus on saving board space in our offering of the TM96.0 GENIE Explorer Variant A reference design.”

More specifically, the TM96.0-A reference design demonstrates the high integration of the Atmel, HMT and MESCO solution. It acts as an IO-Link device and is equipped with a push button, two LEDs and a potentiometer to allow developers to add stimuli to the system.

“The reference design runs the MESCO IO-Link stack on an Atmel tinyAVR88 microcontroller and communicates on the IO-Link cable using HMT’s HMT7742 PHY IC,” the engineering rep continued.

“The implementation used in the reference design does not require external protection to sustain reverse polarity or to comply to the EMC surge protection defined in the IEC 60255-5 standard. This makes the TM96.0 an ideal tool to evaluate the Atmel-HMT-Mesco solution.”

Meanwhile, the TM96.0-B Evaluation Kit enables hardware and software designers to develop, test and debug the IO-link sensor application. Basically, the TM96.0B features the IO-link transceiver HMT7742 and the Atmel ATmega328P. It is equipped with all necessary connectors for in-system programming, while supporting debug sessions using Atmel’s free AVR StudioIDE, Atmel AVR Dragon or Atmel JTAGICE-mkII. Plus, an evaluation kit is provided with pre-compiled MESCO library software, which can be linked to the main application using the WinAVR GCC compiler.

Interested in learning more about how Atmel AVR MCUs can power your industrial sensors? Be sure to check out our detailed device breakdown here.