Tag Archives: SAM D21

Adafruit Feather M0 WiFi combines a SAM D21 and ATWINC1500


Oh my, an Adafruit Feather with Wi-Fi! 


Makers, meet the Adafruit Feather M0 WiFiAs its name would suggest, the all-new board is Adafruit’s latest take on an Arduino-compatible, ‘all-in-one’ platform with high-speed Wi-Fi connectivity, USB support and a built-in battery charger.

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Equipped with an Atmel | SMART SAM D21 and ATWINC1500 SoC at its core, Makers will find it super simple to connect their Feathers to the Internet. The 802.11bgn-capable Wi-Fi module is the ideal add-on to existing MCU solutions bringing wireless and network capabilities through UART or SPI-to-Wi-Fi interface.

“This module works with 802.11b, g, or n networks and supports WEP, WPA and WPA2 encryption,” Adafruit writes. “The datasheet says it can do Soft-AP mode but we don’t have any code to actually use that. You can clock it as fast as 12MHz for speedy, reliable packet streaming. And scanning/connecting to networks is very fast, a few seconds.”

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The ATSAMD21G18 Cortex-M0+ processor at its heart — which is the same chip used in the new Arduino Zero — is clocked at 48MHz and at 3.3V logic. It boasts a whopping 256K of Flash (eight times more than the Atmega328 or 32u4) and 32K of RAM (16 times as much). The MCU comes with native USB, as well as a USB bootloader and serial port debugging.

With portability in mind, Adafruit has included a connector for any 3.7V LiPo battery along with an integrated charger. Even without a battery, it will run just fine via microUSB. The Feather will even automatically switch over to USB power when it’s available.

“We also tied the battery through a divider to an analog pin, so you can measure and monitor the battery voltage to detect when you need a recharge,” Adafruit writes.

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The ‘M0 WiFi features a similar form factor as many of its other Feathers, measuring 2.1″ x 0.9″ x 0.3” in size and weighing 6.1 grams. (Note, however, that it is 0.1″ longer than its siblings.) Beyond that, the board has 20 GPIO pins with eight PWM pins, 10 analog inputs, a single analog output, a power/enable pin, four mounting holes and a reset button. Plus, there are a couple of LEDs and is compatible with a wide range of FeatherWings, including OLED, NeoPixels, servos, relays, seven-segment displays, etc.

Have any more questions? Watch below as Lady Ada herself unveils the Feather M0 WiFi, or stay tuned on its page here.

 

Adafruit Feather M0 Adalogger is an all-in-one Cortex-M0+ datalogger


Adafruit’s latest board is a Feather M0 with a microSD holder.


A few weeks ago, our friends at Adafruit revealed an all-in-one datalogger based on an ATmega32U4 clocked at 8MHz and at 3.3V logic, with 32K of Flash and 2K of RAM. Well as promised, the crew has unveiled yet another data reader, this time with an Cortex-M0+ core.

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Similar to its AVR-powered sibling, the Feather M0 Adalogger is equipped with all the bells and whistles: built-in USB, battery charging and a microSD card holder. But instead of the ‘32U4, this board boasts an ATSAMD21G18 clocked at 48 MHz and at 3.3V logic. (If it sounds familiar, that’s because it’s the same MCU at the heart of the Arduino Zero!) It packs 256K of Flash (which is eight times more than the ‘328 or ‘32u4 if you were counting), 32K of RAM (16 times as much), and native USB support so it has USB-to-Serial program and debug capabilities already integrated with no need for an FTDI-like chip.

As Adafruit notes, they’ve gone ahed and added a connector for a 3.7V LiPo along with an integrated 100mA battery charger. However, the Adalogger can run just fine via microUSB.

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“But, if you do have a battery, you can take it on the go, then plug in the USB to recharge. The Feather will automatically switch over to USB power when its available. We also tied the battery through a divider to an analog pin, so you can measure and monitor the battery voltage to detect when you need a recharge,” the team writes.

Measuring only 2.0″ x 0.9″ x 0.28” without headers soldered, the Feather weighs a bit over five grams. The board has plenty of pins (20 GPIO), with eight PWM and 10 analog inputs, four mounting holes, a power/enable pin and a reset button. Capitalizing on the little space that was left over, the Adalogger features a microSD slot for adding as much storage as desired and a green LED for your blinking pleasure.

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The Feather M0 Adalogger comes fully assembled and tested, with a USB bootloader that lets you quickly use it with the Arduino IDE. Sound like the $21 Cortex-M0+ board for you? Head over to its official page. Meanwhile, stay tuned as Adafruit continues to reveal the newest members of the Feather family here.

 

Only true engineers have Christmas trees like this


♫ Have yourself an engineery little Christmas… ♫


Although some Makers enjoy dressing their Christmas trees with beeps and blinks, others go the extra mile to deck theirs out with Arduino-based controls and wireless connectivity. Well, the Atmel applications team in Norway decided to take it to an entirely whole new level last year. Rather than merely embellish the decorative piece with traditional ornaments, lights and ribbon, the Trondheim engineers built a tree made of actual microcontrollers. And that’s not all, it’s powered by a pair of Atmel | SMART SAM D21 Xplained Pro eval kits. For an extra “tree-t,” the group even added a plexi LED star on top!

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SmartEverything is like the Swiss Army knife of IoT boards


The SmartEverything dev board is an Arduino form-factor prototyping platform that combines SIGFOX, BLE, NFC, GPS and a suite of sensors.


Announced earlier this year, SmartEverything is an IoT development platform from Arrow Electronics. Living up to its name, the latest iteration of the SoC, dubbed the SmartEverything Foxboasts a familiar Arduino form-factor with an array of factory-bundled I/O ports, sensors and wireless connectivity.

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Impressively, the kit combines SIGFOX, Bluetooth and NFC technologies with GPS and a suite of embedded sensors. An Atmel | SMART D21 at its heart is used to integrate the featured devices, while a SIGFOX module provides IoT enablement.

The SIGFOX standard is energy efficient and wide-transmission-range technology that employs UNB (Ultra Narrow Band) based radio and offers low data-transfer speeds of 10 to 1000 bits per second. However, it is highly energy-efficient and typically consumes only 50μW compared to 5000μW for cellular communication, meaning significantly enhanced battery life for mobile or portable smart devices.

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A Telit LE51-868 S wireless module gives design engineers access to the rapidly expanding SIGFOX cellular wireless network and covers the 863-870MHz unlicensed ISM band. It is preloaded with the SIGFOX network stack and the Telit proprietary Star Network protocol. What’s more, the Telit cloud management software provides easy connection up to the cloud.

Truly like the Swiss Army knife of the IoT, the SmartEverything board is equipped with: an Atmel Crypto Authentication chipset; an 868MHz antenna; a GPS module with embedded antenna for localizations applications, which supports the GPS, QZSS and GLONASS standards, and is Galileo ready; a proximity and ambient light sensor; a capacitive digital sensor for humidity and temperature measurement; a nine-axis 3D accelerometer, a 3D gyroscope and 3D magnetometer combination sensor; a MEMS-based pressure sensor; an NTAG I2C NFC module; and a Bluetooth Low Energy transceiver.

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The SmartEverything measures only 68.8mm x 53.3mm in size, and includes USB connectors, a power jack and an antenna extending that extend the board. The unit can be powered in one of three ways, either through two AA 1.5V batteries (1.4V to 3.2V), a 5 to 45V external supply or a 5V mini-USB connector.

For quick and easy software development, the SmartEverything Fox board is fully supported by the Arduino IDE and Atmel Studio. Can it get any better than that? If you’re looking for an IoT board that does just about everything, you may want to check this SoC out.

Introducing the Adafruit Feather M0 Basic Proto


The Feather M0 Basic Proto boasts a bunch of on-board prototyping space.


And just like that, the Adafruit Feather family continues to grow. The latest addition? The Feather M0 Basic Proto board. Unlike some of its siblings, Adafruit has swapped out the ATmega32U4 for an Atmel | SMART SAM D21.

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At the Feather M0’s heart is an ATSAMD21G18 clocked at 48MHz at 3.3V logic — the same one used in the Arduino Zero. This MCU has a whopping 256K of FLASH (8 times more than the ATmega328 or ‘32U4) and 32K of RAM (16 time as much)! What’s more, it comes with native USB support so it has USB-to-Serial programming and debugging capability already built-in with no need for an FTDI-like chip.

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As Adafruit notes, they’ve gone ahed and added a connector for a 3.7V LiPo and a 100mA battery charger. However, the Feather M0 will run just fine via microUSB and will automatically switch over to USB power when it’s available.

“We also tied the battery through a divider to an analog pin, so you can measure and monitor the battery voltage to detect when you need a recharge,” the team explains.

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The Feather M0 Basic Proto boasts the same form factor as the rest of its family, measuring only 2.0″ x 0.9″ x 0.28” (without headers soldered) and weighing merely 4.6 grams. Beyond that, the Feather M0 has 20 GPIO pins with PWM outputs on each of them, six 12-bit analog inputs, one 10-bit DAC, four mounting holes, a power/enable pin and a reset button.

With a little extra on-board space remaining, Adafruit has provided you with a tiny prototyping area (hence its name). If you just need to attach a button or sensor, you may be able to skip out on a breadboard and wire it directly on there.

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As always, the M0 Basic Proto comes fully assembled and tested, with a USB bootloader that enables you to easily use it with the Arduino IDE. Sound like the super lightweight, $20 board you’ve been looking for? Head over to its page here and let your ideas fly. Also, you can check out the entire Feather lineup here.

Measure the air quality in your backyard


Zymbit is measuring the air quality underneath a flight path with a custom sensor board, Arduino Zero and Raspberry Pi. 


Our friends at Zymbit are located in Santa Barbara, not too far from the county’s municipal airport. Residents of their local community were a bit concerned over how flight patterns overhead affected their environment and overall health. And so, the team decided to develop a system to easily monitor the air quality in their backyards to determine once and for all if their well-being was, in fact, was impacted by airplane departures and arrivals.

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For this project, Zymbit built and deployed five air quality stations, each tasked with measuring different air quality parameters using the combination of commercial grade sensors, Raspberry Pi and Arduino. These units were then connected through Zymbit’s proprietary software to generate real-time charts. The data is further integrated into environmental analysis software from Groundswell Technologies, too. This allows the Santa Barbara residents to essentially “see the air they breathe.”

The complete system is attached to a modified solar radiation shield crowned with an IP67 enclosure, while all the sensors are mounted to a custom motherboard. Sensor data is acquired using an Arduino Zero (Atmel | SMART SAM D21) located within the top tier of the radiation shield. From there, data is packaged and sent to a Raspberry Pi via a serial connection, which is external to its waterproof IP65 housing. As Zymbit notes, this way the heat is properly dissipated and does not affect sensor measurements.

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Meanwhile, the Raspberry Pi acts as the connection gateway and publishes the packaged data to zymbit.com/console. For immediate purposes, data flow is unidirectional — meaning, the unit is not subscribing to any outside streams, though this could easily be integrated. Additionally, with room to spare in the Raspberry Pi enclosure, the Zymbit crew added a PoE (Power Over Ethernet) splitter for versatility. This makes installation simple and improves overall reliability since the unit only requires a single cable connection and POE can handle wide line voltage variations. The user can then choose either a Wi-Fi or Ethernet connection. Of course, a USB cable will also work to power the unit.

At the heart of the air quality station lies a custom designed sensor board that integrates multiple sensor types, such as particulate matter, carbon dioxide, relative humidity, temperature and barometric pressure.

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“The particulate sensor was the primary driver for the board’s design; it uses a small convection heater to circulate air and this requires the module to be oriented vertically,” Zymbit’s Evan Fairchild explains. “The particulate matter sensor has two channels; one for ~ 2.5 micron particles and one for ~ 10 micron particles. Each channel produces pulses which are measured and accumulated over thirty second intervals. The other sensors are managed via I2c bus and are all averaged over 15 second intervals.”

Once data is published, it is stored in the Zymbit Cloud. There, it is easy to interact with using instant dashboards or the Zymbit API. For this application, the engineers at Groundswell Technologies — who also collaborated on this project — utilized the API to pull the raw data into their analysis and visualization software.

At the moment, five Zymbit air quality stations have been successfully deployed and are active in their area of interest. Impressively, each unit only required less than an hour to install and to begin receiving data.

“Data streams from each unit are now being integrated into Groundswell’s geospatial software,” its creators add.

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Zymbit hardware is self-contained and designed to operate outdoors in a nominally shaded area. For the initial pilot, connection to the Internet is established via Wi-Fi or Ethernet to host building gateway/router. For subsequent projects, Zymbit has plans to provide options for solar power and cellular connection.

Interested? You can find all of the real-time data here, and learn all about the project on its official page.

Atmel brings Wi-Fi connectivity to the WeChat IoT Platform


Leveraging the Atmel | SMART SAM W25, the WeChat IoT Platform supports the latest Airkiss 2.0 protocol for Wi-Fi provisioning and service discovery and allows developers to seamlessly connect to the cloud.


We love social media here at Atmel, so much so that we’re collaborating with WeChat on their latest IoT platform. The popular messaging and calling app is employing the Atmel | SMART SAM W25 module along with an ATECC508 CryptoAuthentication engine for secure connectivity.

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The WeChat IoT Platform delivers cloud services for seamless accessibility to the Internet ensuring every ‘thing’ is smartly connected and supports the recently launched Airkiss 2.0 protocol for Wi-Fi provisioning and service discovery. This new platform — which is currently available in China — provides a complete edge node-to-cloud solution from a single vendor for developers looking to build next-generation apps for tomorrow’s connected devices. Consumers can now instantly link to their IoT gadgets and easily access information via the Weixin mobile app, WeChat’s sister product.

For those who may not know, the SAM W25 module is part of the Atmel SmartConnect family and includes the 2.4GHz IEEE 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi WINC1500, as well as an Atmel | SMART SAM D21 ARM Cortex-M0+-based MCU and an ATECC508 optimized CryptoAuthentication engine. The unit is ready-to-use and FCC-certified delivering a simple, plug-and-play solution.

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“The IoT is the next big technology wave for the mobile, home automation, smart city, automotive and industrial markets and requires developers to now consider the complete edge-node-to-cloud communication,” explains Pierre Roux, Atmel Director of Wireless Solutions. “Weixin is one of the leading providers of IoT cloud services and a fully integrated provider with a host of capabilities ranging from simple texting to payment, portal and more. IoT developers and manufacturers using the Atmel SmartConnect SAM W25 evaluation board on the Weixin IoT Platform will have access to one of the largest user communities currently available for cloud services. Our collaboration with Weixin is just the beginning of a long-term collaboration as it is transitioning to IoT.”

Weixin originally began as a messaging app and has since been morphing into an all-in-one platform, which offers users a wide range of services from hailing a taxi, to shopping, to paying utility bills. As of the Q3 2015, the combined monthly active users’ accounts for Weixin and WeChat reached 650 million. Are you ready to connect your SAM W25 to the biggest user community in the world? Get started here!