Tag Archives: students

Atmel’s commitment to students and Makers

MCU Applications Manager Bob Martin reiterated Atmel’s long-standing commitment to the international Maker Movement during an EELive! 2014 Tech Talk.


“The DIY Maker Movement is dynamic and particularly active on sites like Kickstarter and spaces such as 3D printing,” Martin explained. “We recognize that coming up with the next major innovation is no longer limited to industry heavyweights, but rather, is likely to be prototyped and developed in garages and Makerspaces.”

Martin also noted that Atmel was at the heart of most Arduino boards on the market today and highlighted Atmel’s new SAMA5D3 Xplained board – a low-cost, fast prototyping and evaluation platform for microprocessor-based design.

According to Martin, the board is targeted at both veteran developers and Makers. Indeed, the $79 SAMA5D3 Xplained – built around Atmel’s SAMA5D3 ARM Cortex-A5 processor-based MPU – is packed with a rich set of ready-to-use connectivity and storage peripherals, along with Arduino shield-compatible expansion headers for easy customization.

The platform is also perfect for headless Android projects, with a Linux distribution and software package helping to facilitate rapid software development.

On the software side, Martin briefly discussed the Arduino plug-in for Visual Studio (via Visual Micro), which offers a more detailed and complex environment for developers and Makers looking to supercharge their sketches.

Last, but certainly not least, Martin talked about Atmel’s popular University Program which helps familiarize both students and instructors with the embedded space, while facilitating migration from 8-bit to 32-bit development.

“Atmel offers a full day course for universities, split in two primary sessions. Both are free of charge. The morning session focuses on basic robotics using an Atmel AVR XMegaA3BU Xplained board,” said Martin.

“Course participants are taught pulse and width modulation techniques, as well as how to configure a collision avoidance program with basic algorithms. Attendees of the morning session get to take home their XMegaA3BU Xplained Board and a JTAGICE 3 hardware debugger.”

Meanwhile, afternoon session attendees can keep their SAM D20 Xplained Pro, which are used to implement a simple light and temperature meter along with two additional wing boards.

Interested in learning more about Atmel’s commitment to Makers and students? You can check out Atmel’s University Program here and coverage of Atmel-based Maker projects here.

Newark debuts new Atmel SAMA5D3 Xplained board

Newark element14 has debuted a new Atmel SAMA5D3 Xplained evaluation kit – a low-cost, fast prototyping and evaluation platform for microprocessor-based design.

The board, which is built around Atmel’s SAMA5D3 ARM Cortex-A5 processor-based MPU, is packed with a rich set of ready-to-use connectivity and storage peripherals, along with Arduino shield-compatible expansion headers for easy customization. In addition, the platform is a perfect target for headless Android projects, while a Linux distribution and software package facilitates rapid software development.

“Our partnership with Newark element14 on the development and manufacturing of this kit and its first set of expansion boards enables engineers from all communities to build applications requiring rapid prototyping and evaluation for their MPU designs,” said Jacko Wilbrink, Sr. Marketing Director of Microprocessors, Atmel Corporation.

“The new board offers features such as mid-range graphical user interfaces, capacitive touch capability, wired and wireless communication, free of charge Linux distribution and QT developer’s kit.”

Meanwhile, David Shen, Chief Technology Officer at Premier Farnell, noted that Atmel’s versatile ARM Cortex-A5 processor-based MPUs neatly balance performance with ultra low power consumption.

“This new Atmel Xplained kit, in addition to our soon-to-be-available expansion boards which will add more capabilities to the SAMA5D3 platform, will be very helpful to professional engineers as well as Makers, hobbyists, educators and students, both within and outside their main employment.”

As we’ve previously discussed on Bits & Pieces, the SAMA5D3 series is ideal for wearable computing and mobile applications where low power and a small footprint are critical. Key SAMA5D3 Xplained features include:

  • Fully documented and readily available Cortex-A5 based MPU solution
  • Rich set of peripherals, specifically on connectivity
  • USB power (no need for power adaptor)
  • Flexibility – Arduino-compatible connectors, enabling the user to leverage the extensive Arduino shields ecosystem
Open Source hardware – All design files available; easy to reuse in customer projects
Software package with drivers and examples for bare metal developers
  • Qt developers kit and Linux distribution free of charge

The SAMA5D3 Xplained – priced at $79 – is slated to ship in mid-March 2014 from Farnell element14 in Europe, Newark element14 in North America and element14 in APAC. You can pre-register for the new Atmel SAMA5D3 Xplained board here.