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.