I'm sorry if this is a vague question but I have started learning µC's with arduino and I want to move over to Atmel studio, and I want to buy a more serious programmer than those USB sticks at ebay. But when researching the subject I only uncover more questions than answers.
Here is what I would like to be able to do with a programmer/debugger:
JTAG programming and debugging SAM3, SAM4 µC, SAM in general.
ICSP programming SAM and ATmega.
The thing is I don't understand the capabilities of different programmers, do I have to get one programmer for ATmega in order to program ATmega328 and a separate programmer to program SAM3X8E?
Is there a programmer that can handle both 32bit and 8bit?
I know I don't have enough knowledge to determine what I actually need but I have started learning SAM3X8E in the arduino Due and my goal is to end up being able to program my own SAM3, SAM4 boards. I would ideally like to find a programmer that does not cost 99USD, but then I read some people saying that they think its silly to buy a SAM ICE for 99 bucks when you can get a development board for 30 bucks that contains the same programmer as if one would buy SAM ICE, and that one can break out the signals to use the programmer of the development board to program other boards...
Easy to say, I'm lost and I'm simply trying to get some information regarding the choice of programmer so as not to buy one for 99bucks and then discover that it was a unnecessary or wrong choice.
I know nothing about JTAG but I think it is the way to go and I will learn, though I need a device to learn with but which?
Any and all thoughts are appreciated.