Seeking advice regardng choice of programmer.

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Hello.

 

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.

 

Regards

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I would taken a look at the atmel ice. It will replace the programmer AVRISPmkII and the debugger AVR Dragon (at least thats what I heard in a video) and comes with both the AVR and SAM interface. More info on http://www.atmel.com/tools/atatm...

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I would taken a look at the atmel ice.

+1

 

It's Atmel's latest "swiss army knife" for Atmel CPUs. Nothing else comes close.

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Yes that seems as they choice to go with, it seems to do all that I need and more.

Though I can't afford it right know, In due time I will buy it so all those needs are taken care of.

 

In the mean time, I was about to buy a SAM4E8C on ebay and start to learn how to use it from scratch.

Do I *have* to have a real programmer in order to work with the chip or can I access and use it through its bootloader over USB in the mean time?

I will make sure I can talk to the chip before I buy it and before making the board, but this will not be a very complex board. Just the basic peripherals, the main attraction comes from its 16-bit two-channel ADC:)

 

I will use it as the base of a data acquisition device connected to external data converters, I want more than 12-bit but maybe SAM3E's internal 16-bit ADC will do.

I do know how to set up any ATmega 8-bit MCU in hardware but SAM is a hole new area, I suppose I should find the specifications and documents for the SAM4E development board and go from there.

 

Thanks for the answers.

Regards

 

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+1 on the Atmel Ice, inexpensive and covers both 8-bit and 32-bit processors.

Happy Trails,

Mike

JaxCoder.com

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I hope you +1 guys are right, I just ordered one.

"I may make you feel but I can't make you think" - Jethro Tull - Thick As A Brick

"void transmigratus(void) {transmigratus();} // recursio infinitus" - larryvc

"It's much more practical to rely on the processing powers of the real debugger, i.e. the one between the keyboard and chair." - JW wek3

"When you arise in the morning think of what a privilege it is to be alive: to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love." -  Marcus Aurelius

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I was somewhat discourage to discover that SAM4E doesn't have a 16-bit ADC, it has a 12-bit ADC with 16-bit output with averaging... Is there any advantage to let the µC average itself and not do it my self in code?

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Microzod wrote:
Do I *have* to have a real programmer in order to work with the chip or can I access and use it through its bootloader over USB in the mean time?
A DFU bootloader may be factory installed; so SAM-BA on LInux or Windows.

Atmel

SAM-BA 2.12 Patch 7 - Release Notes

http://www.atmel.com/Images/patch_releasenote_patch7.txt

 Atmel Corporation

Atmel SAM-BA In-system Programmer

http://www.atmel.com/tools/atmelsam-bain-systemprogrammer.aspx

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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Microzod wrote:
Though I can't afford it right know, In due time I will buy it so all those needs are taken care of.

 

In the mean time, I was about to buy a SAM4E8C on ebay and start to learn how to use it from scratch.

If willing to not use Atmel Studio, there's currently partial SAM4E support in OpenOCD; might not take much effort to add SAM4E8C to OpenOCD.

If I correctly read some OpenOCD documentation, there's a JTAG interface capability in some FTDI USB bridges.

Would need to search for IDEs that have SAM4 support, forego that, or add to an IDE.

Likely easier to save your pennies wink

 

Ref.

SourceForge

http://sourceforge.net/p/openocd/code/ci/master/tree/src/flash/nor/at91sam4.c

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller