Basic question on developing for ATSAM on Studio: START vs "drivers"

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I've been developing for the AVR for a while, now trying to bring up a project on the ATSAMC21N development board.

 

I'm trying to figure out the various relationships between the tools for the ATSAM processors. What is the relationship between the libraries used by the START web utility and the drivers listed in the processor documents page, e.g. https://www.microchip.com/wwwproducts/en/ATSAMC21N18A ? Are the latter automatically available for linking? Or do I have to import or download them. There are many pages on the drivers, but nothing on how to actually incorporate them into a project in the Studio IDE! I understand that the START wizard uses the ASF libraries, I think.

Also, what is the relationship between either and the "Atmel Device Family Packs"? Under what circumstances do I need to use these? (And how does CMSIS fit into the whole mess? I know what it is, and ASF seems to incorporate it. I think.)

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Last Edited: Thu. Nov 22, 2018 - 06:53 PM
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Not able to shed any light on this, only a "me too" post to let you know you're not alone in wondering.

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The docs on the SAMC21 page refer to ASF 3.x libraries availiable in studio.

 

START is basically ASF 4.0. It exists outside studio and is basically a rewritten implementation for better and for worse depending on your use case. Personally I think its a complete disaster for evolving projects where you may add peripherals later compared to ASF which made that a bit easier.
 

Device Family packages are basically just versioned zip packages of headers defining the chip, CMSIS libs that match the chip, linker script templates and some default settings and parameters per "device". The device family packs are common to both ASF and START and they are separate.