Atmel XPlain board

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I have an Atmel evaluation board named "Xplain" with an XMega128, SDRAM, AT90USB1287 and a USB connector, but I can't find any driver for this. It enumerates a "serial port" and a "programmer port" on USB. Does anybody know, where to get the required drivers? Thanks.

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I think many of us would be interested in seeing a picture of this board, and a further explanation of any markings on it. How did you come across it?

Lee

You can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig.

I've never met a pig I didn't like, as long as you have some salt and pepper.

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I got that board from an Atmel/MSC Xmega seminar. I have attached a picture.

Attachment(s): 

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That is cool. Not many Xmega pins brought out. It appears that the circled header is JTAG?

I can't find any references to anything "plain" regarding Xmega on Atmel's site.

No reference CD provided at the seminar?

Lee

You can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig.

I've never met a pig I didn't like, as long as you have some salt and pepper.

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Quote:
It appears that the circled header is JTAG?
And is it the 1.27mm (0.50") spacing rather than the usual 0.1"?

...and why did I not get one? :evil: ...oh wait we never got the Xmega seminars here.. :(

John Samperi

Ampertronics Pty. Ltd.

https://www.ampertronics.com.au

* Electronic Design * Custom Products * Contract Assembly

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Yeah, looks like a cool board, I really would have liked to get one of those.
Oh well, we got the STK-600 instead on our X-seminars, so I guess I can't complain.

/Jesper
http://www.yampp.com
The quick black AVR jumped over the lazy PIC.
What boots up, must come down.

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Want...one...today. Want...one...today. Want...one...today. Want...one...today. Want...one...

You can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig.

I've never met a pig I didn't like, as long as you have some salt and pepper.

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You note something? This thing has mounting holes, MOUNTING HOLES! Four! In the right places!

Stealing Proteus doesn't make you an engineer.

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The USB is connected to the AT90USB128, next to the xmega part. (I think) I'm still looking into the board.
Matt

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Quote:

Quote:
This thing has mounting holes

Wow, someone really screwed up


And they are marked "GND", so presumably connected to the ground plane. Double screw-up. ;)

You can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig.

I've never met a pig I didn't like, as long as you have some salt and pepper.

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Quote:

You note something? This thing has mounting holes

One bonus point for each one of us that nagged, and nagged, and nagged...

Jesper! When was that seminar, and where? And how was it announced? I totally missed out on that... :cry:

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It was in Stockholm, April 4.
It was announced through Atmel distributor Acte, as usual. They sent out emails, but I think they missed a lot of people. The seminar was all full anyway though.

/Jesper
http://www.yampp.com
The quick black AVR jumped over the lazy PIC.
What boots up, must come down.

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I just wish that Atmel would have a seminar in Cincinnati. The closest always seems to be at least a days drive from here.

But that does look like a pretty nice board. I wonder when it will be available, and what the cost will be?

You can avoid reality, for a while.  But you can't avoid the consequences of reality! - C.W. Livingston

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A co-worker of mine went to the Dallas, Tx. seminar.
http://www.atmel.com/corporate/M...
Matt

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Here's an install file for the USB. It will install both as serial ports. The "Serial port" is connected to the Xmega and works with baudrate 9600, 8-N-1 at least. The "Programmer port" doesn't do anything yet I guess.

The serial port gateway works with the USARTC0 in the Xmega. It also might be necessary to apply 2 hotfixes for Windows (KB935892 and KB918365) if you do not have SP3 for XP.:wink:

-----

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microcarl wrote:
I just wish that Atmel would have a seminar in Cincinnati. The closest always seems to be at least a days drive from here.
And at least two day's drive from Denver. *waah!* :cry:

Dang, I'd love one of those. We're now starting up a project that is targeting one of the Xmega128 series (hopefully the A4 if it's out and available). It would have been nice to play with the series before committing to a board. Well, PCBExpress can give us a quick dev board I guess. :(

Stu

Edit 1: PS: Would have been nice to get a little experience with the AVR32 as well. *sigh* :?

Engineering seems to boil down to: Cheap. Fast. Good. Choose two. Sometimes choose only one.

Newbie? Be sure to read the thread Newbie? Start here!

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Do you think it was a short run? You'd think it would be obtainable in some fashion like the Butterfly and other "giveaways".

Stu--I plan to do the STK600 route but the adapter plate has been out of stock for quite some time.

Lee

You can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig.

I've never met a pig I didn't like, as long as you have some salt and pepper.

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cool! Is ATMEL really starting to add mounting holes to their boards or did they just messed up with the design and drilled out four misplaced and confidential components...?

And I wish they had more seminars here too... would really like to attend one near Tallinn (or Helsinki maybe?)

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Hope, there no chips on there produce smoke like the dragon.

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its a cool board ... we here at india never get many seminors and the things are changing .... hope we get seminors from atmel soon :D

change without any change is no change ;-)

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theusch wrote:
Stu--I plan to do the STK600 route but the adapter plate has been out of stock for quite some time.
Originally, so had I. The project that we're looking at has kind of "come out of nowhere" and the decision to go to the XMega was very recent so I have not had the chance to pre-plan as much as I would have liked.

Oh well.

Stu

Engineering seems to boil down to: Cheap. Fast. Good. Choose two. Sometimes choose only one.

Newbie? Be sure to read the thread Newbie? Start here!

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I was at the MCU live in Irvine, and got this board. They came with a "drum set" code on them. Apparently, the xmega128A1 has been in "full production" for 2 weeks. I haven't tried a distributor yet. Also, they said there will be some new code out that will setup programming via the USB interface. Note, the connector in the upper right, near LED4 is the JTAG port.
Guess I'll finally break down and get a programmer. MK2 or ONE... hmm
Oh, we got a set of files for the STK600, but don't know if we can really share. 8)

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Did you get the sourcecode of the demo "drum set" firmware?

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pykedgew wrote:
Hope, there no chips on there produce smoke like the dragon.
Dragons are supposed to breathe fire!

/Jesper
http://www.yampp.com
The quick black AVR jumped over the lazy PIC.
What boots up, must come down.

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Why havent I seen those down here in Florida? Those Atmel guys really have some Xplainin to do.

Imagecraft compiler user

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Quote:
Dragons are supposed to breathe fire!

Yeah, but they fart smoke.

Chuck Baird

"I wish I were dumber so I could be more certain about my opinions. It looks fun." -- Scott Adams

http://www.cbaird.org

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Very cool! Haven't seen that board before either... looks like it could be sold pretty cheaply though, always a bonus!

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Unfortunately, I didn't receive the source code for the drum set program. I was entertaining to play with during the seminar though. You could do a nice "ba dum bum" like someone told a bad joke.

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Micavr,

Very cool board.

As already noted, I'm delighted to see mounting holes on it.

Any idea how many layers it is?

JC

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Looks cool, I need one for sure. Can the Atmel give-away start now please? :D
/Lars

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Nice looking board. The chips are reasonable for the features.

– Four-channel DMA Controller with support for external requests
– Eight-channel Event System
– Eight 16-bit Timer/Counters
Four Timer/Counters with 4 Output Compare or Input Capture channels
Four Timer/Counters with 2 Output Compare or Input Capture channels
High-Resolution Extension on all Timer/Counters
Advanced Waveform Extension on two Timer/Counters
– Eight USARTs
IrDA modulation/demodulation for one USART
– Four Two-Wire Interfaces with dual address match (I2C and SMBus compatible)
– Four SPI (Serial Peripheral Interface) peripherals
– AES and DES Crypto Engine
– 16-bit Real Time Counter with separate Oscillator
– Two Eight-channel, 12-bit, 2 Msps Analog to Digital Converters
– Two Two-channel, 12-bit, 1 Msps Digital to Analog Converters
– Four Analog Comparators with Window compare function
– External Interrupts on all General Purpose I/O pins
– Programmable Watchdog Timer with Separate On-chip Ultra Low Power Oscillator

Mike Coles http://blips.net
'bluelip' http://diyaday.com

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Quote:
Eight USARTs
I love that. One cannot have too many USARTS. I need one (or 2) more in a M88. :?

John Samperi

Ampertronics Pty. Ltd.

https://www.ampertronics.com.au

* Electronic Design * Custom Products * Contract Assembly

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Hi,

I just got one of theme Xplain boards at an Atmel seminar hosted by Arrow in Vancouver BC region. It is a cool board but very little info available when you google on "xplain". Here is how the Atmel FAE "xplain"'d it to us.

1. The board is an Atmel eval board / tool so even though it is bit of a mystery today, I think it will become very popular like the butterfly
2. The HW was ready before the SW and doc.
3. The USB port will eventually have a driver released for it. Until then, it is just for power.
4. The Xplain schematics, code examples, etc are all emailed to attendees of seminars afterwards so make sure you fill out the card and include your email. If you missed that then contact the Atmel FAE who gave the seminar you attended.
5. It will all be on their web site, eventually, hopefully before the end of March '09

So this device has two 128k devices on it. One is the USB family the other is the new XMEGA family. The USB will eventually host the programmer for the XMEGA so that you can evaluate the XMEGA without need for any tools other than the Xplain. This works perfect for Atmel seminars more dedicated to XMEGA. (The seminar I attended **introduced** the XMEGA but also covered new ARM family members and really cool stuff from their capacitive touch products).

... and yup! there are mounting holes!

The new XMEGAs are really cool...

1. AVR core
2. New generation peripherals
3. Consistent register / I/O address space map among the whole XMEGA family to make porting from device to device much simpler
4. Multi priority / preemptive interrupt scheme which means you could have low priority for a micro kernel scheduler / context switching but still have high priority interrupts (e.g. for PWM control) serviced with low latency
5. DMA - just plain cool
6. Events - super cool

Events are like interrupts except that they can be routed directly from peripheral to peripheral (including triggering DMA). For example, a timer could be routed to trigger an ADC acquisition which when complete could trigger DMA transfer to memory. The CPU could be doing something else (less CPU usage) or be asleep (less power consumption).

OK so I'll have to try it out to not just take the sales pitch at face value, but at first glance, it does look pretty cool - especially for an 8 bit micro controller.

Regards,

Darcy

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Can someone pleeeez send me the original firmware on the AT90USB1287 and the Xmega? I tried to upload the 'latest' version for my board (downloaded from Atmel) but alas, it doesn't work (anyone else had this issue? - HW revision 1). I also overwrote my USB firmware in an attempt to get it to work again. I'm hoping the fuse bits aren't set so it can be read out of the devices.

Greg

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I...want...one...today... Just to burn more brain cells (probably the last remaining ones): does this board have a nice amount of external RAM? SDRAM, DRAM or SRAM? How many ports are routed out of it through pin headers (not many, as Lee Theusch pointed out, since it has external memory interfaced)? Can someone post a little bit more about the board features, not Xmega ones (easy to obtain from datsheets)?

Is there the PDM (or whatever is called now) interface or is the JTAG one?

Guillem.
"Common sense is the least common of the senses" Anonymous.

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There are headers for Ports A and B of the xmega, and JTAG headers for both the xmega and the usb1287. The JTAG header for the xmega can also be used to program via PDI. Both the SDRAM and the dataflash are 8MB.

A pdf on it is here.

Regards,
Steve A.

The Board helps those that help themselves.

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Quote:

I...want...one...today...

:(
Quote:
The Xplain kit is not available for sale. It has been promoted and used at events hosted by Atmel and Atmel's distributors and representatives.

http://www.atmel.com/dyn/product...
http://www.atmel.com/dyn/product...

You can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig.

I've never met a pig I didn't like, as long as you have some salt and pepper.

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Quote:
The Xplain kit is not available for sale.

Well, now I want one twice as much. Only if it were suddenly also obsolete would I want one more.

No, I guess non-RoHS would add some desire, too.

Chuck Baird

"I wish I were dumber so I could be more certain about my opinions. It looks fun." -- Scott Adams

http://www.cbaird.org

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Hmmm, no takers? Has anyone successfully 'upgraded' their version 1 Xplain dev boards using the AVR1907 firmware? I reflashed mine using the revision_2 firmware, then realized my mistake but no AT90USB firmware exists in revision_1 directory! Tut tut.

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Quote:

Has anyone successfully 'upgraded' their version 1 Xplain dev boards

I think more to the point your question might be "is anyone else actually lucky enough to have got hold of an Xplain board?"

(which probably explains the lack of answers)

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Would this be a nice time for Atmel to again demonstrate their eternal generosity and pass a few of these out to their loyal fan base?

Chuck Baird

"I wish I were dumber so I could be more certain about my opinions. It looks fun." -- Scott Adams

http://www.cbaird.org

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Agreed. I would like to start playing with xmegas, but I'm not going to buy an STK600 until I know that xmegas (and the adapter boards) are in good supply.

Regards,
Steve A.

The Board helps those that help themselves.

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XMegae certainly look exciting and I would buy an Xplain board if I could find one. Any idea whether Atmel will make them generally available?

David

Dr. David Harris OpenLCB Development Team openlcb.org

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Quote:

Any idea whether Atmel will make them generally available?

The same day that Santa, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny form the next council of the UN perhaps?

(by the way, put me down for one if Atmel give them away free - experience shows it never hurts to get your name mentioned in a thread like this! ;) )

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Well, it's all a bit depressing really. When the Xmega was first released I was so enthusiastic about it. It was the answer to number of requirements that I had, it still is. But where the heck is it?

Atmel seemed to have possibly mastered the art of underwhelming a product at the same time as shooting themselves in the foot! If there has been an Atmel or Atmel/Arrow seminar on the Xmega here in Toronto then they did such a good job of promoting it that I heard nothing about it.

Then we hear that they have this Xplain board, but even long time large Atmel clients don't seem to get told about it.

I would love to go to an Xmega seminar - even if I have to buy the Xplain board, but has anybody seen just how many seminars Atmel have planned for this year? One series on Windows CE, and that is it. Sorry guys, I already did one of those.

I'm with you David (dpharris), Atmel have the Xplain, they give them away at seminars, but then don't hold the seminars and taunt us with documents on their website. Just sell the darned thing guys and we can find out what an Xmega can do for us.

JD

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I wonder how many that received the Raven freebee actually went and did something with it or is it just like some of the other little goodies sitting in the drawer with all the other knick knacks collecting dust.

I think when you actually put some money down on something that the 'real' value comes to bear. Yeah it's great getting something for nothing but I always enjoy the things that I felt that were 'earned'.

But yes "why can't this be 'bought' by a 'freak' "?

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torontotech wrote:
Atmel seemed to have possibly mastered the art of underwhelming a product at the same time as shooting themselves in the foot!
I think Atmels best stunt is they won awards and recognitions for the xmega

The Hot 100 Electronic Products of 2008 http://www.edn.com/article/CA662...

2008 Product of the Year Award Winners http://www2.electronicproducts.c...

Atmel's AVR XMEGA Wins EDN China Innovation Award http://www.reuters.com/article/p...

And they are on the short list for another:

EDN’s 2008 Innovation Award finalists http://www.edn.com/article/CA663...

Now you know where all the "available now" xmegas went. To journalists. The guys at EDN probably got a whole year's yield of xmegas to thoroughly research and evaluate them. Why else should they be so excited about them? No journalist writes about something he or she hasn't thoroughly researched and understood :twisted:

Stealing Proteus doesn't make you an engineer.

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@Digitool: I was one of the lucky Raven freebee winners, and I have it on the drawer, completely stopped. One reason is that when I began to play with it, I had the JTAG MkII from my previous job. Now, working in another company where no AVR's are present, and my JTAG is a MkI clone, I can' work with it. Even with a Dragon, there is no way to program M1284 (nice piece of silicon, BTW, that is also hard to find).

If I had an Xplain board or I finally finish to develop a little Xmega dev board (probably intended for robotics), then I would have an excuse to buy a JTAG MkII, but given the overall situation, the little girl wouldn't allow to buy anything more now.

Another backdraw of the Raven Kit, is that it has two uC, and it could be difficult for many people to play even with one. Yes, M3290 is programmable 'over the air', but many users didn't want to use Raven this way. In fact, I heard of many guys more interested in a RF module, with only the RF transceiver, antenna, and little more, that could be plugged to any board, like STK500, or to their mobile robots, or to their PIC's, or to any uC.

The lack of Xmegas available is a good excuse to many companies to develop their new projects with other uC, name them ARM's, PIC's, Frescales, Renesas, or whatever, but not Atmel.

I'm pretty shure that many advanced robotics fans that grown up with Arduino will be really pleased to play with Xmegas, given the 'fear' that ARM's induce to them. This community has the potential to feed industry with prepared engineers.

BTW, in Spain, there is an old saying: "Dime de que presumes, y te diré de que careces". More or less (my english is purely technical,though) 'Tell me what are you proud of, and I will tell you what do you lack'. Apply it to Xmegas/Atmel.

Guillem.
"Common sense is the least common of the senses" Anonymous.

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Well, I'm one of the guilty ones who received a RAven and didn't do much with it.

But the XPlain is different in that way, as I'm playing with audio apps on te AVR right now. And from the specs I've seen they look like they could really shine in an audio-type application, what with the built-in ADC and DAC, and DMA.

So I'll put my entry in here for an XPlain board....

Atmel - come to your senses before Microchip starts after you again!!

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[rant]
I don't want to help hijack this thread into a Raven discussion, but those of us with Ravens in a drawer are not at fault here. I slammed my head into that thing for longer than I care to mention. All you have to do is look at one little fact: the Raven has a microphone and a speaker. Last time I looked (probably 6-months ago) no one anywhere had posted a bootloadable project to use the Raven to record and playback sound. And I posted a simple request to a number of places: can anyone give me a simple example of how to write an LED blink program in AVRStudio and then send it to the Ravens microcontroller bootloader that is connected to the digital I/O and have it then blink an LED? Should anything be simpler? And yet, where is the example of how to do either? I estimated it would take me 3 months to fully master the Raven, speculating that everything would work, but with no proof. And since there weren't even the simplest application examples available, I chose not to risk the time investment.

The Butterfly was brilliant and very popular, but they can't seem to manufacture them anymore. They seem to have a formula to calculate the Butterfly delivery date: 'the date I ask the question' + '8 weeks'. They have been following this formula since the Buttefly went AWOL last fall.

So you want an Xplain board? Ha! dream on. Maybe the Xmega will be worth the wait when it finally comes limping out of the starting gate, but I personally would think myself a fool if I used it in a design right now.

And I'm not talking out of school hear, I've contacted everybody I could get hold of at Atmel over the Butterfly and Raven issues, and all I've gotten are polite runarounds. There is something really bad going on in Atmel right now and as bad as Microchip hurt them with all the FUD, they have hurt themselves worse by not coming clean or at least providing the honest answer to most questions related to both Xmega and development tool production, which would be "I don't know and honestly won't have the time to find out for the indefinite future, I'm so inundated with work right now that all I can say is email me again in a month, and if I know anything then, I'll tell you."

Maybe this is something cultural. I remember twenty years ago having to work with some Japanese engineers and being warned not to ask them any question that they might have to say no to because their cultural will not allow them to say no. I got frustrated at one point and asked point blank, "Will you or will you not be able to deliver the product in three months?" There actually was a gasp at the table. Later I got yelled at and the company that I was working for went under since the product was not delivered by the time we thought we were promised to receive it. I'm supposed to respect their culture? IMHO they were a bunch of mealy-mouthed cowards and the only way to work with them is to see the full production piled up on palettes before committing to a delivery date.

If I seem excessively angry, it is because I am losing sleep trying to make up for commitments I've made based on false information given to me by some folks in Atmel. And I'm angry at myself since this exact thing happened to me with those Japanese engineers and the shit-birds at Motorola (and a few other cases) AND I FAILED TO LEARN THE LESSON! DON'T BELIEVE THE LYING BASTARDS ON DELIVERY DATES! Wait till you have the actual product in hand BEFORE designing it into anything. And never ever ever allow their reps and FAEs to visit you, even if they offer donuts. Those guys don't know what is going on and will lure you into the abyss.
[/rant]

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Like others I was excited when I received the Raven, did all those few things I could do with it and then waited for some easy way of using the technology in my products....still waiting. :( All I really wanted was a way of sending USART data wirelessly. So it is now sitting on the shelf (rather then the drawer)...still waiting.

On the other hand the gift of the Dragon has been thoroughly used and still is and have been glad to help others with some of the earlier issues.

Would I use a Xplain board? Certailnly, I would take it for a spin, build some personal libraries and get to know the chip.

Would I use an Xmega in a design? Not likeley in the foreseeable future, for the same reason I would not use a ARM or U32, apart from the unreliable supply I don't have a "need for speed", most of my stuff has an 8MHZ Xtal, some 4 MHz, one with 16MHz just to try it out, a few with 14.7xMHz.

If and when the Xmega supercedes the Mega/Tiny series and the price is similar or better (the way it happened with the older 90Sxx series) then yes. Unfortunately, as I have mentioned before, I don't see any pin compatible devices to the Mega/Tiny and this brings back sad memories of Motorola's dumping the HC05/HC11 series for the HC08/HC12 which, in the same fashion, did not provide pin compatibility with billion of chips that were used. :(

If this was to happen with Atmel I would consider going to the Pxx.. :shock:

John Samperi

Ampertronics Pty. Ltd.

https://www.ampertronics.com.au

* Electronic Design * Custom Products * Contract Assembly

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