Atmel SAMA5D34-EK Evaluation Kit - Review

Table of contents

RoadTest: Atmel SAMA5D34-EK Evaluation Kit

Author: migration.user

Creation date:

Evaluation Type: Evaluation Boards

Did you receive all parts the manufacturer stated would be included in the package?: True

What other parts do you consider comparable to this product?:

What were the biggest problems encountered?: I had no experience with embedded systems or linux OSs

Detailed Review:

The SAMA5D34–EK Is a highly customizable product.  From what I can see it is designed for custom home automation projects or something similar.  I am still not sure how to get it to talk to other devices such as your heater, lights, etc. or even how to properly interact with the touch screen interface.  I was thrilled to gain access to the embedded portion of the evaluation kit because I had worked so hard just to get to that point. 


I had a lot of trouble with minicom, mostly because I was so unfamiliar with Linux and because I didn’t have access to a USB to Serial Converter. I’ll admit there was a lot of fist pumping at each breakthrough while learning to navigate the Ubuntu terminal.  I plan on exploring minicom more but for now I’m accessing the board using SSH on the Ubuntu terminal and also through PuTTy. 


I’ve been told that the advantage of using SSH on a Linux OS or PuTTy is that you do not need to set baud rates due to their  CAN like synchronization qualities that is absent in minicom. Also you can access your machine wirelessly through PuTTy, I’m not sure if this is the case with minicom. What’s more is that if you use PuTTy, you can access your machine without even using a Linux OS.


My first and only other experience with micro-controllers has been with programming Arduino.  Compared to that, The SAMA5D34-EK is quantum physics.  Pretty much anything that you want to have happen on the evaluation kit has to be done by the user and probably must be accompanied by a host of insider knowledge and very special software packages. 


The best thing about this project is that I’ve begun an in-depth study into a world I didn’t know existed, “embedded Linux”.  I find this very useful and relevant to my career as a beginning electronics technician.  It is also strangely fun.  Thank you. image



Tony Lathim