Review of Atmel SAM-4S Xplained Evaluation Kit

Table of contents

RoadTest: Atmel SAM-4S Xplained Evaluation Kit

Author: fidelsalinas

Creation date:

Evaluation Type: Independent Products

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?: STDiscovery32, Arduino due , TI stellarisLM4F120 LaunchPad

What were the biggest problems encountered?: Linker problems with IAR IDE.

Detailed Review:

Thank you to element14 and Atmel for giving me the chance to review the Sam4s Xplained

Packaging:

First off I must say Atmel did a lovely job with the packaging...


 

Hardware:I found the hardware to be of a nice design well sized and what looks like to be put together nicely. What really impressed me was the J-link OB powered by a sam3u4c ARM. The main sam4s16c has quite a few fetures, my favorite being able to messure it's power consumtion using JP7 two pin header with ampermeter or just a current probe. The Slider or "Qtouch" on the right side of the board is not only fun to mess with, but can be really useful in real life applications. The board also has a stick of 8Mbit sram. You've also have 3 system LEDs and 2 users LEDs, one momentery push button and a reset button. All in all I have to say for the price the hardware Atmel devs did a very good job on this board.


 

Software/Firmware: Lets start with the IDEs, you have the choice of IAR which is kinda pushed on you because most of the sample code is IAR ready. But With a little more work you can get Eclipes with yagarto for compiling and debugging. There are a few missleading Library packages on the Atmel site that are meant for the sam4s-ek. Which can lead to you trying to flash the wrong firmware over and over. The packages you do want are:

SAM4S_Softpack_V0.1_for_EWARM_6.21_6.30%20.exe

SAM4S-XPLD__KitsFiles.zip: Inside this you will find the following

SAM4S-XPLD_test_11_public.zip:

A Demo directory which has a .batch file script for auto flashing "sam4s_xplained_demo.bin"

A Recovery directory with yet another .batch file for auto flashing "sam4s_xplained_demo.bin"

A Setting up directory with: Install_JLinkCDCDriver.exe, sam-ba_2.11.exe,SAM-BA_2.11_sam4s_patch_0.1.zip,Setup_JLinkARM_V442.zip;

  SAM4S_XPLD_Test_Software.pdf: All the instructions for flashing .BIN files with SAM-BA

  SAM4S-XPLD_boardREV_A09-1564-3.zip

  SAM4S-XPLD_PCB_B.zip

  SAM4S-XPLD_SCHEMA_B.zip

  Make sure to update as you do have a segger SN# which I find as another plus for the price.                 

asf-standalone-archive-3.5.1.62.zip(The Atmel® Software Framework)

You also have Atmel Studio that will compile most make files and you can just flash them over using the SAM-BA Tool

 

Demo Firmware:

The defualt firmware is just a simple app that lets you slide the "QTouch" Making LED1 and LED2 Blink faster to slower

The firmware I compiled:

"Getting Started"

Lets you turn on LED1 and LED2 with BP1 and BP2

Then you have firmware that grants you terminal access

--------------

COM port = X

baud rate:115200

Parity:none

Stop Bits:1

------------

"Usart Serial Example"

Flash.bin

It's a simple file uploader/download for hyperTerminal

you will get two commands s: turn on and off PDC transfer mode and m: show the start prompt

 

"Recovery"

SAM4S-XPLD_REVB.bin

Connect to a shell which will then display commands

W: Run all test

X: Select 1 test to run

Letting you tests all the hardware on your eval board.

All in all great board for Devs and Students. With a very resonable price..

 

Fidel Salinas

Anonymous