Review of Atmel SAM-4S Xplained Evaluation Kit

Table of contents

RoadTest: Atmel SAM-4S Xplained Evaluation Kit

Author: awneil

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?: STM32 Discovery; Stellaris Launchpad.

What were the biggest problems encountered?: No big showstoppers, but far too many little annoyances!

Detailed Review:

I'm afraid this kit has turned out to be a disappointment, and using it has been rather frustrating.


Atmel have taken on a massive challenge in trying to build a "universal" software framework for all their microcontrollers (except the 8051s) - but it doesn't quite deliver (yet).


There is no documentation or software provided with the board. Although this is common practice and understandable at the price, there isn’t even a URL printed on the box or sleeve to tell you where to obtain the stuff.


There is no separate User Guide for the board, and nothing on the website tells you where to find the board documentaion. Only when you've installed Atmel Studio do you find the board documentation - which isn't going to be much help for those using other toolsets (eg, Keil, IAR).


While others have been putting debug probes on their dev kits for years, this seems to be new to Atmel - and they haven't quite sorted out the interface with the 3rd-party provider (Segger).


The example projects were good as far as they went, but they didn't go all that far. Unlike some others, you don't get an example (let alone a set of examples) for each peripheral block.


Determining the current version of the Atmel Software Framework was a cause of confusion & frustration: three different places gave three different answers, and the suggested update from Studio just ended-up with the same version as before the "update"!



Fuller details in the attached document.