The Great Search – Programmer/Debugger for ATSAMD21 Chips @Adafruit @DigiKey @MicrochipMakes

This week (video) we’ve got a request from someone who didn’t manage to get a J-Link Mini EDU before the part shortage kicked in. These things were great for use for programming just about any ARM chip, and are very affordable for students! But you can’t get them anymore.

In particular, this customer wanted to use Atmel Studio to program and step-debug ATSAMD chips – in which case we let them know about the very-handy AVR-ICE modules. Despite being called AVR In Circuit Emulator, they are also good for any Atmel/MCP Cortex chip. They’re also the only debugger/programmer that is supported from within Atmel Studio.

While the boxed ICE adapter is a li’l expensive, there’s a PCB-only board version we found, just don’t forget to pick up a 10-pin SWD cable while you’re there. NB: Yes, these are more expensive than your standard $20 CMSIS-DAP adapters, but if you are really spending a lot of time with AVR/SAM chips, they will save you a ton of time from having to fiddle with OpenOCD and we find they’re worth the cost!

See on Digi-Key now

See episodes of The Desk of Ladyada in the playlist here and other Great Searches in the playlist here.


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1 Comment

  1. Yeah I have the Atmel-ICE (I’m the plastic case and with the cables) which I think is fundamentally the same thing, and it is pretty handy: lets you do icsp plus JTAG debugging of AVR, plus acts like a cmsis-dap for use with arm micros. It’s not my smallest programmer, but a very useful one nonetheless. Gotta make sure to use the correct plug on the board, though: my case has one labeled AVR and one labeled SAM, which can be used for any ARM Cortex-M. Same connector, different pinout

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