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Max The Magnificent
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More Memory
Max The Magnificent   5/16/2014 9:59:44 AM
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The original press release about the Arduino Zero from Atmel said 256kb of Flash and 32kb or SRAM. I understood "kb" to mean "kilobits" because the common convention is to use uppercase 'B' to represent bytes (e.g., 256KB).

Based on this, in my column I said that the Arduino Zero has 32KB (kilobytes) of Flash and 4KB of SRAM.

However, the Zero Page on the Arduino.cc website actually says 256KB of Flash and 32KB of SRAM. I must admit that -- assuming KB to mean kilobytes, this does make a lot more sense to me.

I will ask the folks at Atmel to clarify... watch this space...

 

Andreas Eieland
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Re: More Memory
Andreas Eieland   5/16/2014 1:13:52 PM
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Hi Max, 

Someone missed the b vs B in the release, it should have been with a capital B.

The Arduino Zero uses the SAMD21J18, a 64-pin device with 256KB of Flash and 32KB of SRAM, and yes the max frequency is 48MHz. 

A very nice feature for Makers (and developers) is that the USB Device operation in the SAM D21 can be from the internal RC@48MHz, saves you a pretty expensive external crystal.

Product detail page for the SAMD21J18 :

http://www.atmel.com/devices/ATSAMD21J18A.aspx

 

Andreas

(@AndreasMCUGuy, Atmel)

Max The Magnificent
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Re: More Memory
Max The Magnificent   5/16/2014 1:21:38 PM
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@Andreas: Someone missed the b vs B in the release, it should have been with a capital B.

An easy mistake to make -- especially for non-engineers -- but I bet it's not a mistake that will be made again LOL

Max The Magnificent
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Re: More Memory
Max The Magnificent   5/16/2014 1:27:27 PM
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@Andreas: The Arduino Zero uses the SAMD21J18, a 64-pin device with 256KB of Flash and 32KB of SRAM, and yes the max frequency is 48MHz.

I must admit that I was a tad let down when I thought it had only 32KB Flash and 4KB SRAM (as compared to the Uno with 32KB and 2KB).

The fact that the Zero has 256KB Flash and 32KB SRAM is much more respectable :-)

Max The Magnificent
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Re: More Memory
Max The Magnificent   5/16/2014 1:30:47 PM
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Hi Andreas -- why is it that if I go to the main Arduino.cc site and look under products (http://arduino.cc/en/Main/Products) I don't see the Zero .. but the page does exist (http://arduino.cc/en/Main/ArduinoBoardZero) ... do you want to give them a "tweak"?

Andreas Eieland
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Re: More Memory
Andreas Eieland   5/16/2014 1:34:28 PM
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The Arduino area is right next to the Atmel area at MakerFaire, i'll pop around the corner and mention the missing link to them

Max The Magnificent
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Re: More Memory
Max The Magnificent   5/16/2014 1:36:44 PM
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@Andreas: The Arduino area is right next to the Atmel area at MakerFaire, i'll pop around the corner and mention the missing link to them

Happy Dance! :-)

thiago lima
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Re: More Memory
thiago lima   5/21/2014 9:44:15 AM
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Hello Max.

Excellent article!

The microcontroller of this Arduino is the Atmel ATSAMD21G18A-AUT (http://arduino.cc/en/uploads/Main/Arduino_Zero_front.png) , 256 Kbytes of Flash.

I want to buy one soon!!! :) My first cortex m0+ arduino.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: More Memory
Max The Magnificent   5/21/2014 10:22:10 AM
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@thiago lima: I want to buy one soon!!! :) My first cortex m0+ arduino.

Isn't it amazing how powerful these things are becoming? Did you see my recent blog about the Teensy 3.1? This is an Arduino-compatible development board boasting a 32-bit ARM Cortex-M4 processor core running at 72 MHz with 256KB Flash and 64KB SRAM -- only $19.80 fully assembled!!!

TonyTib
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Re: More Memory
TonyTib   5/21/2014 2:30:40 PM
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There's a lot of incredible values out there.  For performance per dollar, here are some more:

1. ST F401 Nucleo (mbed programming, Arduino + Morpho headers).  $10 for Cortex-M4, 84 MHz, 512K flash, 96K SRAM

2. TI Tiva TM4C1294C Connected LaunchPad (Energia or CCS IDE, 2 BoosterPack Headers).  $20 for Cortex M4 at 120MHz, 1024Kflash, 256K SRAM, Ethernet

3. Raspberry Pi.  Definitely the MIPS/$ winner with 700MHz of ARM goodness for $25.

4. BeagleBone Black.  A bit pricey at $55 for Rev C, but has by far the coolest peripherals (PRU, QEP, PWM, etc) and highest speed (1GHz, 4G eMMC, etc).

All of these are fully assembled, have decent communities (although not Arduino sized), and fairly easy development.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: More Memory
Max The Magnificent   5/21/2014 2:59:58 PM
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@TonyTib: There's a lot of incredible values out there.

It really is mind-blowing -- the sort of computational power we're talking about for a few dollars would have cost an unimaginable amount in the not-so-distant past.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: More Memory
Max The Magnificent   5/21/2014 3:01:29 PM
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@TonyTib: There's a lot of incredible values out there.

What woudl be reall yinteresting would be to come up with some way to compare the computational capability of say a Raspberry Pi with some old computers like the Mark 1 and ENIAC and so forth -- and also compare the costs of purchasing one...

elizabethsimon
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Compare to original IBM PC
elizabethsimon   5/21/2014 4:19:39 PM
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The original IBM PC had similar memory size (if you count Floppies as Flash!), much slower clock was much larger and cost thousands of dollars...

 

TonyTib
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PC XT vs BeagleBone Black
TonyTib   5/21/2014 4:58:18 PM
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This is from memory

Item        XT        Beagle

CPU         8/16     32-bit

FPU         8087 (opt) YES (VFP, Neon SIMD)

3D Accel   Not Avail  YES

MHz         4.77MHz 1000MHz

RAM        640K max   512M

Storage   10M HDD   4G eMMC

Network  Add-on    100M Ethernet

Expansion Slots     Capes + USB

Price      >$5000    $55

Max The Magnificent
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48MHz
Max The Magnificent   5/16/2014 10:02:13 AM
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As I mentioned in my column, at the time of writing I didn't know the Arduino's clock speed. Also, there was no Zero Page on the Arduino.cc webpage at that time.

Happily, the Zero Page has now appeared, and it says that the clockspeed is 48MHz, which is 3X that of the Arduino Uno.

halherta
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The ATSAMD 21 ..Next gen AVR!
halherta   5/16/2014 4:39:42 PM
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I started using the AVR microcontrollers in '99; only a couple of years after they were first released. Heck I still own a few AT90S2313 chips that were obsoleted oh so long ago. In the years that followed, I witnessed how AVR micros increased in popularity and became widely used in both the commercial and hobbyist realms. As an undergrad, I remember making a case to one of my Professors to switch the microcontroller used in our robotics course from the really cool but EPROM based PIC16C74a to the AT90S8535.  Indeed the following year the course was based on the AVR chip.


I witnessed the rise of the Arduino platform (Based on the AVR micro) from its early days. I realized I wasn't the target audience since I was already steeped in the AVR platform and could program it in assembly and low level C to my hearts content, but found it amazing how the Arduino platform enabled so many to dabble with microcontrollers in an affordable way.

I recently took a look at the ATSAM D21 specifications and I'm convinced this is the ideal device that will carry the Arduino platform into the next decade or two. It's  32-bit Cortex-M0+ based, low power consumption, low cost with excellent bang for buck,  fast (48MHz) but not crazy fast, plenty of Flash and RAM, plenty of easy to use peripherals (GPIO/Timers/UART/SPI/I2C/USB/DMA), and even comes in easy to solder 0.8mm pitch 32-LQFP packages (along with 48/64 QFP 0.5mm pitch).

The Arduino Zero builds on this chip and seems to even have an EDBG chip (that weird looking QFN? chip next to the 48-LQFP ATSAM D21) onboard that will hopefully give the board debug capabilities. This would make it the first Arduino board with an onboard debugger; a great tool not just for hobbyists but professionals and university students as well! The board seems to have a second USB port...probably for USB Device/Host functionality which the the ATSAM D21 supports.

The SAM D21 Xplained Pro Evaluation Kit has similar functionality (onboard EDBG and a larger ATSAM D21 chip) and goes for $39. Based on that, I predict that the Arduino Zero will probably sell for $30-35...about the same cost of an AVR based Arduino. All of these features coupled with great IDE's such as the Arduino IDE and the more feature rich Atmel Studio IDE is destined to make this Arduino board a winner!

I'm currently an educator myself and I use the AVR microcontroller in my Embedded Systems courses. I look forwards to a time when I can migrate to the SAM D21 / Arduino Zero in the near future!

 

Max The Magnificent
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Re: The ATSAMD 21 ..Next gen AVR!
Max The Magnificent   5/16/2014 4:53:15 PM
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@halherta: I'm currently an educator myself and I use the AVR microcontroller in my Embedded Systems courses.

I've never been a formal educator, but I have given training classes and I've really enjoyed doing so. I think thinks like the Arduino are FANTASTIC for getting non-technical folks started with microcontrollers. Thanks so much for sharing youe experiances with the rest of us.

Anand.Yaligar
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Re : The Arduino Zero Is Unveiled
Anand.Yaligar   5/21/2014 6:48:25 AM
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Arduino integration is a very economical and modulated way towards an independent project developmental approach. Using Arduino boards not only creates ease of use but also, the IDE of Arduino is very understandable. I think Arduino has a very good future in IOT development, because major IOT kits would benefit amazingly from the modulated approach of the embedded systems of the Arduino.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Re : The Arduino Zero Is Unveiled
Max The Magnificent   5/21/2014 9:42:36 AM
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@Anand: I think Arduino has a very good future in IOT development...

I think you might be right -- I think one part of the IoT in the future will be that non-professionals will want to create their own devices, and the Arduino will facilitate this. Even for professionals, they may want to focus on their "secret sauce" and leverage the proven low-risk Arduino platform as a base.



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