Thank you to element14 and Atmel for giving me the chance to review the Sam4s Xplained.
First off I must say Atmel did a lovely job with the packaging... 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 features, my favorite being able to measure it's power consumption using JP7 two pin header with ampere meter 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 momentary 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: -
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:
Make sure to update as you do have a segger SN# which I find as another plus for the price.
You also have Atmel Studio that will compile most make files and you can just flash them over using the SAM-BA Tool. The default 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" - Is 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 [Flash.bin] "Recovery" - 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 for a very reasonable price.