BLOG: A platform for fast prototyping

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jacko
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BLOG: A platform for fast prototyping

Thu May 01, 2014 3:32 pm

The market seems to be flooded with low-cost prototyping platforms, but only few have been very successful and reached out to a large developer community.  The Rasberry Pi is probably the compute platform shipping in the highest quantities. This is likely because you simply cannot purchase the processor itself other than by buying the complete board. Arduino has great traction at the sense and control level and is famous for its ease-of-use and huge maker following.
 
If we look at the software side, Linux is the most used operating system in embedded applications, with one of the largest developer communities. And finally, from an application standpoint, everything gets connected under the Internet of Things umbrella.  So why not combine computing, sense and control, communication and Linux on a single platform and enable developers to fast prototype their ideas and innovations?
 
You can believe that the SAMA5D3 Xplained board is up for this challenge. It’s built around an ARM Cortex-A5 based microprocessor which was introduced into the market in early 2013 and runs at 536MHz. A comprehensive open source Linux distribution including Linux Kernel 3.10 (LTS), Linux Mainline and Yocto 1.5.1 support offers all the maturity needed to federate many developers. The board connects to Arduino R3 type shields and USB or SDCard accessories enabling easy customization of the platform. An LCD connector supports different panels including the PDA TM4300 MaxTouch based touch panel for high standard user interfaces.
 
Even if Atmel and element14 have developed the platform, it is really up to the developers to make it a widely adopted evaluation and prototyping platform. For those who want to move to large scale production, all the hardware description files of the SAMA5D3 Xplained board are provided free of charge and the components used on the board available for purchase.
jacko
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Re: BLOG: A platform for fast prototyping

Fri May 02, 2014 1:29 am

Obviously your view of the embedded market is different and restricted to the lower end. Many applications using an MPU like the SAMA5D3 are considered embedded and not compute.
Same is true for IoT. Initially it was maybe meant to cover tiny applications, but currently it is covering a much bigger market. Some say it is everything that is connected to the Internet except Smartphones and Tablets and related accessories.
jacko
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Re: BLOG: A platform for fast prototyping

Fri May 02, 2014 2:38 pm

I admit that the context good be better defined at the beginning of my statement. The observations and comparisons I shared relate to the embedded MPU market and not the global embedded market.
blue_z
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Re: BLOG: A platform for fast prototyping

Fri May 02, 2014 9:56 pm

Jacko,

Are you an Atmel employee?
If so, what is your job title in what division/department?
If not, then what is your relationship with Atmel?

I ask because sometimes you post as if a newbie:
jacko wrote:I saw the WiPi USB WiFi dongle connected to the board at Embedded World. Do you have support for other USB WiFi dongles or only the WiPi?
But then sometimes you post as if you have internal-to-Atmel information and use the royal "we":
jacko wrote:Currently we have no Atmel Studio support for the SAMA5D3 Xplained.
Regards
jacko
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Re: BLOG: A platform for fast prototyping

Sat May 03, 2014 12:09 am

I am working for Atmel and my objective is to have users share their opinions and to get their questions answered. Therefore I position myself on both sides.
Thanks for participating in the forum.

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