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SAMA5D3 Xplained Getting Started



This document explains how to get started quickly with your SAMA5D3 Xplained board.

 It provides details on how to connect the SAMA5D3 Xplained board to a computer and

the steps to access the on-board Linux distribution.

Kit Contents 

The SAMA5D3 Xplained Kit contains:

   - One SAMA5D3 Xplained board

   - One Micro-AB to typeA USB cable

   - A welcome letter

For more information on SAMA5D3 such as documentation and Xplain board details please click here.



The SAMA5D3 Xplained board is pre-loaded with a Linux-based embedded operating system. The software components stored in the NANDFlash have been compiled following instructions found on the Linux4SAM website. All related source code is located on the Linux4SAM github account:


          - AT91Bootstrap

          - U-Boot and associated environment

      Linux kernel and associated Device Tree database

      Poky distribution root filesystem (from the Yocto project).

The on-board pre-installed Linux distribution can be controlled through the standard Linux console accessible via the Atmel SAMA5D36 DBGU (standard debug interface (J23)).

An additional USB-CDC console is configured and can be directly accessed using the USB Micro-AB cable included in the evaluation kit. This is an efficient single-cable solution for easy log-in and fast access to the pre-installed Linux distribution.


 Linux4SAM Website Organization


Powering the Board

Unpack the board, taking care to avoid electrostatic discharge. Connect the USB Micro-AB cable from the connector (J6) to a free USB port of your PC.
When the board is powered, the blue LED (marked D2) will light up and the default board firmware will start to run.


Device USB Port Used as Supply



Boot Sequence

Several pieces of software are used to boot a Linux kernel on SAM products:
      ROM code
      U-Boot bootloader
The following steps describe the boot sequence of the Linux kernel:

1. The ROM code checks if a valid application is present in the supported media (Flash, DataFlash, NANDFlash, SDCARD). If so, the ROM code downloads it into internal SRAM. For details, refer to the AT91Bootstrap section on Linux4SAM and the sub-chapters “Boot strategies” and “Boot capabilities matrix”.

2. The AT91Bootstrap manages the hardware configuration and downloads the U-Boot / barebox binary from Flash to SDRAM / DDRAM. It starts the bootloader (third-level bootloader).

3. U-Boot is the bootloader in charge of downloading kernel binaries from Flash, the network, an SD card, etc. It then loads the Device Tree Binary and starts the Linux kernel.


Boot Sequence



On-board Linux4SAM Demo - Memory Map

NANDFlash Memory Map



Getting Started Pre-requisites


To begin using the Atmel SAMA5D3 Xplained kit, the following items are required:

  • Windows XP (or later) or a Linux distribution
  • Micro-AB to TypeA USB Device cable
  • Atmel SAMA5D3 Xplained board
  • An optional USB/Serial DBGU port bridge, e.g., FTDI TTL-232R-3V3 USB to TTL serial cable


SAMA5D3 Xplained Board Overview



Serial Terminal Emulator

To access the Linux console, a serial terminal emulator is required, e.g., HyperTerminal, minicom, PuTTY, picocom, screen, etc.. The standard serial communication parameters are 115200 8-N-1:

Serial Communication Port Parameters


Acessing the Linux Console
The Linux console is accessed through the USB device (also known as “USB gadget”) port of the SAMA5D36 device. Connect the USB Micro-AB cable from the connector (J6) to a free USB port of your PC and use the USB-CDC interface.

Linux Users

Once the board is powered up and the connection with the host machine is made, follow the steps below:

1. Identify the USB connection by monitoring the last lines of the dmesg command. The /dev/ttyACMx number will be

    used to configure the serial terminal emulator.

     $ dmesg


     [73507.188239] usb 1-1.1.1: new high-speed USB device number 49 using ehci-pci

     [73507.281410] usb 1-1.1.1: New USB device found, idVendor=0525, idProduct=a4a7

     [73507.281418] usb 1-1.1.1: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2,


     [73507.281421] usb 1-1.1.1: Product: Gadget Serial v2.4

     [73507.281422] usb 1-1.1.1: Manufacturer: Linux 3.10.0-yocto-standard with


     [73507.287341] cdc_acm 1-1.1.1:2.0: This device cannot do calls on its own. It

     is not a modem.

    [73507.287377] cdc_acm 1-1.1.1:2.0: ttyACM0: USB ACM device

    The CDC driver is used and you can see that a /dev/ttyACM0 node has been created on your host system.

2. Run the serial terminal emulator application with the 115200 8-N-1 parameters.

    $ picocom -b 115200 /dev/ttyACM0

    picocom v1.7

    port is : /dev/ttyACM0

    flowcontrol : none

    baudrate is : 115200

    parity is : none

    databits are : 8

    escape is : C-a

    local echo is : no

    noinit is : no

    noreset is : no

    nolock is : no

    send_cmd is : sz -vv

    receive_cmd is : rz -vv

    imap is :

   omap is :

   emap is : crcrlf,delbs,

   Terminal ready

3. Connect to the board with the root login account. No password is required.

   Poky (Yocto Project Reference Distro) 1.5.1 SAMA5D3 Xplained /dev/ttyGS0

   SAMA5D3 Xplained login: root

   root@SAMA5D3 Xplained:~#

4. You are now ready to go with the on-board Linux system.

Windows Users 

After the board is powered up and the connection with the host machine is made, the Windows system requests a driver

for the USB-CDC device that corresponds to the SAMA5D3 Xplained board. Then follow the steps below:


   1. Download the official .inf file required to configure the USB-CDC driver: www.kernel.org/doc/Documentation/usb/linux-cdc-acm.inf

   2. Make sure that the file is properly saved as an .inf file. Do not use a.txt extension.

   3. Click on the “Start Menu”, and open up the “Control Panel”. In the “Control Panel“ click on “System”. Once the System window is up, open the “Device Manager”.

   4. Look under Other devices. An open port named “Gadget Serial v2.4” should be available.

Device Manager Window


   5. Right-click on the “Gadget Serial V2.4 “ device and choose the “Update Driver Software...” option.

   6. Install the serial driver with “Browse my computer for driver software” option.

   7. Windows may prompt for confirmation to install the driver. If so, accept the installation. The use of the official gadget serial .inf file (see Step 1. ) ensures driver software integrity.

   8. After the driver installation process, the system displays the message:“Windows has successfully installed your driver software”.

   9. On the Windows host system, identify the USB connection that is established: the port should appear in the Windows Device Manager. The COMxx number is used to configure the serial terminal emulator.


Serial Port Installed - Device Manager Window


  10. Run a serial terminal emulator application with the parameters specified in Table 7-1 and the COMxx port number.

  11. You can now login to the board with the root login account. No password is required.

       Poky (Yocto Project Reference Distro) 1.5.1 SAMA5D3 Xplained /dev/ttyGS0

       SAMA5D3 Xplained login: root

       root@SAMA5D3 Xplained:~#

  12. You are now ready to go with the on-board Linux system.