SAM7... Where do i start

All design tool related questions: compiler, assembler, linker. Embedded programming questions: assembler, C code.

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Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:21 am

SAM7... Where do i start

Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:41 am


I'm not a programmer, but a hardware engineer. I have some experience of 8051 and PIC micros (programmed in assembly, using Keil or MPLAB). I have enough experience of C to get simple programs up and running. I've always managed to get simple embedded systems running on these platforms in a short time... but with the AT91SAM7S-EK board my head is now spinning about where to start

First of all, Atmel Studio does not support SAM7... why not?... So I take the Eclipse route. And I've spent almost 3 days getting it all installed and set up with GNU, yogarto, GBD servers, and AT91 ISP tools. Finally I get the 'getting started' program compiling, debugging and uploading to the device, ie...blinking LEDs. I think I'm ready to rock and roll but when I try and compile a more complex program (with USART) I get loads of errors and a whole chain of include files not found. It seems like you need to be a programming guru to do anything at all with these devices. Is this really the best way to get simple embedded systems up a running.

Of course I've downloaded the Software Package, and referred to the datasheet and eval docs. The SAM-BA and ISP only seem to provide programming interfaces. How about development? I was hoping I could find an environment (like Studio) where I can easily use the peripherals I need and just develop (or modify) 'main' program within an existing project.

I need to get a really simple program up and running fast. A bit of timing, SPI communication, low frequency measurements and storing to memory and data packet communication via USART. All very standard tasks. I would have thought that a large proportion of engineers using these devices are in my position... not a programming guru, but needing some embedded control while focusing on hardware tasks.

Have I gone down the wrong path? Can someone show me the way to get my simple program running fast?
Posts: 554
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 2:28 pm

Re: SAM7... Where do i start

Mon Jul 16, 2012 3:50 pm

Atmel Studio doesn't support SAM7/9 family!
For a beginner i would strongly recommend to use one of the commercial IDE's (IAR or Keil).
For the IAR Workbench a Kickstart version is available, limited to 32kB code size, which should be enough for your application.

For debugging purpose I would strongly recommend a JTAG-ICE (SAM-ICE or J-Link).

Afterwards take a look at the software packages. For nearly every peripheral an example is available.

Using the getting started project is a good starting point.

Studying the datasheet is also a good idea.

If you have any further problems don't hesitate to ask.


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