Connecting the Atmel ICE to a host computer

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The Atmel ICE is a very powerful development tool. It is great for programming and debugging ARM and AVR Cortex M-based SAM microcontrollers. This device mainly communicates using a regular HID interface. It does not need a specific driver on the host computer. But, in order to utilise the ICE’s sophisticated Data Gateway function, you have to install the USB driver on the host computer. This happens automatically when you install the front end software that the microchip offers freely.

Linking to USB ports

You need to link the ICE to an available USB port on your host computer. Do this by using a USB cable or a certified micro-USB cable. The device also holds a USB 2.0 compliant controller. It is capable of working in high-speed and full-speed modes. For optimal results, connect your Atmel to a USB 2.0 compliant high-speed hub directly on your host computer.

As for power, the ICE gets it from the USB bus voltage. It needs less than 100mA to work. Therefore, it can get power using a USB hub. The power LED is going to illuminate once you plug the unit in.

When it isn’t in use in an active debugging or programming session, the unit will go into low-power consumption mode. This will keep the computer’s battery going. Sadly it is not possible to power down the ICE. When you aren’t using it, it is best to unplug it.

Software integration

Finally, we would like to discuss software integration into Atmel Studio a little bit. If you don’t know, Atmel Studio is what’s called an Integrated Development Environment (IDE). It is for debugging and programming SAM and AVR applications with SWD, TPI, PDI, SPI, aWire, and JTAG in Windows environments.

For SAM and AVR, make use of the “Device Programming” option. This is integrated into the Atmel Studio IDE. Alternatively, you can use the command line utility known as atprogram.

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So, if you are looking to start your own projects, Atmel ICE likely has everything you will need. Feel free to contact us if you need details about our merchandise.

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