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Prototype Your 32-Bit Embedded Application at a Fraction of the Cost Using the SAM D21 Curiosity Nano

Jumpstart your next embedded product from proof of concept to production with our Arm® Cortex® M0+ based SAM D21 Curiosity Nano Evaluation Kit.  

Most embedded starter kits try to demonstrate all the features of a microcontroller (MCU) family, requiring the kit to contain additional hardware like displays, communication buses, transceivers and more. This “one size fits all” approach ends up ballooning the cost of an embedded development platform. But Microchip’s Curiosity Nano embedded evaluation kit is a self-contained and modular board that interfaces with a range of mikroBUS and XPro expansion boards, allowing you to quickly scale and customize your development platform with relevant and re-usable add-on hardware — thereby reducing  your prototyping efforts and costs. In addition, the same add-on hardware can interface with other Curiosity Nano embedded evaluation kits, allowing you to explore Microchip’s wide range of MCU offerings. 


About the SAM D21 Curiosity Nano Evaluation Kit 


Microchip’s SAMD21G17D Curiosity Nano evaluation kit (DM320119) is a hardware platform to evaluate the ATSAMD21G17D MCU, and it is supported by Microchip’s MPLAB® X Integrated Development Environment (IDE). This enables access to Microchip’s Embedded Software Development Framework, MPLAB Harmony v3, which provides flexible and interoperable software modules to help simplify the development of value-added features. The evaluation kit is compatible with Microchip’s Curiosity Nano Development Platform and provides easy access to the specific features of the SAMD21G17D relevant to your custom embedded application. The board comes with an on-board debugger which also features a virtual COM port (CDC) for serial communication to a host PC and a Data Gateway Interface (DGI) GPIO. 


Features of the SAMD21G17D Curiosity Nano evaluation kit include: 

> SAMD21G17D – Arm® Cortex® M0+ based 32-bit MCU  

> One user LED (yellow) and user switch 

> On-board Nano programmer / debugger   

   - Programming and debugging
   - Board identification in MPLAB X IDE
   - One green power/status LED
   - Virtual COM port (CDC)
   - One logic analyzer (DGI GPIO)

> Access to three mikroBus expansion sockets using the Curiosity Nano Base board

Scale Up Your Hardware with the Curiosity Nano Base Board

> The Curiosity Nano Base board is an incredibly adaptable toolset that helps take your project from exploration to working prototype. As a customizable expansion board, it is supported by our 8-bit and 32-bit MCU families, providing access to most of the MCU I/Os. It also allows easy connection of three mikroBUS Click boards and an Xplained Pro socket, enabling effortless expansion of your design with sensors, connectivity modules and more. 

>  The SAMD21G17D Curiosity Nano evaluation kit is compatible with the Curiosity Nano Base board which allows you to quickly scale and prototype your next innovative design using the SAMD21G17D MCU.   

Demo Example without Expansion Board  


Getting started with SAM D21 Curiosity Nano using MPLAB Harmony v3  



This application demonstrates a periodic LED toggle and prints the LED toggling rate on the serial terminal. The periodicity of the timeout will change from 500 milliseconds to one second, two seconds, four seconds and back to 500 milliseconds every time you press the switch SW0 on the SAM D21G17D Curiosity Nano Development Board.  


Demo Example with Expansion Board  


Location Tagged SOS Application Demo on SAM D21 Curiosity Nano and Nano Base for Click boards using MPLAB Harmony v3 

This demo example demonstrates a SAMD21 based embedded application which sends a distress signal in the event of a personal emergency by sending a location-tagged SOS SMS. This application demo uses: 


    - SAM D21 Curiosity Nano Evaluation Kit (DM320119

    - GSM-GPS Click Board ( https://www.mikroe.com/gsm-gps-click ) 

    - Curiosity Nano Base for Click boards (AC164162

    - Li-ion or LiPo Battery (optional) 


The Mikroelektronika GSM-GPS click board, contains a hardware module that combines the GSM/GPRS and GPS functionality used for tracking the device and sending out the emergency or distress signal. The MCU is interfaced with the GPS module over the UART interface to perform the acquisition and tracking of GPS coordinates. It registers the event callbacks for location tracking of the GPS receiver. 


The application arranges the GSM/GPRS module for sending SMS to a configured mobile phone number. 

Once the GPS position is available, the application sends a location tagged SOS SMS to the configured mobile phone number when emergency switch is pressed. The application also provides feature to configure a cell phone number to send SMS every time the switch on the board is pressed for more than four seconds.  

The SAMD21 Curiosity Nano evaluation kit quickly develops embedded applications ranging from simple timer-based tasks to complex communication tasks. To learn more about how you can evaluate the functionality of your device, develop your software, program, debug and execute your application in record time, please visit this page on our website. 



Sonia Sethi, Apr 7, 2020