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The Newest Addition to Microchip’s 32-bit Low-Cost Curiosity Nano Development Board Series

Kick-start your 32-bit embedded applications with Microchip’s most versatile Arm® Cortex®-M4, SAME51J20A Microcontroller (MCU) based SAM E51 Curiosity Nano Evaluation Kit.


To help developers access all major features in a microcontroller (MCU), development boards include a wide range of supporting circuits like wireless communication modules, sensors and displays. These circuits are required to fully evaluate MCU features and lead to larger board size and inflated costs. Microchip’s Curiosity Nano Evaluation Kit is a simplified design that enables peripheral I/O access to all major peripherals of an MCU and has dramatically reduced the prototyping costs and board size for developers and the maker community. 

Microchip’s Curiosity Nano Evaluation Kit offers a fully integrated, cost-effective solution to develop innovative 32-bit embedded applications. It comes with an on-board debugger and requires no additional hardware, making it a perfect fit for both developers and makers to quickly start their prototyping efforts and reduce their time to market.  

SAM E51 Curiosity Nano Evaluation Kit

Microchip’s SAM E51 Curiosity Nano Evaluation Kit is a hardware platform to evaluate the SAME51J20A microcontroller (MCU). Supported by the MPLAB® X Integrated Development Environment (IDE) and the MPLAB Harmony v3 software development framework, this kit provides easy access to the features of the SAM E51 MCU — so you can integrate the device into a custom design. It also contains an on-board Nano Debugger for programming and debugging, which also includes a virtual COM port interface over UART and DGI GPIO. The SAM E51 Curiosity Nano Evaluation Kit can be used with the Curiosity Nano Base for Click boards™ to add MikroElektronika Click boards or Xplained Pro boards. These boards will expand the features and functionality of your design with sensors, connectivity modules and more.

See Figure 1. SAM E51 Curiosity Nano Evaluation Kit

Features

• SAME51J20A - Arm® Cortex®-M4 based 32-bit MCU

• One user LED (yellow)

• One mechanical user switch

• Provides I/O access to major peripherals including ADC, DAC, SERCOM, timers, Peripheral Touch Controller (PTC), USB and CAN FD

• On-board debugger

o Board identification in MPLAB X IDE

o One Green power/status LED

o Programming and debugging

o Virtual COM port (CDC)

o One logic analyzer (DGI GPIO)

Expand Functionality with the Curiosity Nano Base Board

Microchip’s Curiosity Nano Base Board (AC164162) is a customizable extension board which enables easy connection of three mikroBUS™ Click boards and an Xplained Pro board. Developers can use this board with SAM E51 Curiosity Nano Evaluation Kit to expand the features and functionality of their design.

See Figure 2. Curiosity Nano Base for Click boards™

How to Start: Access Microchip’s Free Demos  

To help jump-start your creativity, demo examples are available in Microchip’s free MPLAB Harmony v3 embedded software framework, exclusively for the SAM E51 Curiosity Nano Evaluation Kit. 

Getting Started: Application Demo on SAM E51 Curiosity Nano Evaluation Kit using MPLAB Harmony v3

This application demonstrates an LED (LED0) toggle on timeout basis and print the LED toggling rate on the serial terminal. The periodic timeout will change from 500 milliseconds, one second, two seconds, four seconds and back to 500 milliseconds every switch press (SW0) on the SAM E51 Curiosity Nano Evaluation Kit.

See Figure 3. Getting Started Application Demo Set-Up

BLE Fitness Tracker Application Demo on SAM E51 Curiosity Nano Evaluation Kit and Nano Base for Click boards using MPLAB Harmony v3

This application demonstrates a solution based on Microchip’s products for healthcare industry and wearable products. The application displays heart rate readings (in beats per minute - bpm) on a very low-power consuming display and transmits this heart rate data to Microchip Bluetooth Data (MBD) android mobile application via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE).

The MikroElektronika Heart Rate 3 click board is used to read the heart’s pulse and the MikroElektronika eINK click bundle is used for displaying the heart rate. The eINK click bundle contains the eINK click adapter board and the eINK display. Microchip’s BM71 Bluetooth module (BM71-XPRO)  is used to send the heart rate data over BLE.

The Heart Rate 3 click contains two integrated LEDs, a photosensitive element and advanced low noise analog front end to provide clean and accurate heart rate readings. Heart rate can be accessed via I2C interface by simply placing index finger on top of the sensor.

The eINK display is a very low-power consumption display and it retains the information, even after power source is disconnected. The host MCU SAM E51 is interfaced with the Heart Rate 3 click over the I2C interface and eINK click over SPI Interface.

See Figure 4. BLE Fitness Tracker Application Demo Set- Up

Conclusion 

Microchip’s SAM E51 MCU is a powerful mid-range 32-bit Arm Cortex M4 with added peripherals, low-power consumption and security, making it ideal for a wide range of applications including industrial, consumer, motor control, automotive and secure connectivity. And now you can start developing your next embedded application with Microchip’s SAM E51 Curiosity Nano Evaluation Kit at a fraction of the cost. To learn more about the evaluation kit, download the user guide and application examples.

Sonia Sethi, Oct 10, 2020