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Discussions about processor boards have here!
User avatar
By adam.g
Hey guys,

While it may already be in the works, I wanted to make a quick suggestion to offer a SAMD21-based processor board. While the SAMD51 is an attractive option, sometimes you just don't need that much power!

User avatar
By adam.g
Hi @kitzzz,

The SAMD21 is a well-establish processor in the Arduino community (e.g. Arduino MKR ZERO, Adafruit Feather boards) that operates at 48 MHz, has 256 KB Flash and 32 KB SRAM. It also has modest power requirements (i.e. 8 mA active, 30 uA sleep).

The SAMD51 is a bigger beast, operating at 120 MHz, with 512 KB Flash and 192 KB SRAM. This lends itself well for Python applications. It also has much higher power requirements (i.e. 25 mA active, ~1 mA sleep).

My suggestion was for SparkFun to offer a SAMD21-based processor, as there are plenty of existing users (myself included) of this processor. Also cool to see would be an ATmega328P!

User avatar
By adam.g
Seeing as it's been several months, I figured I'd give this post a bump. Poor SAMD21 has gotten the cold shoulder!

I still think it'd be a great idea to offer a SAMD21-based MicroMod Processor. In my opinion, it's a great step up from the Atmega328P, for those times when you need a bit more power, but don't want to jump to anything crazy like the SAMD51, ESP32, etc.
User avatar
By TS-Chris
I think we went with the 51 over the 21 because MicroMod has more I/O pins than are available on the SAMD21 has, that would lead too MicroMod pins that don't connect to anything on the processor.

That would mean you can't take full advantage of the MicroMod ecosystem when using the SAMD21 and might lead to compatibility problems when using the SAMD21 on some MicroMod boards.
User avatar
By adam.g
Thanks Chris,

AFAIK the SAMD21J and SAMD51J both have 64 pins.

Personally I’ve never been a big fan of the SAMD51. If you’re going to be operating at 120 MHz, you might as well move to a microcontroller that offers more bang for the buck (e.g Artemis, ESP32, etc.).

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