What is the difference between Atmel ICE, Atmel SAM-ICE and Atmel JTAGICE mkII?

From what I understand, Atmel ICE is cheaper and better in every way, support more families, thus why would one buy the other one?

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ The answer really depends on which devices for which you wish to develop. \$\endgroup\$
    – Matt Young
    May 17, 2014 at 16:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ What about JTAGICE3 with ATMega2560? \$\endgroup\$
    – AShelly
    Jun 17, 2014 at 16:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ Atmel ICE is a CMSIS DAP compliant debugger. It works well with Keil MDK and IAR EW-ARM as well as with Atmel Studio, where you can also use it for AVR devices. \$\endgroup\$
    – user53349
    Sep 16, 2014 at 11:07

2 Answers 2


There are some points that you have to contemplate.

Yeah, I know that the Atmel-ICE can support a wide range of the Atmel products but I can guess that many compilers or IDEs don't support it.

For instance, when you work with Keil and have bought it, you don't want to buy an Atmel-ICE because the Keil can't support it.

If you buy an Atmel SAM-ICE, you will have a chance to use it in Keil because the Keil supports it as a J-Link debugger.

On the other hand, if you notice, the Atmel-ICE doesn't support AT91 while the Atmel SAM-ICE does; or for another example, the Atmel JTAGICE mkII has an on-board 512kB SRAM for fast statement-level stepping but the Atmel-ICE doesn't.

I hope this answer will help you.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ As a student, i will maybe buy a j-link EDU (better than avr sam ice i guess, so all my need for arm cortex debugger are gone), but i also want to do avr. So how may i choose between Atmel-ICE and Atmel JTAGICE3? both seem to do avr stuff. \$\endgroup\$ May 17, 2014 at 14:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @user1115057 Do you just want to use Atmel products? What is your compiler? How much money do you have? \$\endgroup\$
    – Roh
    May 17, 2014 at 17:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ Like i said, i will buy a j-link edu, so i just need another device, but that one specialized in atmel product. I dont have a big budget either, but as long as it stay 100$ and below, its correct. \$\endgroup\$ May 17, 2014 at 18:01

As I have just found out, the Atmel-ICE does not support the high-end ARM cores (Cortex-A5, etc) and only supports Cortex-M. In other words, if you want to use the SAMA5 MPUs, you'll need the SAM-ICE.

  • \$\begingroup\$ This is probably not actually true as far as the programmer is concerned, ie, it likely would work via something like OpenOCD just as it works with targets that aren't even from Atmel. However, the Atmel (Microchip) PC-side Tools might be unwilling to use it for such purpose. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 24, 2019 at 19:24

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