I want to develop an industrial board with Cortex-M7 board and i selected Atmel because of Atmel Studio looks very nice for coding. I developed some projects with Arduino. My questions :

  1. ATSAME70Q21 has 114 I/O . Can i use all of these I/O as GPIO?

  2. If answer of first question is "yes" then all of thee GPIO will be interrupted IO?

  3. I want to buy "SAM E70 Xplained Evaluation Kit" to start Atmel Studio development case. Description of this kit says that kit includes information about to built custom board. My biggest problem is building custom board which i can use all power of this MCU. So i should trust to this evaluation kit or somebody has any advice for building such board?
  4. I read some informations about GPIO pin speed(operating frequency). These pins work at same operating frequency as with MCU speed at some MCUs and slower at some other MCUs. I couldn't see any information for Atmel cortex-M7 MCUs. Is it very important property? What about this property at ATSAME70Q21?

    Building a custom board for ATSAME70Q21 is the most difficult step for me. I don't know how should i start. So especially i wait a solution for it.

Tthanks in advance.


closed as too broad by Voltage Spike, Daniel Grillo, Scott Seidman, brhans, Rev1.0 Nov 1 '16 at 8:27

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  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ This processor appears to only be available in a BGA package, which means an expensive board with a number of layers and requiring an experienced designer. If you want something you can learn by creating yourself, pick something with fewer pins available in a TQFP. Or if you must have this processor, commission a skilled board designer. Starting with the eval board first is a good idea, but put more research into what you really need before you go to the expense of a custom board. \$\endgroup\$ – Chris Stratton Oct 19 '16 at 7:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ I second Chris advice. There are some Cortex M7 available in QFP from ST Micro, if you really need M7. M4 is already very powerful, however, and would give you a much broader choice of MCUs from many manufacturers. Also, choosing a MCU range just because the official IDE "looks very nice for coding" is a bit sad. Have a look at the free, independant IDEs available (Coocox, gnuarmeclipse, ...): there are very nice too, and don't restrict you to a specific manufacturer. This way, you can choose a MCU based on its actual peripheral range and capabilities, which makes more sense. \$\endgroup\$ – dim Oct 19 '16 at 9:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ Chris and dim Thanks for support. You're very right about package type of MCU. I didn't care about it but as you told it's really very important point. I want to build a very powerful board because of it will run heavy jobs such web server (even may be web socket) and this board will keep at least 100.000 users. I'm not sure whether i need M7 or M4 or whatever. I just want to know that power of MCU shouldn't be a bottleneck for this project. But i'm open to other advices too. At least may be there are another good M4 or M7 boards which is part of another project with ready custom board? \$\endgroup\$ – Murat Oct 19 '16 at 15:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Murat It seems you'll want to run some advanced OS like Linux, then. Cortex-M (either 7 or 4) isn't really appropriate for these. And given your apparent skills, you'd better use some kind of Raspberry Pi, BeagleBoard, or other hacker-friendly board available off-the-shelf with Linux. Then, if it lacks specific I/O you need, hook some custom-made expansion boards to it. \$\endgroup\$ – dim Oct 19 '16 at 15:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ @dim, if i know one thing then it's that i will not use any advanced OS. I want to use low level board. This will be an commercial and industrial board. I don't know why do you think that i need advanced OS but it's not impossible to run these MCUs under such heavy works, am i right? Even i did some good and heavy works with Arduino Mega but it was not very nice to be depended to Arduino boards. So i wanted my custom board. What do you think about Atmel m4 or M7 MCUs? May be i should look also ST, TI or NXP's MCUs too? \$\endgroup\$ – Murat Oct 19 '16 at 15:29

1) Basically you can use every pin on the SAM as GPIO, except for some special pins like power pins (VCC, GND, ...), dedicated USB pins (HSDM, HSDP), oscillator pins (OSCx, ..), some JTAG pins (TCK, ..) and analog reference pins (AREF, ..). You will have to go through the table in chapter 5.2. Usually the pins labeled PAx,PBx,.. can be used as GPIOs

2) Chapter 32.2, point #4; Yet, they use a combined interrupt line. This means that you will have one interrupt for multiple pins and you need to find out in software which pins was actually triggered by reading the respective register in your interrupt handler

3) The EVK has additional hardware so you will not be able to access each pin directly. Yet, the board itself is pretty good and perfect for a start. By building: Do you mean a new board? You should take a look at the datasheet, chapter 58 - Schematic checklist.

4) Chapter ff. - I/O characteristics

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for great and quick answers. And yes, i want to develop a new board and i will use most IO pins as GPIO (except special pins as you pointed) and other pins for relay outputs. So as you guess, i will read some data from GPIO and my board will decide something and it will run some relay outputs. I need a such new board design. How can i start to build it? What step should be first step? \$\endgroup\$ – Murat Oct 19 '16 at 7:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ This doesn't seem like a complicated setup, so probably you can go with the free version of Eagle. You will need to learn Eagle though which might take a few weeks/months. The first step will always be to draw a schematic (you can download Altium schematics in PDF format from the EVK website). \$\endgroup\$ – Tom L. Oct 19 '16 at 9:02

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