Meet Arduino ZERO – the new board jointly developed by Arduino and Atmel

Zoe RomanoMay 15th, 2014


It’s a pleasure to announce the latest development board, Arduino Zero, expanding the Arduino family by providing increased creative opportunities to the maker community.

Arduino and Atmel unveil the Arduino Zero, a simple and powerful 32-bit extension of the platform established by Arduino UNO. It aims to provide creative individuals with the potential to realize truly innovative ideas especially for smart IoT devices, wearable technology, high-tech automation, crazy robotics, and projects not yet imagined.

The board is powered by Atmel’s SAMD21 MCU, which features a 32-bit ARM Cortex® M0+ core and one of its most important feature is Atmel’s Embedded Debugger (EDBG), which provides a full debug interface without the need for additional hardware, significantly increasing the ease-of-use for software debugging. EDBG also supports a virtual COM port that can be used for device programming and traditional Arduino boot loader functionality.

Massimo Banzi, Arduino co-founder and CEO said:

“The flexible feature set enables endless project opportunities for devices and acts as a great educational tool for learning about 32-bit application development.”

Reza Kazerounian, senior vice president and general manager, microcontroller business unit at Atmel added:

“Leveraging more than 15 years of experience since the inception of AVR, simplicity and ease-of-use have been at the core of Atmel’s technology, Atmel is pleased to see the continued growth of the global maker community stemming from the increasing access and availability to open source platforms such as Arduino. We enable makers, but the power lies within the makers themselves.”

The first prototypes of Arduino Zero will be on display at Maker Faire Bay Area 2014 in San Mateo on May 17 and 18 at the following booths:
Arduino Booth: #204
Atmel Booth: #205
ARM Booth: #405

See you there!

Arduino Zero-top


19 Responses to “Meet Arduino ZERO – the new board jointly developed by Arduino and Atmel”

  1. abuelanin Says:

    could be programmed with python ?

  2. Markus_L811 Says:

    What does the 2nd uC do?

  3. Markus_L811 Says:

    The Atmel A06-0736

  4. eclipse_vr Says:

    available from 2020 ? :)

  5. ferrcol Says:

    Now then… Arduino Zero… kill Flanders!

  6. okoman_turkey Says:

    nice job but A06-0736 ic only at

  7. Markus_L811 Says:

    Yes only alibaba even Atmel knows them, so far I can tell. No Datasheet and nobody knows what the IC does, maybe it’s the place where the magic is

  8. hammerhai Says:

    How about 5V shield compatibility? I don’t want to use 3.3V.

  9. Embedezyne Says:

    One uC will be the Atmel 32 bit Cortex-M0 and the 2nd uC will be the Atmel’s Embedded Debugger controller, EDBG.

    The EDBG is probably the same one used on Atmel Cortex-M0 Xplained boards that allows direct source level debugging without a JTAG pod.

    Embedezyne is working the same type of board for it’s next board, in the Magnus line of ARM based Arduino compatible CPU boards.

    Embedezyne plans of producing CPU boards that are 3.3V and 5V shield compatible, but the compatibility does increase the cost of the board. Embedezyne is also working on 3.3V shields.

  10. LukeW Says:

    Along with the ATSAMD21 microcontroller, the second chip on the board on Atmel’s ATSAMD21 XPlained reference board is a AT32UC3A4256 microcontroller, and I assume the Arduino Zero will be essentially the same. Programmed with appropriate firmware, the AT32UC3A4256 acts as the Embedded Debugger Controller, providing live debugger capability – sort of like JTAG, but you don’t have to worry about having a hardware JTAG probe and a software toolchain on your PC that is compatible with the hardware/software of the JTAG probe and with the target microcontroller you’re using – it’s all done for you, nice and easy, so it’s accessible, in traditional Arduino fashion, and you just plug a USB cable into your PC.

    As for 5V shield compatibility – no, I don’t think we should be stuffing a bunch of extra components on there, increasing the cost, to add 5V shield compatibility.

    5V logic is basically just starting to go the way of the dinosaur, and it’s time to get used to that – with shields and Arduino-compatible peripherals that are designed for 3.3V logic, and/or 3.3V logic with 5V tolerance. Many, many common microcontrollers in use today operate at 3.3V, or less such as 1.8V.

    5V is quite unusual – especially for 32-bit devices. It’s time to get used to that, instead of demanding 5V compatibility from all products. Device manufacturers should kind of “force” users to get used to this, and get everybody used to 3.3V, instead of painfully dragging it out and keeping some customers used to expectations of 5V logic and support for legacy hardware.

    Since more and more microcontrollers and host devices are 3.3V these days, more and more peripheral devices and shields are 3.3V, and more and more of the core ICs and sensors operate with 3.3V logic and require level translation to operate at 3.3V.

    There’s no point having a microcontroller board with level translation hardware to bring translated 5V IO to the headers, and then having a peripheral board with more level translation hardware to bring the I/O back down to 3.3V for a 3.3V peripheral device.

    I think having 3.3V I/O on the Arduino Zero (maybe with 5V tolerance if the Atmel SAM21 silicon supports this) and avoiding component count bloat and keeping the cost as low as possible is a good decision.

  11. Ladvien Says:

    “In my day a debugger chip was an SMD LED! Everything else was poorly documented, proprietary ICs that no one could get retail! Boy, howdy!”

  12. Markus_L811 Says:

    I want one, where can I line up?

  13. rarndt Says:

    Will the complete Arduino library be debugable down to bare metal (I/O), or will only the Sketch be debugable? Also, when will this board be made available for purchase?

  14. Massimo Banzi Says:

    rarndt: The Arduino library is provided in source format so when you debug the sketch you can also jump into the library code and see what it does.

    Markus_L811 : In a couple of weeks we’ll be announcing the beta programme and a bit later we’ll have a shipping date.

    We don’t have a public pricing yet, we’re working on it.

  15. Massimo Banzi Says:

    Embedezyne: good job at using your comment for advertising :)

  16. PCWorxLA Says:

    @Massimo Banzi: I just hope that the pricing for the Zero is a bit more sane than the one for the Tre… :(

  17. johnnyboyl Says:

    From uno, to due, to tre, to zero? lol

  18. funlw65 Says:

    I like the ATMEL commitment in promoting SAMDx microcontrollers. I think is the only 32bit mcu that I am willing to learn and use in the near future, especially because was advertised to be as easy to use as an AVR. Hopefully the price will illustrate the ATMEL’s commitment :D and nobody will rip us off because there is a Cortex inside as Massimo have the tendency.

  19. feilipu Says:

    ATMEL have just announced a 5V compatible ATSAMC21

    Given I’ve a stack of 5V shields (guess I’m a dinosaur), I’ve already ordered 2 of their Xplained boards, which support both 5V and 3.3V (though 3.3V is broken and the Xplained board won’t start up; see errata).

    Great to see ATMEL and Arduino driving to M0+.

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