The Atmel ICE is a fantastic tool for programming and debugging AVR and Atmel ARM chips. However, the included cable has a connector with a pin pitch of only 1.27mm. I made a header adapter to make this Atmel ICE more useful for normal spaced 2.54mm connectors.
Bad news. My trusty AVR ISP MKII died. I plugged it into a board which in this specific case cannot be programmed at the same time. The programmer died with the familiar smell of burned electronics. Bummer… just order a new one. To my surprise this model was not made anymore. The replacement: the Atmel ICE.
Ok. Time to check the local distributors inventories: none. Expected delivery: in 2 months. How on earth could I not program AVR chips for two months? The Atmel ICE programmer/debugger was so fresh on the market, no one in Europe has stock.
Then USA stock checking it is. Hey, atmel.com store has is, however, shipping costs were too high for me. Digikey had some in stock also.
After submitting the order with Digikey I waited a few days and the programmer arrived. My impression was that I was getting a programmer twice the size of my old because of the two connectors on the front. I assumed they were standard 10 pin 2.54mm connector and by that guessed the size of the programmer. However, when I got it, I was surprised. The Atmel ICE was roughly the same as my broken AVR ISP MKII but with tiny 1.27mm pin pitch connectors.
The included adapter cable was only useful for programming chips with 6-pin ISP 2.54mm connectors, which I do not have many of. I wanted the old 10-pin 2.54 ISP connector also. And, since it can program ARM chips also, want a 20-pin (old) standard ARM/SWD connector.
Time to make an adapter board.
The schematic is really simple. Just connect every signal of every pin to every other pin on the new connectors.
Someone at Atmel had a bright moment. On the SAM connector every pin used can be found on the AVR connector. This means the header board only needs to use one or two programming ports to connect to.
The board was ordered with my favorite Chinese cheap board house. After soldering I sticked it on the Atmel ICE with some double sided sticky tape. The existing 1.27mm programming cable was used to connect to the header board. It works beautiful. I do not use any 1.27mm connectors yet, but I included them in the schematic.
What can I connect with this board?
- 10 pin 2.54mm ISP for Atmega/attiny chips
- 6 pin 2.54mm ISP for Atmega/attiny chips
- 20 pin 2.54mm SWD/ARM connector for Atmel ARM chips.
- 20 pin 2.00mm SWD/ARM connector
- 10 pin 2.00mm SWD/ARM connector
- 10 pin 1.27 ARM cortex debug connector.
Also nice are the printed status labels. The status leds on the Atmel ICE are not marked with the functions they have. The header board includes the status labels for each led. (Target connected, Power and Programming status).
During preparation I measured each pin on the Atmel ICE and came up with the following matrix describing each pin of the two connector:
|SAM||AVR JTAG||SWD||aWire 6-pin||PDI 6-pin||debugWIRE 6-pin||SPI 6-pin||TPI 6-pin|
|1||TCK||SWDCLK||3 SCK||3 CLOCK|
|2||GND||GND||6 GND||6 GND||6 GND||6 GND||6 GND|
|3||TDO||SWO||1 DATA||1 PDI_DATA||1 MISO||1 DATA|
|4||VTG||VTG||2 VTG||2 VTG||2 VTG||2 VTG||2 VTG|
|6||nSRST||nSRST||5 PDI_CLK||5 RESET||5 /RESET||5 /RESET|