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Bench Talk for Design Engineers

Bench Talk


Bench Talk for Design Engineers | The Official Blog of Mouser Electronics

Spark Cloud Curiosity with Microchip Greg Toth


Microchip SAM D21 Curiosity Nano Evaluation Kit

The Microchip SAM D21 Curiosity Nano Evaluation Kit is an Internet of Things (IoT) development board featuring a low-power SAM D21G17D Arm® Cortex®-M0+ microcontroller with RAM and flash memory, multiple types of analog, digital, and communications interfaces, multiple timers/counters and interrupts, capacitive-touch sensing, a built-in debugger and USB interface, and an onboard user LED and push button. Many of the microcontroller's input/output signals are brought out to pins, making it easy to connect a variety of sensors, actuators, and input/output devices. A USB with an adjustable microcontroller voltage level powers the board. The built-in debugger allows you to connect software development tools without needing to purchase additional debugger dongles. An external power source can also be used by disabling the onboard voltage regulator. Current measurement circuitry on the board allows you to measure power consumption of the SAM21 microcontroller and other peripherals connected to the board.

Microchip’s MPLAB® X Integrated Development Environment (IDE)

Microchip’s MPLAB® X Integrated Development Environment (IDE) supports software development for the SAM D21 Curiosity Nano is done using Microchip’s MPLAB X Integrated Development Environment (IDE). The MPLAB X IDE includes a compiler, debugger, and linker along with configurable software components and support packages for the SAM D21 and many other Microchip boards and components. The MPLAB Code Configurator (MCC) tool allows you to rapidly configure the microcontroller’s peripheral devices using a graphical interface. The MCC tool also includes a number of configurable software libraries for input/output, signal and data processing, and communication protocols. MCC generates easy-to-understand C code that can be inserted into your MPLAB X project to rapidly build new applications. MPLAB X works with the onboard debugger built into the SAM D21 Curiosity Nano for debugging and troubleshooting application code.

Medium One IoT Platform

The Medium One IoT Platform is a cloud-based platform designed to help early-stage developers prototype their IoT project or connect their existing hardware to the cloud. It offers an IoT Data Intelligence platform enabling you to quickly build IoT applications with less effort. Programmable workflows quickly build processing logic without having to create your own complex software stack. A graphical workflow builder and run-time engine let you process IoT data as it arrives and route or transform it as needed for your application. Workflow library modules are available for data analytics, charting, geolocation, weather data, MQ Telemetry Transport (MQTT), SMS text messaging, and integration with Twitter, Salesforce, and Zendesk. In addition, you can create custom workflow modules using snippets of Python code. The web-based Workflow Studio, which provides a drag-and-drop visual programming environment, designs and builds end-to-end workflows. Workflow versioning and debugging tools support the development, test, and deployment lifecycle. Communications take place between IoT devices and the Medium One Platform using REST APIs or the MQTT protocol. Configurable dashboards let you visualize application data and view real-time data in a variety of formats. Dashboard widgets are included for tabular data, charts, geopoint maps, gauges, and user inputs. Medium One’s iOS and Android apps build simple mobile app dashboards that can communicate with your devices through the Medium One Platform.

Using Your Own Development Board

To use your own SAM D21 Curiosity Nano Evaluation Kit with the Medium One IoT Platform, check out our step-by-step article that walks you through the entire process of:

  • Setting up the hardware and development tools
  • Installing and running the necessary software components
  • Building the code and downloading it to the board
  • Configuring the board’s cloud-connection parameters
  • Running the board to generate real-time sensor measurements that are sent to the cloud

In this article, we also show you how to observe the published data on a real-time dashboard created in the Medium One environment. A set of next steps gives suggestions for how to extend and adapt the application for different IoT prototyping scenarios or to learn more.

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Greg is an architect, engineer and consultant with more than 30 years experience in sensors, embedded systems, IoT, telecommunications, enterprise systems, cloud computing, data analytics, and hardware/software/firmware development. He has a BS in Electrical Engineering from the Univ. of Notre Dame and a MS in Computer Engineering from the Univ. of Southern California.

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