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Atmel Studio IDE, Software Framework, Boards
'Top to Bottom' Integrated Workflow - with Built-in FreeRTOS Support


Atmel's Integrated Development Platform (IDP) allows you to quickly create a microcontroller application by seamlessly and intelligently integrating peripheral drivers, components (displays, flash chips, etc.) and services (file system, USB class drivers, etc.) with Atmel's feature rich IDE and online services.

Atmel's START is an evolution of their IDP that takes the concept to the next level by adding the ability to configure pin functions and clocks in an intuitive, graphical and web based tool. The use of a web based interface offers many advantages: Source files generated by the tool are tailored specifically to your configuration allowing for cleaner source files and less use of the C preprocessor, you only need to download the files you are actually going to use, and Atmel are able to provide software updates and new device support as soon as they are available.

FreeRTOS is included in Atmel's IDP, which is available at no charge. FreeRTOS awareness is provided at every development level, and Percepio's trace and profiling functionality is built directly into the Atmel tools.

The FreeRTOS download also includes several Atmel SAM demos, including a SAMV7/SAME7 ARM Cortex-M7 demo, a SAM4E demo, a SAMD20 demo and an ultra low power tickless demo running on the SAM4L. Atmel SAM users also get favourable free licensing terms on many FreeRTOS+ and FreeRTOS Labs components.

Atmel tools with FreeRTOS integrations
Click to Enlarge

Atmel - Introduction to the Atmel Studio FreeRTOS Integration
Watch Atmel's FreeRTOS Integration Video

FreeRTOS RTOS trace and profiling
Click to View the Trace and Profiling Webinar Slides

Top to Bottom Integrated Workflow

This page briefly introduces the blocks that make up the integrated environment. The relationship between the blocks is show by the image on the right. Click the image to see a larger version.

Separate pages demonstrate step by step workflow walk-throughs as a more practical example of how the blocks fit into a fully integrated development process, and how the tight end to end integration allows you to create a fully featured application so quickly. See the Atmel Studio Walk-through, and Atmel START Walk-through pages respectively.

Atmel Studio

At the center of the integration is Atmel Studio - a comprehensive and fully featured project management, build management, editing, flash programming and debugging IDE that is based on the Visual Studio framework. Atmel Studio projects can be created directly within Atmel Studio itself, or online using Atmel START.

Atmel Studio is FreeRTOS and FreeRTOS+Trace aware, and even includes FreeRTOS tracing functionality directly within the Atmel Studio IDE. Atmel Studio is a free download.


Atmel START is an online tool for intuitive, graphical configuration of embedded software projects. It enables you to select an appropriate microcontroller, assign and configure pin functionality while intelligently managing restraint conflicts, configure the microcontroller clocks, as well as select and configure software components including drivers and middleware.

Atmel START generates pre-configured build-ready projects for Atmel Studio, IAR and Keil tools as well as simple makefiles. Previously generated projects can be loaded back into the Atmel START web based interface for adjustments or re-configuration.


Xplained Pro and Ultra evaluation boards include an on board debugging interface that also allows Atmel Studio to detect exactly which hardware is connected, and from then on, provide target specific functionality. Xplained boards can be purchased from Atmel's online store.

Atmel Software Framework (ASF)

The ASF is an intelligently packaged and searchable database that contains a wealth of embedded components, including:
  • On-chip peripheral driver libraries
  • Drivers for off-chip components, such as different types of memory, displays, wireless, etc.
  • Application orientated services, such as USB classes, FAT file systems, etc.
  • Board support packages that provide peripheral to pin mappings for all of Atmel's development kits.
  • FreeRTOS and pre-configured FreeRTOS projects.

Atmel Studio provides a direct link between the ASF and the application software, completely managing source file dependencies and configuration options, and only offering ASF software that is compatible with the connected hardware.

Atmel Gallery

Atmel Gallery is an online repository from which further IDE extensions, IDE plug-ins and embedded components can be downloaded. Atmel Studio provides a direct interface to the Atmel Gallery.

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