Ok, i know professionals generally hate Arduinos, but I would like to know if it would be possible to program Atmel ARM chips using the Arduino IDE. By which I mean, not needing to modify the source code, just add another entry into the "hardware" folder and that's it.

We already know the Atmel ATSAM3X8EA (Arduino DUE) is compattible, but how about a similar chip, like the Atmel ATSAM3X8CA. Or maybe a Cortex-M4 one, like the Atmel ATSAM4E16EA or the Atmel ATSAM4S8CA.

The Atmel ATSAM3X8CA is the closest one to the Atmel ATSAM3X8EA the Arduino Due uses, a bit smaller and with less I/O.

If it isn't possible without much source code modding, I would like to know what would it take to make it work.

Thanks for your answers.

  • I haven't use those chips in particular but I thought most of the newer / higher end ATSAM devices already have an in-built serial / USB bootloader. It might be worth taking a further look into that.
    – PeterJ
    Feb 21, 2015 at 9:08
  • 2
    Why would Professionals "hate" Arduinos. Or any other system that has a job to do and does it well enough? No doubt a certain (or uncertain) subset of "proFesSionals" 'hate' Arduinos, but their motivations are sketchy and probably make no sense in the greater order of things. || It's a shame that the Arduinos makers chose to present it in a cutesy and hip-speakish manner, but that would be irrelevant to a Professional, who would evaluate the system in terms of aims and achievements and not be deterred by irrelevancies. Correct processing is in order if one is not to get one's wiring crossed. Feb 21, 2015 at 10:21
  • My point exactly when I Try to explain to people the advantages of the Arduino platform. It has an objective and it accomplishes that objective perfectly, to give people an easy way of programming microcontrollers that doesn't require fiddling around with settings, fuses, pin declarations and so on. I'd like to bring that ease of use to other Atmel SAM chips, without removing the possibility of using, say, Atmel Studio as well to program them.
    – Silviu Stroe
    Feb 21, 2015 at 17:53
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it requires knowledge of non-Arduino Atmel parts and therefore belongs on EESE where it was originally and properly asked, not here. Feb 22, 2015 at 1:45
  • @ChrisStratton not quite so: they're basically asking for ports of the Arduino core libraries/etc. for chips not used on a regular Arduino board. Feb 22, 2015 at 3:18

1 Answer 1


Yes it is possible. IDE 1.5.+ support different platforms, as they call it. Where the AVR and sam are provided by stock. Others are possible.

It is fairly involved setup. In short; within each platform there are the following files:

  • boards.txt, defines the individual boards using the similar processor.
  • platform.txt, defines the compiler arguments
  • programmers.txt, defines how to program it.

With corresponding sub directories to match, under the variants/ folder. I have not found an complete tutorial on the matter. However, their

Arduino IDE 1.5 3rd party Hardware specification

An overview of the platform architecture proposed for Arduino 1.5

are a great place to start.

I have not done much with SAM. I do notice that programmers.txt is empty. So it must be done another way.

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