This guide is designed for beginners who want to get started with wireless communication using the ATmega128RFA1 single-chip IEEE 802.15.4-compliant transceiver.

Here's how to become a successful AVR developer:

  • Get The Software
  • Get The Hardware
  • Start Developing

If you need help during the getting started phase, refer to our Technical Support Center.

 

Step 1: Get the Software

In order to use the ATmega128RFA1 single-chip transceiver, you'll need our Atmel Studio 7 software and a wireless software stack.

 

Atmel Studio 7 can be used with all Atmel AVR and Atmel® | SMART ARM®-based MCUs.

 
 

Wireless software stacks
Atmel offers a number of certified free IEEE 802.15.4-compliant software stacks, which provide a significant head start for development of wireless solutions and shorten time to market.

Depending on your need for data rate, power dissipation, complexity, minimal memory usage etc, you can select among the following stacks:

IEEE 802.15.4 MAC
The IEEE 802.15.4 standard defines the protocol and compatible interconnection for data communication devices using low data rate, low power and low complexity, short-range radio frequency (RF) transmissions in a wireless personal area network (WPAN). Atmel developed the MAC stack software for different target platforms (microcontroller and board) and RF transceivers based on a new architecture. This allows easy portability across various Atmel platforms and transceivers, and configurability to improve resource usage

 

IEEE 802.15.4 MAC Stack Software for Microcontrollers, Boards, and RF Transceivers

 

RF4Control - ZigBee RF4CE
RF4Control is Atmel's full-featured ZigBee RF4CE compliant platform. The ZigBee RF4CE standard enhances the IEEE 802.15.4 standard by providing a simple networking layer and standard application profiles that can be used to create a multi-vendor interoperable solution for consumer electronics (CE). The RF4Control software package supports all Atmel's RF Single-chip solutions and Radio Transceivers, and extends standard-compliant 2.4GHz operation by supporting the same functionality and features for the 900MHz frequency band.

 

ZigBee RF4CE Software Stack

 
 

BitCloud - ZigBee PRO
BitCloud PRO is Atmel’s full-featured, 2nd generation embedded ZigBee PRO certified platform for megaAVR® and ARM®. The stack provides a software development platform for reliable, scalable, and secure wireless applications running on Atmel wireless platforms.

 

Full-Featured, Second Generation Embedded ZigBee PRO Software Stack

 
 

BitCloud Profile Suite
BitCloud Profile Suite is Atmel’s ready-to-use framework for rapid development of ZigBee certified products, based on the IEEE 802.15.4 compliant BitCloud ZigBee PRO stack. The suite includes a complete set of fully functional reference implementations of ZigBee Smart Energy (ZSE), ZigBee Building Automation (ZBA) and ZigBee Home Automation (ZHA) device types.

Read more

Get the documents you need
Datasheets for the ATmega128RFA1 here

 

Step 2: Get the Hardware

Evaluation Kit
The ATmega128RFA1 evaluation kit enables development, debugging and demonstration of IEEE 802.15.4 compliant wireless applications such as ZigBee and 6LoWPAN. The kit contains two evaluation boards for the ATmega128RFA1 device, covering the 2.4GHz ISM bands for use with STK600 Starter Kit.

 

Evaluation Kit for ATmega128RFA1

 
 

The STK600 is a complete starter kit and development system for the AVR flash microcontrollers. It is designed to give designers a quick start to develop code on the AVR, combined with advanced features for using the starter kit to prototype and test new designs.

 

Starter Kit for Atmel 8-bit and 32-bit AVR Microcontrollers

 
 

The REB231ED-EK demonstrates the unique performance and rich feature set of the 2.4GHz RF transceiver AT86RF231 combined with the leading edge ATxmega256A3 microcontroller. The REB231ED-EK contains two sets of Radio Extender Board(REB), Controller Base Board (REB-CBB) and RS232 cable to enable PC connectivity.

 

Evaluation platform and reference design for the Atmel AT86RF231 radio transceiver

 
 

The Atmel REB232ED-EK demonstrates the unique performance and feature set of the Atmel® 2.4GHz radio transceiver AT86RF232 combined with the leading edge Atmel ATxmega256A3 microcontroller.

 

Evaluation platform and reference design for the Atmel AT86RF232 radio transceiver

 
 

Debugger
In order to debug, program and trace code while running your ATmega128RFA1, you need a debugger.

Atmel currently offers three debuggers suitable for the ATmega128RFA1:

 

In-System Debugger for Atmel 8-bit and 32-bit AVR Microcontrollers with OCD

 

Mid-range In-System Debugger and Programmer for Atmel 8- and 32-bit AVR Microcontrollers

 

In-System Debugger for Atmel 8-bit and 32-bit AVR Microcontrollers

 
 

The Atmel JTAGICE 3 is recommended for first-time users of ATmega128RFA1.

 

Step 3: Start Developing

Once you have the software and hardware ready, your development work can start.

 

Additional Resources

Knowledge Base with FAQ and Online Tools Help
A comprehensive FAQ database gives answers to many of the questions you may have. The FAQ is organized into product groups and sub-categories for easy browsing. Online versions of many tools user guides are made available for easy browsing.

Application notes and other documentation
Get the most out of your microcontroller with the free application notes and datasheets containing detailed and application specific information. Here you can get quick-start guides, migration notes, design considerations, peripheral drivers, and other useful code examples. Relevant application notes can be found in the device page, in the tab Documentation.

Discussion Forums
There is no need to re-invent the wheel! Users world wide are constantly discussing new topics and inventions using Atmel microcontrollers. Be a part of the communities, participate in discussions, and get valuable feedback on any issue you may have.

Training & Events
Learn even more! By participating on trainings, seminars, tradeshows, workshops, and conferences worldwide you will learn about the latest news and hottest topics. Atmel visits places all over the world to show you new products and features.

Third Party Support
Atmel AVR products have an extensive Third Party Support from leading companies worldwide. They offer hardware and software development tools and AVR consultancy services. They can efficiently help designers develop their application in a timely manner and provide their expertise in their projects if needed.

Detailed information and contact for these companies are listed in this section.