New SAMD beta core 1.6.23 release, bootloader and library updates

Hi Everyone,

We have a few new software releases for the MKR Vidor 4000 today:

1) A new SAMD beta core v1.6.23 release, includes bootloader update.

The new beta core update is available via the Arduino IDE's board manager. Release notes:

  • corrected MKR Vidor fqbn from mkrvidor to mkrvidor4000
  • bootloader changes to restart the FPGA on boot, which avoids hanging of sketch uploads in certain scenarios
  • a new SAMD_BootloaderUpdater library to update the bootloader of the SAMD21 via a sketch.

To update you MKR Vidor 4000's bootloader:
a) In the IDE: Tools -> Board ... -> Board Manager
b) Search for "SAMD beta"
c) Select and click update
d) Wait for the update to be downloaded and installed
e) Select MKR Vidor 4000 as the board: Tools -> Board ... -> Arduino MKR Vidor 4000
f) Click: File -> Examples -> SAMD_BootloaderUpdater -> UpdateBootloader
g) Plug in for MKR Vidor 4000 to you PC, upload the sketch, and open the serial monitor
h) There will be a check to see if you bootloader needs an update.
i) WARNING: DO NOT unplug the USB cable during the update!. If your board needs a bootloader update enter "y" on the serial monitor
j) The sketch will update the boot loader and the LED will blink rapidly once successful

2) New VidorGraphics v1.0.3 and VidorPeripherals v1.0.1 library updates

The new library updates are available via the Arduino IDE's library manager, change log:

  • Added support to use the u-blox NINA module over SPI for WiFi connections, including renaming some files for consistency
  • updated comments in a few of the examples, a few compile warnings fixed
  • VidorGraphics: a new bitstream also included in v1.0.2 to fix SPI flash boot issues

Note: after loading the new VidorGraphics bitstream, a power cycle of the board is required for the changes to take effect. This is only needed the first time.

3) New WiFiNINA v1.1.0 library update

The new library update is available via the Arduino IDE's library manager, change log:

  • added support for the MKR Vidor 4000

After installing and updating 2) and 3) WiFi features will be functional on the board.

Couple of dumb and probably-obvious observations:

  1. Although you can update the SAMD board support files regardless of what board is selected (Tools -> Board: xxxxxxxxx), you'll only see the SAMD_BootloaderUpdate example if you first choose the Vidor as the board for the sketch. If you have the Uno selected, as I accidentally did, you'll be scratching your head and cursing.

  2. After updating the bootloader and getting the fast blinky LED, it would seem that you have to reset your Vidor before you can upload a sketch. Or at least I did. My first eager attempt to reload the DrawLogo example after updating the bootloader and VidorGraphics library resulted in the nothingness that often signals the need for a reset. :slight_smile:

my update is listed as 1.6.22 not 1.6.23 as you state. Is there a difference? Or did you misstype?


my update is listed as 1.6.22 not 1.6.23 as you state. Is there a difference? Or did you misstype?

1.6.23 is correct. 1.6.22 is the original version.


thank you for the help. for some reason it wasn't showing up for me. I just deleted the installation and made a new copy. That resolved the issue.

Works perfect.

@jaholmes, thanks for the feedback on the instructions!

I've updated my posted accordingly, please let us know if you have any other suggestions as well!

I have updated as suggested. The WifiNina examples work now! But the serial monitor is very very slow for the response return from AP Server example or Web client example. It is printing it character by character with delay.

Also get very very slow output on serial port...

@yokonav Same here. AP_SimpleWebServer takes about 47 seconds to answer a request.

Hi guys,
We are aware of this and are working on a solution. Right now transfers through fpga are a bit slow. There are two solutions:one is using fpga in bypass that basically connects Sam pins directly to Nina and requires Sam peripherals so wastes some mkr pins. The other is an optimization we're doing on the JTAG interface. The latter should come in a few days. The first is immediately available although not documented. Bottom line... Please wait a few days and it should improve significantly.

Now that over a year has passed, there are still two separate versions in the Board Manager (SAMD and SAMD beta):

Seeing that the normal (non-beta) version is now at v. 1.8.4, does this mean that all fixes have been incorporated into it?

Or should the "beta" version still be used for Vidor?

What is the difference between the two, currently?

I suppose that the beta is now obsolete, as the 1.8.5 version is released in Oct 2019 and includes support for MKR VIDOR 4000. However I have not tested long enough, anyone knows better?