Using SAMD21 MCU for a new project - questions related to Arduino MKZero

Hi folks,

I happened upon the new MKZero design utilizing the SAMD21 MCU (32-bit from Atmel). The thing which piqued my interest was the ability to play music/sound files using the MCU. Previously I used dedicated breakout boards like the DFPlayer in combination with a Nano, but certain sound manipulations are not possible with a hard coded MP3/Wav decoder/player chipset.

So now I’m thinking about designing an integrated board much like my DIYino (see link Using the SAMD21 over the Atmega328P woudl have some real advantages:

  • faster processor
  • more code and dynamic memory space
  • no need for a dedicated Wav player chipset if it can really be used to play music
  • no need for FTDI chipset as the core comes with USB interface

Having had a look at the MKZero and doing some research I still have some questions before I dwell deeper into the topic:

  • if I integrate this core in my design, can I flash an Arduino bootloader on a virgin SAMD21 MCU? How can it be done?
  • on the MKZero there is an ATECC508A crypto engine. What is the purpose of it and is it in any way necessary for the core to work?

Thanks guys in advance for helping me out!!!