What's the history of SAMD51 on arduino platform?

I recently acquired a Seeedstudio Wio terminal that is powered by an Atmel SAMD51 processor. It’s pretty sweet with integrated LCD and buttons etc, 192KB ram and a whopping 4MB flash:

So I was wondering about the history of SAMD51 on the Arduino platform. I looked around and found adafruit metro m4 features the same processor, 192KB ram but 512KB flash:

I also found a sparkfun thing plus board with the same processor and 1MB flash and 256KB SDRAM:

So I thought maybe they all derived from an arduino LLC board like seeedstudio stalker, adafruit metro, and sparkfun redboard from Arduino UNO but I couldn’t find any Arduino LLC board with this SAMD51 processor, only lesser SAMD21 processor-powered boards such as Arduino zero.

So, I wonder how did this processor get involved into the Arduino platform, by which company, and where can I find some detailed support such as resolution and update speeds of ADC and DAC (trying to substitute ADS1115 and MCP4725 if appropriate for a teaching lab). Any history and/or current status and resources are welcome!

AFAIK, It was Adafruit that jumped on the SAMD51 chips, probably due to their python needs. It would be neat if the “Grand Central” was taken up by Arduino as a replacement for the Due (which is getting … stale.)

Adafruit USED to be more tightly associated with Arduino - during the cc/org fight, they were an official Arduino manufacturer in the US, and Adafruit did the Arduino Micro design. I don’t know what happened to that partnership (I don’t think I want to know!)

Arduino.org did several relatively overpowered boards that never quite saw the light of day (Tian, Otto Lei); the “winning” Arduino folk seem more focused on smaller, less expensive boards. And the software, which has had a LOT of significant improvements since those days, especially WRT third-party hardware support.

I see. Thanks. That makes sense with Adafruit and their CircuitPython. I wonder why not with ESP32, more resources than SAMD51, correct? Maybe ESP32 was later, which also has had Arduino IDE support for a few years.

Adafruit does ESP boards too, but there are assorted advantages to a SAMD51; the peripherals are not as “IoT-centric.”

Indeed the ESP-IDF software support is very sweet with RTOS and other components. I guess atmel studio has its own support for samd’s probably a proper USB stack for devices and another one for host. ESP has been slow on USB support, guess cranking out new chips and other software components take precedence as they are iot.

I would not want a controller that “yields” to a WiFi routine controlling the airbag deployment system of my vehicle.

Sure you don’t.
Why would you enable wifi on an airbag deployment system?

If you meant to take a jab at esp32, it has dual cores and under RTSO, wifi is usually pinned to the pro core with bluetooth while your applications are not pinned but usually run on the app core. You CAN pin specific tasks to cores when you create them. I don’t know if you can disable RTOS and still make wifi and some other subsystems work on esp32 but that’s not covered in ESP-IDF. You CAN limit RTOS to run on one of the cores but that’s again beyond my understanding. If you meant SAMD51, then I don’t know enough about it.

@liuzengqiang As westfw says, I believe Adafruit’s goal was to create a board with a microcontroller powerful enough to easily run CircuitPython.

Since the SAMD51 and SAMD21 have similiar (and in some cases identical) peripherals, it meant that Adafruit could leverage the existing Arduino Zero core code and their SAMD21 UF2 bootloader implementation, to achieve both Arduino and CircuitPython compatibility.

The result is set of powerful general purpose boards (Itsy Bitsy M4, Feather M4, Metro M4 and Grand Central M4). The SAMD51’s 120MHz ARM Cortex M4F processor, larger memory and enhanced peripherals out performing the SAMD21 in almost every department. It’s also possible to run FreeRTOS on the SAMD51 as well. Adafruit have also recently introduced their SAME51 Feather board with CAN bus.

It seems that Arduino.cc have decided to stick with the SAMD21 on their MKR boards and offer various wireless communication interfaces instead. To be honest, the SAMD21 is still a very capable microcontroller and will meet the needs of most maker projects.

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Thanks! I'm pretty interested in the wio terminal platform due to the usb host/device support with a display and buttons. I guess I have both Arduino LLC and Adafruit to thank for their software contributions. Seeed seems to be a beneficiary of such software foundation besides Sparkfun.

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