Implementing pulse oximeter using MAX30100

For my smart watch project I decided to experiment with sensors for reading pulse. Looking around I stumbled upon a sensor made by Maxim – MAX30100. For my surprise once I got my development board and delved into the sensor’s datasheet I discovered it’s not as simple as just wiring up the sensor to a microcontroller and reading the data. A lot of work you have to do yourself. In this tutorial, I’ll try to explain what I’ve learned about pulse oximeter and how to make sense of their data.

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Guide to Xmega USART aka. Serial communication

Most of my projects involves having some sort of communication between PC and my micro. Either useful data is being transmitted between those two, or just for the sake of debugging, since I don't have any of the high end AVR debugging tools. Whatever reason, serial communication is always useful and I view it as a must have and very important module of any micro. In this article I'll be describing how to set up serial communication with XMEGA, also how to use standard printf and scanf functions in your C and C++ code. I won't be explaining what is a USART, I expect you to already be comfortable with the theory behind it and I'll leave out interrupts.

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Configuring xmega system clock

For me, one of the first things I wanted to test is how to setup the system clock. In this tutorial I'll be explaining how to set up external oscillator from 8-16Mhz and how to set up the xmega to use internal 32MHz clock. I think, by providing instructions for these two types of system clocks, anyone should be able to understand the logic behind the datasheet and set up whichever clock he/she wants.

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Playing with AtXmega16e5 breakout

For my final year project I ended up experimenting with ATxmega16e5 microcontroller, after major step backs with TI ARM microprocessors (don't get me wrong ARM is very powerful). 
At the first glance these new xmega series uC are quite impressive. 32MHz internal clock, incredibly fast ADC (16e5 can have up to 300ksps), 12 bit adc, DAC, two or more USARTs and list goes on. Moreover you are able to use tools you're familiar with, when it comes to program AVR family micros, providing you have programmed AVR family before. I have yet to test full capabilites of the new xmega series, but I'll write posts about individual modules, like ADC, USART, DAC etc.

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