Artemis Development with Arduino

Contributors: Nate, Ell C
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Updated Tutorial: An updated version of this tutorial for the Arduino IDE has been released. This tutorial will be retired once all the software tutorials (Arduino IDE, Mbed OS, and Ambiq SDK) for the Artemis module have been completed.

The SparkFun Artemis is an amazing module. So much functionality packed into a tiny 10x15mm footprint! But what really makes it powerful is the ability to quickly write sketches and build projects using only Arduino code. Whether you are using one of our boards that has the Artemis module pre-integrated or have your own, this tutorial will show you how to install SparkFun's Apollo3 Arduino core and get you up and blinking in less than 5 minutes!

SparkFun Artemis Module - Low Power Machine Learning BLE Cortex-M4F

SparkFun Artemis Module - Low Power Machine Learning BLE Cortex-M4F


Required Materials

To follow along with this tutorial, you'll need one of the following Artemis carrier boards such as the RedBoard, RedBoard Nano, or RedBoard ATP and a USB C cable.

SparkFun RedBoard Artemis Nano

SparkFun RedBoard Artemis Nano

SparkFun RedBoard Artemis

SparkFun RedBoard Artemis

SparkFun RedBoard Artemis ATP

SparkFun RedBoard Artemis ATP


USB 2.0 Cable A to C - 3 Foot


Suggested Reading

If you aren’t familiar with the following concepts, we recommend checking out these tutorials before continuing.

Installing an Arduino Library

How do I install a custom Arduino library? It's easy! This tutorial will go over how to install an Arduino library using the Arduino Library Manager. For libraries not linked with the Arduino IDE, we will also go over manually installing an Arduino library.

Installing Arduino IDE

A step-by-step guide to installing and testing the Arduino software on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Designing with the SparkFun Artemis

Let's chat about layout and design considerations when using the Artemis module.

Arduino Installation

With the Arduino Board Manager, installing new board support within your Arduino IDE is a breeze!

Note: This example assumes you are using the latest version of the Arduino IDE on your desktop. If this is your first time using Arduino, please review our tutorial on installing the Arduino IDE. If you have not previously installed an Arduino library, please check out our installation guide.

Installing the Arduino Core for Apollo3

We've built the Arduino core for Apollo3 from scratch, making it as lightweight and easy to use as possible.

To install the SparkFun Apollo3 Arduino Core:

  • Open the Arduino IDE (must be v1.6.12 or later)
  • Navigate to Preferences
    Arduino Preferences, under File

Having a hard time seeing? Click the image for a closer look.

  • In the "Additional Board Manager URL" box, add


Additional Boards Manager URL location in the Preferences Dialog

Having a hard time seeing? Click the image for a closer look.

  • Go to Tools > Board and select the Boards Manager

Arduino Boards Manager Dialog, under Tools

Having a hard time seeing? Click the image for a closer look.

  • Search for "Apollo", and you should find the SparkFun Apollo3 board package.
  • Make sure the latest version is selected and click Install

Board manager showing SparkFun Apollo3 Artemis install

Having a hard time seeing? Click the image for a closer look.

Installation may take a few minutes -- included in the install are all necessary source files for the Arduino core and Apollo3 libraries, plus all of the compiler and software-upload tools you'll need to use the Artemis with Arduino.

Once the board definitions have been installed, you should see a new set of Artemis boards under your Tools > Board menu.

List of Artemis boards

Note: The image here shows the SparkFun BlackBoard Artemis and is out of date. The latest version of the SparkFun Apollo3 Arduino Core will have selections for the SparkFun RedBoard Artemis, Nano and ATP versions.

The Blink example is about as basic as it gets. But it is also a good benchmark to make sure you've got your core installed correctly and you can upload code to your module. To run this example, select your board from the Board Managers pulldown and choose the correct USB port. You can load the blink example by clicking on File->Examples->01.Basics->Blink.

The Blink Sketch is under file->examples->01.Basics->Blink

Hit the upload button and enjoy the blinky goodness!

Pin13 is blinking away!

Look at all the blinky!

Example: All the Features

We've built the Arduino core for Artemis from the ground up. Be sure to checkout the large number of built-in examples. You'll find them under File->Examples->'Examples for Artemis'.

Arduino sub menu showing Artemis examples

Click above image for full menu context

We've got examples for setting up multiple I2C ports (it's amazingly easy), writing to EEPROM, using SoftwareSerial (all 48 pins can be serial!), using the the onboard microphone, and using servos (up to 32!). We're adding more all the time so be sure to keep your core up to date.

Bootloader Options

Each Artemis comes preloaded with two bootloaders. The SparkFun Variable Bootloader (SVL) will allow you reliably and conveniently load new code at data rates up to 921600bps. In addition to the SVL, we also enable the Ambiq factory bootloader for secure boot applications. Almost all users should use the SparkFun Variable Bootloader and forget about the Ambiq factory bootloader. For more information checkout the programming section of the Designing with the Artemis Module tutorial. Don't worry - you cannot damage or brick your Artemis using the incorrect bootloader.

The bootloader menu inside the SparkFun Apollo core

Don't select Ambiq Secure Bootloader unless you know what you're doing

Beyond Arduino

The SparkFun Apollo3 core supports all the standard Arduino functions. This means you can program digitalWrite I/O, analogRead ADC pins, Serial print to the Serial monitor, interact with hardware serial using Serial1, and even perform more complex I2C or SPI writes with the Wire and SPI libraries. The basics are there, so let's dive in to some more advanced capabilities of the Artemis!

Ambiq has created a software development kit to fully flex the Apollo3. The Ambiq SDK contains a large number of examples and demonstrates all sorts of incredible aspects of the Apollo3. Each example uses various functions that look like this:

Various HAL functions

These long-named-functions are part of what's called a HAL or hardware abstraction layer. We aren't going to go into the specifics of setting up or using the SDK right now, but just know that the the SparkFun Arduino Apollo3 core is built upon this HAL which means you can call HAL functions directly inside the Arduino environment.

// Clear the RTC alarm interrupt.

Ambiq HAL inside the Arduino IDE

This is a powerful tool for advanced users; you can use the built in Arduino functions such as Serial.begin(9600) and delay(100) while integrating more advanced HAL functions for controlling things like interrupts.

If you do decide to dig into the SDK, head on over to our Using SparkFun Edge Board with Ambiq Apollo3 SDK tutorial for more information!

Using SparkFun Edge Board with Ambiq Apollo3 SDK

March 28, 2019

We will demonstrate how to get started with your SparkFun Edge Board by setting up the toolchain on your computer, examining an example program, and using the serial uploader tool to flash the chip.


Resources and Going Further

And lastly, Artemis has been designed and proven to work with our entire range of 50+ Qwiic boards. Be sure to checkout and get inspired by what's possible by just plugging in the sensors and outputs you need to build something amazing!

Qwiic JST Connector - SMD 4-Pin (Vertical)

Qwiic JST Connector - SMD 4-Pin (Vertical)

SparkFun LoRa Thing Plus - expLoRaBLE

SparkFun LoRa Thing Plus - expLoRaBLE

SparkFun Thing Plus - ESP32-S2 WROOM

SparkFun Thing Plus - ESP32-S2 WROOM

SparkFun Pulsed Coherent Radar Sensor - Acconeer XM125 (Qwiic)

SparkFun Pulsed Coherent Radar Sensor - Acconeer XM125 (Qwiic)