In the most basic configuration, the ADC samples values from the configured internal or external sources (INPUTCTRL register). The rate of the conversion depends on the combination of the GCLK_ADC frequency and the clock prescaler.

To convert analog values to digital values, the ADC needs to be initialized first, as described in the Initialization section. Data conversion can be started either manually by setting the Start bit in the Software Trigger register (SWTRIG.START=1), or automatically by configuring an automatic trigger to initiate the conversions. A free-running mode can be used to continuously convert an input channel. When using free-running mode the first conversion must be started, while subsequent conversions will start automatically at the end of previous conversions.

The result of the conversion is stored in the Result register (RESULT) overwriting the result from the previous conversion.

To avoid data loss if more than one channel is enabled, the conversion result must be read as soon as it is available (INTFLAG.RESRDY). Failing to do so will result in an overrun error condition, indicated by the OVERRUN bit in the Interrupt Flag Status and Clear register (INTFLAG.OVERRUN).

To enable one of the available interrupts sources, the corresponding bit in the Interrupt Enable Set register (INTENSET) must be written to '1'.