Building a high-end barcode scanner with Atmel’s SAMA5D31

High-end barcode scanners are typically designed to read 1-D, 2-D, matrix or QR barcodes. Such devices must be capable of achieving high performance with low power sipping – as well as rapidly processing and decoding large amounts of data.

Similarly, a high-end barcode scanner must ensure low latency and boast high-throughput architecture to minimize image capture time – all with a large buffer memory tasked with storing multiple images at the highest frame rate.

Atmel offers a number of versatile components that can be used as a platform for building a reliable high-end barcode scanner, including the SAMA5D31 Cortex-A5 based eMPU.


“The SAMA5D31 brings high processing power, data throughput, and integration to address current barcode scanner design trends. This includes high performance with low power, less than 200mW at 536MHz operation, less than 0.5mW in low-power operating modes, and less than 2uA in backup mode for extended battery life,” an Atmel engineer told Bits & Pieces.

“There is also a Floating Point Unit (FPU) for accelerated image processing, integrated External Bus Interface (EBI) for DDR2/LPDDR2, along with support for up to 39 DMA channels (double buffering) to minimize CPU load and reduce real-time constraints. In addition, the SAMA5D31 boasts integrated serial peripherals – SPI, SDIO, I2C, USB and USARTS – for interfacing to communications modules, as well as an Image Sensor Interface (ISI) for direct connection to CCD modules.”

In terms of software, Atmel’s SAMA5D3 lineup supports a rather expansive development ecosystem, such as Linux 3.6.6, Windows and Android 4.0. Support for the above-mentioned operating systems include sources, pre-built demos with installation scripts, build instructions, as well as various tips and tricks.

Additional support includes third-party suppliers for module kits, OS/RTOS/Middleware and UIs. And last, but certainly not least, the SAMA5D31-EK offers free S/W packages to facilitate rapid evaluation and code development.

More key data related to Atmel’s SAMA5D3 can be found here

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