Atmel has introduced the SAM D20, a comprehensive product lineup based on ARM’s Cortex -M0+. Essentially, the new microcontroller series combines the performance and energy efficiency of an ARM Cortex-M0+ based MCU with an optimized architecture and peripheral set.
According to Atmel engineering manager Bob Martin, the SAM D20 offers a “truly differentiated” general-purpose lineup that is ideal for a wide range of low-power, cost-sensitive devices, including GPS trackers, appliance controllers, intelligent remotes and optical transceivers.
“The SAM D20’s power-saving techniques include an event system that allows peripherals to communicate directly with each other without involving the CPU, while SleepWalking peripherals wake up the CPU only upon a pre-qualified event, reducing overall power consumption,” Martin told Bits & Pieces.
“In terms of peripheral flexibility, a serial communication module (SERCOM) is fully software configurable to handle I2C, USART/UART and SPI communications. Meaning, with multiple SERCOM modules on a device, designers can precisely tailor the peripheral mix to their applications.”
Meanwhile, the SAM D20’s QTouch Peripheral Touch Controller offers integrated hardware support for buttons, sliders, wheels and proximity – as well as supporting both mutual and self-capacitive touch (without the need for external components), along with noise tolerance and self-calibration.
Additional key hardware specs include high-precision, 12-bit analog and internal oscillators; 8 16-bit timer/counters; 32-bit real time clock and calendar; real-time performance; peripheral event system, as well as flexible clocking options and sleep modes.
As noted above, the SAM D20 lineup boasts 6 serial communication modules (SERCOM) that can be configured to act as an USART, UART, SPI or I2C. On the scalability side, Flash memory densities range from 16KB to 256KB, with devices available in 32-, 48- and 64-pin QFP and QFN package options. BGA and WLCSP options will be offered at a later date.
“In a nutshell, the SAM D20 family extends the lower end Atmel Cortex portfolio, closing the gap between the AVR XMEGA and the Cortex-M3 and Cortex-M4 products,” Martin explained.
“The SAM D20 – the first series in this new family – offers 48MHz operation (1.77 CoreMark/MHz), single-cycle IO access and supports a pin-toggling frequency up to 24MHz along with an 8-channel event system. In terms of low-power sipping, we’re looking at <150µA/MHz, ~2µA RAM retention and RTC as well as options between internal and external oscillators and on-the-fly clock switching.”
Additional information about Atmels’ s SAMD20 MCU series can be found here.