A GPS tracking unit uses the Global Positioning System to determine and record the precise location of a vehicle, device or individual. Key design requirements for a GPS tracker include a small form factor, low power consumption and flexible connectivity options.
Indeed, the SAM D20 MCU – embedded with serial communication modules (SERCOM) and low power consumption – provides the flexibility, connectivity and low power required for GPS tracker applications.
In terms of low power consumption, the SAM D20 boasts <150µA/MHz in active (CoreMark) and <2µA with RTC and full RAM retention. Meanwhile, the peripheral event system and intelligent peripherals with Atmel SleepWalking technology further reduces CPU activity and power sipping.
It should also be noted that the SAM D20 MCU offers design engineers 6 highly flexible serial communication modules (SERCOM), each configurable to operate as USART, I2C and SPI – thereby facilitating easy and flexible connection to external sensors, memories, PCs and wireless modules.
Atmel supports a wide range of dev tools and software, including FreeRTOS, Atmel Studio 6 (free IDE with GCC compiler), Atmel Software Framework (free SW libraries of production ready source code), Atmel Gallery (open to extensions) and the SAM D20 Xplained Pro Kit which is packaged with programmer and debugger, as well as connectors for expansion wings.
Interested in learning more? You can check out Atmel’s SAM D20 GPS tracker reference design here.