Earlier this week, Atmel kicked off Embedded World 2014 by expanding its low-power ARM Cortex M0+-based MCU portfolio with three new families: the SAM D21, D10 and D11. The trio of entry-level, low-power MCUs are packed with a number of high-end features including Atmel’s Event System, SERCOM module, peripheral touch controller and a full-speed USB interface.
During the show, ARM’s Andy Frame interviewed Atmel’s MCU Marketing Director Ingar Fredriksen about the company’s ARM-based SAM D family of products.
“The original SAM D20 lineup has been a tremendous success for Atmel,” Fredriksen told Frame. “We see a lot of opportunities for the series over the next five years.”
Commenting on the new additions to the SAM D series, Fredriksen highlighted Atmel’s integrated peripheral touch controller (PTC) which supports buttons, sliders, wheels and proximity with up to 256 channels. This configuration allows developers to migrate from a two-chip (one MCU + one touch) solution to a one-chip platform.
Indeed, the PTC supports mutual and self capacitive touch, while offering optimized sensitivity and noise tolerance as well as self-calibration. Simply put, the PTC eliminates the need for external components and minimizes CPU overhead. More specifically, implementing one button takes one channel, while wheels and sliders occupy three.
As we’ve previously discussed on Bits & Pieces, Atmel’s SAM D portfolio is architected beyond the core, leveraging over two decades of MCU experience to create unique, connected peripherals that are easy-to-use, while providing scalability and performance.
To help accelerate the design process and eliminate the need for additional components, Atmel’s new SAM D lineup integrates additional functionality, including full-speed crystal-less USB, DMA, I2S, timers/counters for control applications, along with several other new features. Atmel’s SAM D devices are also code- and pin-compatible, making it easy for designers to migrate up and down the family.