Tag Archives: 86RF232 802.15.4 Radio

An intelligent remote control with Atmel’s SAM D20 under the hood

An intelligent remote control is typically paired with electronic devices capable of processing infrared (IR) or WiFi signals. 

Powered by batteries, remote control units demand low sipping capabilities, both when activated and during idle time. Additional design considerations include flexible and multi-function user interfaces (UI), as well as responsive touch-screens.

“Integrating interfaces, functions and firmware helps to minimize the BOM of an intelligent remote, while reducing size and cost,” Atmel engineering manager Bob Martin told Bits & Pieces.

samd20remote1

“This can be accomplished by using Atmel’s SAM D20 ARM Cortex-M0+ based MCU, along with our 86RF232 802.15.4 Radio, 30TS Temperature Sensor and AT24/AT25 Serial EEPROM.”

According to Martin, the SAM D20 offers low power operation with flexible, multi-function peripherals in a small form factor.

“Low power operation means less than 150µA/MHz in active state and full operation from 1.6V to 3.6V. It also means <2uA with the Real Time Clock (RTC) operating and full RAM retention. Plus, Atmel’s Sleepwalking and Event System capabilities provide low-power wakeup with minimal CPU load,” he said.

“In addition, the Atmel platform offers multi-function peripherals for diverse and complex serial interfaces, including 6 flexible SERCOM interfaces – with each configurable as SPI, I2C, or USART for gyroscopes, accelerometers, temp sensors, displays, Wi-Fi and 802.15.4 RF communications.”

Martin noted that Atmel’s intelligent remote control platform offers 16 channel 12 bit ADC, 10 bit DAC and full-featured comparators, along with a fully integrated, low-power, hardware-accelerated Peripheral Touch Controller. It also supports direct connection to touch interfaces, magnetometers and battery monitoring.

On the software side, Atmel’s SAM D20 supports an extensive development ecosystem with access to Atmel Studio 6 (free IDE and compiler), Atmel Software Framework (ASF) with free SW libraries of production-ready source code, along with Atmel’s Gallery, SAM D20 Xplained Pro Kit with built-in programmer and debugger (includes connectors for expansion wings).

Additional information about Atmel’s SAMD20 can be found here.