Build smaller, faster, cheaper and more energy efficient software for Atmel | SMART devices with the SOMNIUM DRT Atmel Studio Extension.
As the desire for the world to become more connected increases by the day, we see more and more devices connecting to each other and sensors being built into everything around us. The advent of the Internet of Things means that MCUs need to be smaller and more energy efficient than ever before, but at the same time these processors need to be smarter and cheaper, and from a developers perspective, need to be easy to program as well.
Fortunately, the Atmel | SMART ARM-based family has been optimized for cost and power sensitive use cases, targeting applications such as the IoT, smart metering, industrial controls and domestic appliances, to name just a few. Moreover, the recently launched Atmel Studio 7 has introduced a new capability to measure energy consumption during development — a clear indication of the growing significance of this factor to developers in their embedded designs.
Easily measuring energy consumption during development is clearly important, but once you know your consumption what steps can you take if you need to reduce usage in your design? The MCU itself certainly contributes, and typically a smaller device will need lower power. As a result, many designers’ first strategy is keep the energy consumption low in their design is to reduce code size, thus allowing them to devise on a smaller MCU. This often requires a fair amount of manual code optimization, a time consuming and costly task.
What if there was a way for you to not only take advantage of the innovative Atmel | SMART MCU lineup and the added features of Atmel Studio 7, but also take your embedded software designs to the next level, further reducing your energy consumption, shrinking your code size without manual intervention and at the same time improving performance? Now there is, thanks to the SOMNIUM DRT Atmel Studio Extension.
DRT supports all Atmel | SMART ARM Cortex-M based MCUs, and is the only product that offers improved code generation while maintaining full compatibility with industry-standard GNU tools. What’s more, the extension enhances Atmel Studio 7 by enabling superior quality C and C++ code generation,resulting in reduced flash requirement for applications, faster code execution and reduced power consumption. DRT installs as an alternate toolchain, seamlessly replacing the Atmel GNU tools, making SOMNIUM’s patented-resequencing optimizations available to Atmel Studio users without complex software rewriting and staff retraining.
Unlike traditional tools which only consider the ARM Cortex processor, DRT is aware of the coupling of the processor and its memory system, automatically applying a new series of device-specific optimizations. DRT analyzes the whole program, identifying all instruction and data sequences and the interactions between them. Knowledge of the Atmel SMART MCU’s memory system and ARM Cortex pipeline are used to intelligently resequence your program.
“By adding the SOMNIUM DRT to Atmel’s software and tools ecosystem, our developers can take their projects to market with improved code generation,” explained Henrik Flodell, Atmel Senior Product Marketing Manager, Development Tools. “With access to high-quality tools, developers can optimize memory-constrained systems for performance along with power efficiency. SOMNIUM’s advanced technology brings additional value to our customers in these areas.”
Atmel has expanded its Atmel | SMART portfolio of energy metering products with the recent introduction of the SAM4C32 dual-core secure MCU, along with the SAM4CMS32 and SAM4CMP32 for residential, commercial and industrial metering applications. The new system-on-chip (SoC) solutions have 2MB of cache-enabled dual-bank flash, are pin-pin compatible with existing 512KB and 1MB devices in the portfolio, and allow unparalleled scalability and design-reuse for next-generation smart metering platforms.
The SAM4Cx series is built on a dual-core 32-bit ARM Cortex-M4 architecture with flexible firmware metrology capability up to a class 0.2 accuracy designed to meet WELMEC requirements for the separation of legal metrology, applications and communications. All devices include advanced security features, low-power real-time clock and LCD driver, and multiple serial interfaces resulting in a best-in-class level of integration, performance and lower bill of material (BOM) cost.
“As the rate of smart meter deployments continue to rise in several European and Asian regions, our customers demand an unprecedented level of integration and scalability to maximize their R&D investment and to address multiple utility markets more quickly at lower cost points,” explained Kourosh Boutorabi, Atmel’s Senior Director of Smart Metering. “We are committed to offering next-generation smart metering system architects a broad portfolio of solutions based on the same core platform architecture, software and tools.”
As we’ve previously discussed on Bits & Pieces, the Atmel | SMART SAM4Cx is a comprehensive smart energy platform designed specifically for grid communications, electricity, gas and water metering systems, and energy measurement applications.
One high-frequency PLL up to 240 MHz, one 8 MHz PLL with internal 32 kHz input
Low-power slow clock internal RC oscillator as permanent clock
Ultra-low-power RTC with Gregorian and Persian Calendar, Waveform Generation and Clock Calibration
Up to 23 Peripheral DMA (PDC) Channels
One Segmented LCD Controller
Display capacity of 38 segments and 6 common terminals
Software-selectable LCD output voltage (Contrast)
Can be used in Backup mode
Four USARTs (ATSAM4CMS32) or three USARTs (ATSAM4CMP32) with ISO7816, IrDA®, RS-485, SPI and Manchester Mode /
Two 2-wire UARTs
Up to two 400 kHz Master/Slave and Multi-Master Two-wire Interfaces (I2C compatible)
Up to five Serial Peripheral Interfaces (SPI)
Two 3-channel 16-bit Timer/Counters with Capture, Waveform, Compare and PWM modes
Quadrature Decoder Logic and 2-bit Gray Up/Down Counter for Stepper Motor
3-channel 16-bit Pulse Width Modulator
32-bit Real-time Timer
Energy Metering Analog-Front-End Module
Works with Atmel’s MCU Metrology library
Compliant with Class 0.2 standards (ANSI C12.20-2002 and IEC 62053-22)
Four Sigma-Delta ADC measurement channels, 20-bit resolution, 102 dB dynamic range
Analog Conversion Block
6-channel, 500 kS/s, Low-power, 10-bit SAR ADC with Digital averager providing 12-bit resolution at 30 kS/s
Software Controlled On-chip Reference ranging from 1.6V to 3.4V
Temperature Sensor and Backup Battery Voltage Measurement Channel
Up to 57 I/O lines (ATSAM4CMS32) or up to 52 I/O lines (ATSAM4CMP32) with External Interrupt Capability (edge or level sensitivity), Schmitt Trigger, Internal Pull-up/pull-down, Debouncing, Glitch Filtering and On-die Series Resistor Termination