Tag Archives: Atmel | SMART

Novi is a 4-in-1 DIY home security system


Say goodbye to contracts, monthly fees and false alarms.


Did you know that four burglaries occur every minute in the United States alone? That’s a startling one every 15 seconds. The good news is that most convicted burglars (90%) claim they want to avoid homes with alarm systems, saying that if they did encounter an alarm, they would abandon the attack. However, the bad news is that nearly two-thirds of homeowners fail to turn it on at all times. And, when it comes to security, many are often faced with expensive systems and pricey monitoring fees. Understandably so.

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However, one Provo, Utah-based startup is looking to change that with their new IoT solution. Novi Security is a 4-in-1 DIY security system that’s making it increasingly easier for homeowners to install small detectors throughout their house that can notify them of any motion or smoke — all without the need of contracts and monthly costs!

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The kit is comprised of a base station and sensors, and are equipped with an ATmega128 radio and an Atmel | SMART SAM4S processor. The battery-powered sensors are simply affixed to the ceiling and boast an HD camera, motion and smoke detectors, and siren. This allows the system to provide homeowners a peace of mind by sending a series of three photos right to their mobile device, while immediately emitting a siren if smoke or motion are recognized while away.

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In the event that this occurs, the alarm will sound, the monitor will relay the images to the base station (plugged directly into a router), and the base station will transmit the photos over to an accompanying app. Once the alert is received on the smartphone, the user will then have the option to call for help, check in at home, arm/disarm, as well as request more pictures for greater clarity.

Atmel launches ultra-low-power platform for IoT and wearable devices


This platform integrates the ultra-low-power SAM L21 with a BTLC1000 SoC and a software ecosystem into a small, flexible form factor.


Just in time for CES 2016, Atmel unveiled a complete, ultra-low-power connected platform for cost-optimized IoT and wearable applications. This new platform features the world’s lowest power ARM Cortex-M0+, the Atmel | SMART SAM L21, and award-winning BTLC1000 Bluetooth Smart SoC, making it the perfect solution for battery-operated devices requiring activity and environment monitoring.

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Key components for the low-power connected platform — the Atmel | SMART SAM L21 MCU and the BTLC1000 — achieve industry-leading standards. The SAM L21 boasts a staggering ULPBench score of 185, the highest recorded score for any Cortex-M0+ while running the EEMBC ULPBench, the industry marker for low power, with a power consumption down to 35µA/MHz in active mode and 200nA in sleep mode. Atmel’s Bluetooth Smart solution is 25% smaller than the closest competing solution packaged in a 2.2mm x 2.1mm Wafer Level Chipscale Package, enabling designers to build ultra-small industrial designs for next-generation connected IoT and wearable applications.

Atmel’s low-power platform is a design-ready unit showcasing the company’s broad portfolio of ultra-low-power smart, secure and connected products, and partner technologies. Embodied in a 30mm x 40mm form factor, the platform integrates the Atmel | SMART ultra-low power MCU, Bluetooth Smart low-energy connectivity, capacitive touch interface, security solution, complete software platform, real-time operating system (RTOS), a BHI160 6-axis SmartHub motion sensor and a BME280 environmental sensor from Bosch Sensortec. The platform can be powered by a simple coin cell utilizing extremely low power consumption, and manufacturers can also leverage Atmel’s extensive list of sensor partners.

To simplify the design process, the platform is compatible with Atmel’s flagship Studio 7 IDE, along with Atmel START, the world’s first intuitive web-based tool for software configuration and code generation.

“As a leading provider of ultra-low power IoT solutions, we know that out-of-the-box, easy to implement reference platforms are a necessity to help accelerate the adoption of wearable applications, and enable a rapid time-to-market for new product ideas,” says Andreas Eieland, Atmel Director of Product Marketing for the Microcontroller Business Unit. “Atmel’s new reference platform allows our customers to develop differentiated solutions for cost-optimized, yet competitive, markets including healthcare, fitness, wellness and much more. We continue to help drive the IoT and wearable market with simple, ultra-low power platforms with complete hardware and software solutions.”

Why connect to the cloud with the Atmel | SMART SAM W25?


The “thing” of IoT does not have to necessarily be tiny. 


The Atmel | SMART SAM W25 is, in fact, a module — a “SmartConnect Module.” As far as I am concerned, I like SmartConnect designation and I think it could be used to describe any IoT edge device. The device is “smart” as it includes a processing unit, which in this case is an ARM Cortex-M0-based SAMD21G, and “connect” reminds the Internet part of the IoT definition. Meanwhile, the ATWINC1500 SoC supports Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n allowing seamless connection to the cloud.

What should we expect from an IoT edge device? It should be characterized by both low cost and power! This IoT system is probably implemented multiple times, either in a factory (industrial) or in a house (home automation), and the cost should be as low as possible to enable large dissemination. I don’t know the SAMD21G ASP, but I notice that it’s based on the smallest MCU core of the ARM Cortex-M family, so the cost should be minimal (my guess). Atmel claims the W25 module to be “fully-integrated single-source MCU + IEEE 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi solution providing battery powered endpoints lasting years”… sounds like ultra low-power, doesn’t it?

Atmel claims the W25 module to be “Fully-integrated single-source MCU + IEEE 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi solution providing battery powered endpoints lasting years”…sounds like being ultra low-power, isn’t it

The “thing” of IoT does not necessarily have to be tiny. We can see in the above example that interconnected things within the industrial world can be as large as these wind turbines (courtesy of GE). To maximize efficiency in power generation and distribution, the company has connected these edge devices to the cloud where the software analytics allow wind farm operators to optimize the performance of the turbines, based on environmental conditions. According with GE, “Raising the turbines’ efficiency can increase the wind farm’s annual energy output by up to 5%, which translates in a 20% increase in profitability.” Wind turbines are good for the planet as they allow avoiding burning fossil energy. IoT devices implementation allows wind farm operators to increase their profitability and to build sustainable business. In the end, thanks to Industrial Internet of Thing (IIoT), we all benefit from less air pollution and more affordable power!

ATSAMW25 Block-DiagramThe ATWINC1500 is a low-power Systems-on-Chip (SoC) that brings Wi-Fi connectivity to any embedded design. In the example above, this SoC is part of a certified module, the ATSAMW25, for embedded designers seeking to integrate Wi-Fi into their system. If we look at the key features list:

  • IEEE 802.11 b/g/n (1×1) for up to 72 Mbps
  • Integrated PA and T/R switch
  • Superior sensitivity and range via advanced PHY signal processing
  • Wi-Fi Direct, station mode and Soft-AP support
  • Supports IEEE 802.11 WEP, WPA
  • On-chip memory management engine to reduce host load
  • 4MB internal Flash memory with OTA firmware upgrade
  • SPI, UART and I2C as host interfaces
  • TCP/IP protocol stack (client/server) sockets applications
  • Network protocols (DHCP/DNS), including secure TLS stack
  • WSC (wireless simple configuration WPS)
  • Can operate completely host-less in most applications

We can notice that host interfaces allow direct connection to device I/Os and sensors through SPI, UART, I2C and ADC interfaces and can also operate completely host-less. A costly device is then removed from the BOM which can enable economic feasibility for an IoT, or IIoT edge device.

The low-power Wi-Fi certified module is currently employed in industrial systems supporting applications, such as transportation, aviation, healthcare, energy or lighting, as well as in IoT areas like home appliances and consumer electronics. For all these use cases, certification is a must-have feature, but low-cost and ultra-low power are the economic and technical enablers.


This post has been republished with permission from SemiWiki.com, where Eric Esteve is a principle blogger and one of the four founding members of the site. This blog first appeared on SemiWiki on November 15, 2015.

Introducing the new Power Debugger


Atmel has unveiled a new high-performance debugging tool with advanced power visualization for ultra-low-power designs.


If you’re seeking a high-accuracy debugging tool that lets you visualize the power usage of your product during development, you’re in luck. That’s because Atmel has unveiled a new Power Debugger, the latest dev tool for debugging and programming both Atmel | SMART Cortex-M–based and AVR MCUs that use JTAG, SWD, PDI, debugWIRE, aWire, TPI or SPI target interfaces.

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With ultra-low power being such a critical factor in next-generation IoT, wearable and battery-operated devices, having the ability to locate code where power spikes occur is crucial. The Power Debugger features two independent current-sensing channels for collecting power measurements during application execution (one high resolution channel that can measure 100nA to 100mA and one lower resolution channel that can measure 1mA to 1A), and streams such collected measurements to the Atmel Data Visualizer — available in the Atmel Studio 7 IDE — for real-time analysis and display. The program graphs power usage and utilizes this data to estimate application battery life. What’s more, the Data Visualizer allows developers to correlate power samples with the code that was executing when the sample was taken, greatly reducing the time required to identify “hot spots” in the developers’ application.

“Lowering overall power consumption is key to many customer designs and essential for battery-operated and wearable designs,” explains Steve Pancoast, Atmel Vice President of Software Development, Applications and Tools. “Atmel provides cost-effective, easy-to-use tools that make it possible for our developers to profile the power usage of applications running on their own hardware as part of the standard development cycle. The Power Debugger is part of Atmel’s pledge to bring the latest tools to market, enabling developers to quickly get their prototype to production with the lowest power consumption.”

The Power Debugger is now available on Atmel’s online store and and through a variety of distributors. Each kit consists of a main unit with plastic back-plate, two USB cables, a 10-lead squid cable, a flat cable (10-pin 50mil connector and 6-pin 100mil connector), an adapter board (20-pin 100mil connector, 6-pin 50mil connector and 10-pin 100mil connector) and a 20-pin 100mil jumper cable.

Adafruit Feather M0 Adalogger is an all-in-one Cortex-M0+ datalogger


Adafruit’s latest board is a Feather M0 with a microSD holder.


A few weeks ago, our friends at Adafruit revealed an all-in-one datalogger based on an ATmega32U4 clocked at 8MHz and at 3.3V logic, with 32K of Flash and 2K of RAM. Well as promised, the crew has unveiled yet another data reader, this time with an Cortex-M0+ core.

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Similar to its AVR-powered sibling, the Feather M0 Adalogger is equipped with all the bells and whistles: built-in USB, battery charging and a microSD card holder. But instead of the ‘32U4, this board boasts an ATSAMD21G18 clocked at 48 MHz and at 3.3V logic. (If it sounds familiar, that’s because it’s the same MCU at the heart of the Arduino Zero!) It packs 256K of Flash (which is eight times more than the ‘328 or ‘32u4 if you were counting), 32K of RAM (16 times as much), and native USB support so it has USB-to-Serial program and debug capabilities already integrated with no need for an FTDI-like chip.

As Adafruit notes, they’ve gone ahed and added a connector for a 3.7V LiPo along with an integrated 100mA battery charger. However, the Adalogger can run just fine via microUSB.

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“But, if you do have a battery, you can take it on the go, then plug in the USB to recharge. The Feather will automatically switch over to USB power when its available. We also tied the battery through a divider to an analog pin, so you can measure and monitor the battery voltage to detect when you need a recharge,” the team writes.

Measuring only 2.0″ x 0.9″ x 0.28” without headers soldered, the Feather weighs a bit over five grams. The board has plenty of pins (20 GPIO), with eight PWM and 10 analog inputs, four mounting holes, a power/enable pin and a reset button. Capitalizing on the little space that was left over, the Adalogger features a microSD slot for adding as much storage as desired and a green LED for your blinking pleasure.

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The Feather M0 Adalogger comes fully assembled and tested, with a USB bootloader that lets you quickly use it with the Arduino IDE. Sound like the $21 Cortex-M0+ board for you? Head over to its official page. Meanwhile, stay tuned as Adafruit continues to reveal the newest members of the Feather family here.

 

Only true engineers have Christmas trees like this


♫ Have yourself an engineery little Christmas… ♫


Although some Makers enjoy dressing their Christmas trees with beeps and blinks, others go the extra mile to deck theirs out with Arduino-based controls and wireless connectivity. Well, the Atmel applications team in Norway decided to take it to an entirely whole new level last year. Rather than merely embellish the decorative piece with traditional ornaments, lights and ribbon, the Trondheim engineers built a tree made of actual microcontrollers. And that’s not all, it’s powered by a pair of Atmel | SMART SAM D21 Xplained Pro eval kits. For an extra “tree-t,” the group even added a plexi LED star on top!

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Certified safety software libraries now available for Atmel | SMART MCUs


Atmel is collaborating with HiTex and Pervasive Displays to release software libraries including the IEC 60730 Class B safety standard and e-paper drivers.


Atmel has just unveiled additional ease-of-use capabilities for the ultra-low power Atmel | SMART ARM Cortex-M0+ based MCUs for household appliances, industrial and human interface device applications. In an effort to continue delivering rich features to its growing portfolio, Atmel is collaborating with HiTex and Pervasive Displays to release software libraries including the IEC 60730 Class B safety standard and e-paper drivers, respectively, to support Atmel | SMART MCUs.

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The Cortex-M0+ based family featuring a peripheral touch controller is currently designed into a wide variety of applications in tier 1 white goods manufacturer, and is ideal for a number of household appliances for touch-enabled button, wheel and slider capabilities. As a safety requirement for household appliances, the IEC 60730 safely standard—a requirement in Europe since 2007—was recently mandated in the US. Hitex has developed an IEC 60730 Class B library for Atmel | SMART MCUs. The library comes with excellent documentation, a formal certificate from VDE and can be downloaded from the Hitex website.

“Safety and time-to-market are two critical elements for appliance developers,” explains Andreas Eieland, Atmel Director of MCU Marketing. “The implementation of capacitive touch sensing for the user interface and MCUs in next-generation appliances, along with the availability of VDE certified Class B software libraries, allows manufacturers to get their products quickly to market with all the safely requirements.”

With power consumption being a primary driver for battery-powered retail and commercial markets, manufacturers are turning to e-paper for displaying pricing and information for their products. When paired with an ultra-low-power Atmel | SMART MCU and wireless transceiver, e-paper is the perfect interface for IoT apps running on coin cells or energy harvesting. To enable manufacturers to easily implement e-paper displays, Pervasive Displays has developed e-paper software drivers to support the Atmel | SMART SAM D and SAM L product families.

“Manufacturers of next generation battery-powered application are demanding lower power consumption and improved performance. E-paper addresses those needs with the lowest power display in the industry,” adds Charming Su, Pervasive Displays Technical Director. “With the combination of the Atmel | SMART MCUs and our free software drivers, e-paper manufacturers can be confident that their implementation is straight forward and power efficient. Our collaboration with Atmel enables manufacturers to deliver ultra-low power, next-generation e-paper displays.”