A mid-range thermostat facilitates basic climate control with additional sensing, control and interface capabilities. Key design considerations for next-gen thermostats include a backlit touchscreen display, wireless connectivity, low power sipping, air quality monitoring and an accurate clock-calendar.
Atmel’s ATSAM4LC4CA (ARM) Cortex-M4 based MCU, paired with an AT86RF212/AT86RF231 RF transceiver, can be used to build a reliable mid-range thermostat incorporating the above-mentioned features.
“The SAM4LC offers a highly integrated device with rich embedded peripherals to simplify product design as well as BOM cost. Key low-power sipping features include 90mA/MHz Active Mode Current and 0.7mA Back-Up Mode with RTC, while SleepWalking and Peripheral Event System further reduce consumption by monitoring environment without waking the CPU,” an Atmel engineer explained.
“Beyond temperature control, the SAM4LC boasts SPI, 12-Bit ADC, I2C, USB and USARTS for interfacing with RF transceivers, communications modules, sensors and battery monitors. Plus, it supports low-power capacitive touch and proximity detection.”
Additional key hardware specs include an asynchronous timer with real-time clock, alarm and calendar mode; an advanced display and user interface (UI); and an integrated segment LCD controller which supports a number of functions such as automatic scrolling, animation, segment blink and blank display.
On the software side, the SAM4L offers full support for Atmel’s Studio 6 IDE (Integrated
Development Environment) for developing and debugging Atmel ARM Cortex-M and AVR microcontroller-based applications. The MCU also supports in-house and third-party supplied modules, kits, OS/RTOS/Middleware and various UI Solutions, while the SAM4L-EK evaluation kit enables rapid code development of apps running on SAM4L devices.
Additional information about Atmel’s ATSAM4LC4CA ARM Cortex-M4 based MCU can be found here.