In the first part of this series, we took a closer look at how Atmel’s AVR low-power 32-bit microcontrollers (MCUs) help enable the implementation of various product-differentiating features, including advanced control algorithms, voice control and capacitive touch sensing.
We also discussed powering Atmel’s AVR UC3C 32-bit automotive-grade microcontrollers with either a 3.3V or a 5V supply (generally supporting 5V I/O), talked about Atmel’s Peripheral Event System and explored how Atmel’s low-power 32-bit microcontrollers (MCUs) are used to help protect IP and bolster system safety.
Today we will take an in-depth look at how Atmel’s AVR low-power 32-bit microcontrollers (MCUs) help streamline automotive development. As previously discussed on Bits & Pieces, evaluating current-gen microcontroller architecture requires a complete development environment, including an evaluation kit, a software development environment with compiler and debugger, as well as a comprehensive set of application examples, drivers and services.
“[Simply put], Atmel simplifies system development with the AVR Software Framework, which supports a variety of optimized interface drivers peripheral firmware, and application code – including extensive motor control algorithms, capacitive touch drivers, advanced digital signal processing algorithms (i.e., FFTs and filters such as band-pass, high-pass, and low-pass), commonly used audio and image codecs such as MP3, speech recognition engines, display drivers, and FAT12/16/32 file systems, to name a few,” an Atmel engineering rep told Bits & Pieces.
“For automotive systems, the support with LIN and CAN software stacks, as well as with operating systems such as OSEK, and MCAL layers for the Autosar environment is mandatory. Model-based approaches for the development of automotive applications are becoming more and more popular, and these require additional support of design environments such as MATLAB/Simulink. Atmel AVR MCUs also support real-time trace, enabling full system operation visibility. Plus, updates with new features are available every quarter.”
In terms of software, the intuitive GUI-based Atmel AVR Studio is the industry’s most complete development environment for 8- and 32-bit applications, offering full compiler and debugger support for all AVR microcontrollers. Since peripherals are configured using the AVR Software Framework, migration between different AVR devices is truly seamless.
Atmel also supplies a wide range of hardware-based tools for in-system programming, debugging, and evaluation. The AT32UC3C-EK evaluation kit provides access to the extensive capabilities of the UC3C architecture with out-of-the-box simplicity, with the evaluation kit supporting Atmel QTouch capabilities.
“Specific examples of automotive applications with Atmel’s AVR UC3C include car audio, LED backlighting with a dimming function for the indicators, as well as interfaces for different types of sensors and switches to control the window lifter and the mirror positioning,” the Atmel engineering rep continued.
“Perhaps most importantly, a microcontroller such as the UC3C—with peripheral integration and extended processing capacity—allows an entire system architecture to be consolidated onto a single chip.”