Tag Archives: AVR 32-bit microcontrollers

Atmel MCUs for fire and security

Atmel’s versatile MCUs power a number of fire and security applications – allowing vendors to design advanced systems that effectively safeguard people, property and business resources.

“Atmel offers a wide range of ARM-based AT91SAM and AVR 32-bit microcontrollers for such applications,” an Atmel engineering rep told Bits & Pieces. “More specifically, the SAM3 family and AVR UC3 families support entry-level systems, while advanced controllers with Ethernet connectivity are based on the SAM9 and AVR UC3 families.”

Backup mode and diverse connectivity options include an embedded soft modem, Wi-Fi extension board, Ethernet and RS485 connectivity, with Atmel CryptoAuthentication enabling node authentication and secure communication. Top-level security can be provided by AVR XMEGA hardware AES/DES crypto module and AES/DES bootloaders for megaAVR, tinyAVR and AVR XMEGA.

“It should also be noted that low-power 8-bit microcontrollers minimizes power consumption, with Atmel’s ATmega128RFA1 single-chip, allowing devs to design ZigBee smoke and motion detectors with extremely low power consumption,” the engineering rep continued. “Plus, Atmel’s XMEGA analog delivers optimal performance with 12-bit ADC resolution up to 2Msps with internal gain stage (up to X64), while optimizing BOM by removing its external gain stage.”

So let’s look at some specific example of how Atmel MCUs can be used to power a wide range of fire and security devices:

  • Control Panels – The primary point of contact for home and building automation consumers. Atmel’s portfolio supports a wide range of designs, meeting simple or complex needs.
  • Detectors – Known as the eyes and ears of fire and security solutions. Our low-power solutions are capable of supporting motion detectors, smoke detectors, sounders and glass break detectors based on the Atmel tinyAVR, megaAVR, AVR XMEGA and MCU Wireless (single-chip microcontroller +RF) families.
  • PIR (Camera) Detector – Atmel’s AVR picoPower technology significantly improves detector battery life, delivering the reliability that Passive Infrared (PIR) camera-based detectors require.

“Flexible connectivity is key for home gateway and control panel applications. That is why Atmel’s microcontrollers (MCUs) help vendors achieve a rapid time-to-market by providing validated connectivity via Ethernet, USB, soft modem (PSTN), Wireless LAN and RS-485 interfaces with backup mode,” the engineering rep added. “In the event the main power supply cut off, the control panel can automatically switch to battery operating mode to maintain connectivity.”

Interested in learning more? Additional information about Atmel’s extensive fire and security portfolio can be found here.

Washing your clothes with Atmel MCUs

Washing machines. We all have them, or at the very least, use them to clean our clothes every so often. And yes, we’ve clearly come quite a long way since the very first electric washing machines were advertised in national newspapers during the early 1900’s.

Indeed, current-gen washing machines require support for motor controls, water level and temperature sensing, as well as an advanced UI (user interface) capable of withstanding harsh environments. And although one might not think it critical, standards-based, secure connectivity is also a must for appliances tapping into a home network.

As we’ve previously discussed on Bits & Pieces, Atmel’s extensive lineup of MCUs and touchscreen solutions are quite versatile and can be used for a number of applications, including washing machines.

First off, Atmel offers up a wide range of 8- and 32-bit microcontrollers that are dedicated to motor control – providing the appropriate support for BLDC motors, AC motors and switched reluctance motors.

Secondly, AVR 32-bit microcontrollers embed a digital signal processor (DSP) and a floating point unit (FPU) in select models, delivering the high performance required in advanced motor control solutions. Thirdly, many AVR microcontrollers include high-end PWM modules with dead-time insertion, fault management, synchronization with analog – making them a perfect choice for motor control.

In addition, AVR microcontrollers are offered in 105°C versions, as well as models up to 150°C, for a perfect match for washers with challenging temperature requirements. Meanwhile, Atmel provides an IEC 60730 Class B Library to support customers in the certification process, which dramatically speeds time to market. Plus, AVR 32-bit microcontrollers feature a multi-layer databus and DMA controller that make them a perfect fit for HMI applications where high bandwidth is required.

On the touch side, Atmel’s QTouch library offer designers the ability to easily add capacitive touch buttons, wheels and sliders – at no additional cost. In terms of reducing BOM, Atmel offers motor control and HMI touch in a single-chip, along with high power IOs that can directly drive LEDs and buzzers.

And last, but certainly not least, ZigBee PRO compatibility enables standards-compliant connectivity and smart metering, while node authentication capability supports smart meter infrastructure connections.

Interested in learning more? Additional information is available here.

Atmel wants to listen to your car stereo

With over 30 years experience in designing broadcast radio platforms, Atmel is a supplier offering IC solutions with maximum performance, flexibility and integration level for the rapidly expanding AM/FM active antenna market.

In-depth know-how and high quality standards (ISO9001 and ISO16949) enable the specific quality and performance requirements of the car radio market.

Specifically, Atmel offers a lineup of highly integrated products with maximum quality level and excellent RF performance. This includes feature-rich and robust AM/FM antenna amplifier ICs boasting numerous advantages over discrete solutions. Indeed, Atmel’s technology can be used in any antenna, whether shark fin, short pole or glass/window antenna.

In addition, current-gen car stereos must be capable of playing digital music from players, memory cards, and Flash drives. And that is why Atmel AVR 32-bit microcontrollers are capable of powering a platform to access, decode, and play music files over  USB.

Various formats are supported, including MP3 and WMA (with AAC available soon), along with ID3 tags, playlist management, and more. As expected, Atmel also provides a complete software library, the AVR UC3 software framework, to help facilitate rapid and easy development.

Additional information about specific Atmel MCUs for car stereos can be found here.