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BSN* talks Atmel and ARM

This week, The Bright Side of News (BSN*) crew sat down with Atmel reps on the sidelines of ARM TechCon 2013 in Santa Clara to discuss two major announcements: the expansion of Atmel’s ARM Cortex-A5 MPU lineup and a series of new sensor hub partnerships.

“These two are clearly forward-thinking products that will hopefully put [Atmel] as front runners in newly expanding parts of the ARM universe,” writes BSN* Editor in Chief Anshel Sag. “Atmel first talked to us about their sensor hub and the introduction of the SAM D20 Cortex M0+ based design. Their MCU is designed in conjunction with a special development board in order to make it easier for companies to develop certain sensor fusion more easily. And because of the MCU’s low-power and design it can be integrated into tiny package sizes enabling sensors and sensor fusion within a single package.”

As Sag notes, this is because Atmel’s $600 development board is capable of enabling not only the connectivity of multiple sensors from various vendors, but also providing an easier software stack to make sensor fusion possible.

“After all, the truth is that sensor fusion will be the future of most mobile computing and it makes sense that someone would need to make it easier to combine different sensors together,” Sag continues. “Atmel is working with Bosch, Intersil, Kionix, MEMSIC and Sensirion to make sensor wings in order to work with the Xplained development board. By doing this, these companies not only increase the possibility that their sensors will get used, but they also make it easier to buy more of their sensors.”

Sag also discusses Atmel’s updates to its ARM Cortex A5-based solutions which are designed to expand the company’s capabilities.

“This chip is their SAMA5D3 MPU and is designed to increase the versatility, durability and gaining more features. Atmel’s goal is to enable these Cortex-A5 chips to be used in virtually any low-power application with or without the need for [a] display,” he adds.

“One of the variants of this chip, the SAMA5D36, is a superset device which enables the use of an LCD, two ethernet ports, and dual CAN support. All other models sacrifice on one of those three things, but this chip enables all three fully. There is also the SAMA5D36 and SAMA5D35 which support ambient temperatures in the range between -40 degrees to 105 degrees celsius. This would enable some very interesting industrial applications as well as potential for some automotive applications.”

The full text of the BSN article can be read here.