Tag Archives: Car Radio

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.

A closer look at Atmel’s vehicle portfolio

Earlier this morning, Atmel announced the expansion of an already formidable automotive maXTouch lineup with the mXT336S (optimized for 7-inch touchscreens) and mXT224S (targeted at smaller touchscreens and tablets).

In addition to touchscreens, Atmel boasts an extensive automotive ecosystem that meets strict quality demands, helping to make vehicles more safe and affordable. Primary solutions include battery management (Li-ion), car access, radio, networking, motor control systems and microcontrollers.

As previously discussed on Bits & Pieces, Atmel’s versatile AVR microcontrollers deliver power, performance and flexibility – making them appropriate for a wide range of automotive applications.

So what differentiates AVR microcontrollers from the competition in the automotive sphere? Well, according to an engineering rep, Atmel offers functionality and high temperature capabilities in its vehicle-oriented chip designs.

“Plus, complete system-in-package (SIP) solutions integrate components such as an AVR microcontroller, LIN and CAN interfaces, voltage regulator, watchdog, floating point unit (FPU), FlashVault code protection, high-speed Ethernet and USB with OTG connectivity in a single cost-effective package,” the engineering rep told Bits & Pieces. “In fact, Atmel’s highly integrated designs can reduce system costs by up to 60 percent, while saving time in development, integration and prototyping.”

Key specs include:

  • High performance – Executing powerful instructions in a single clock cycle, Atmel’s 8-bit automotive AVR MCUs achieve throughputs approaching 1 MIPS per MHz, balancing power consumption with processing speed.
  • Code protection – Atmel FlashVault allows devs to partially program and lock flash memory for secure on-chip storage. Code stored in FlashVault will execute as normal, but cannot be read, copied or debugged. It is also capable of carrying software such as math libraries or encryption algorithms to potentially untrustworthy environments where the rest of the source code can be developed and debugged.
  • Built-in voltage protection – The on-chip voltage regulator with short-circuit monitoring interface featured in several 8-bit microcontrollers ensures reliable operation and extends the useful life of the device and the product it controls.
  • Optimized power efficiency – Thanks to more than a decade of research, Atmel picoPower technology reduces microcontroller power usage in both sleep and active mode to achieve the industry’s lowest power consumption numbers.

Interested in learning more? Additional information about Atmel’s expansive automotive portfolio is available here and here.