Tag Archives: complete system-on-chip 32-bit AVR microcontroller

Atmel’s UC3-A3 Xplained

Atmel’s AT32UC3A3256┬áis a complete system-on-chip 32-bit AVR microcontroller (MCU) designed for cost-sensitive embedded applications that require low power consumption, optimized code density and high performance.


“The MCU’s Memory Protection Unit (MPU) and fast, flexible interrupt controller support the latest real-time operating systems, while higher computation capabilities are achievable using a rich set of DSP instructions,” an Atmel engineering rep told Bits & Pieces.

“The device incorporates on-chip flash and SRAM memories for secure and fast access, while 64 KBytes of SRAM are directly coupled to the 32-bit AVR UC3 for performance optimization. In addition, two blocks of 32 Kbytes SRAM are independently attached to the high speed bus matrix for real ping-pong management.”

According to the engineering rep, the microcontroller achieves exceptionally high data throughput by combining the multi-layered 32-bit AVR databus,128 KB on-chip SRAM with triple high speed interfaces, multi-channel peripheral, memory-to-memory DMA controller, high-speed USB embedded host, SD/SDIO card, MLC NAND flash with ECC and SDRAM interfaces. Plus, Atmel’s AT32UC3A3256 boasts a 256KB internal high-speed flash, built-in hi-fi stereo audio D/A converter and full-duplex multi-channel I2S audio interface.

To accelerate development with the AT32UC3A3256, Atmel offers the UC3-A3 Xplained, a hardware-based platform that allows engineers to more easily evaluate the device. Simply put, the kit offers a range of features that enable devs to quickly kick off projects with AVR UC3 peripherals, as they learn how to integrate the AVR UC3 device in various designs.

It should be noted that the UC3-A3 Xplained is suited for evaluation of both UC3A3 and UC3A4 microcontrollers. The two series share the same peripherals, although the UC3A3 features a External Bus Interface (EBI) while the UC3A4 does not. Further, the AES peripheral of the UC3A3S/A4S and the Audio peripheral of the UC3A3AU are not supported by the device on this board. To evaluate these features, be sure to check out the EVK1104S and EVK1104AU, respectively.

Aside from Atmel’s AT32UC3A3256 MCU, key UC3-A3 Xplained features include:

  • Transfer data over high-speed USB interface
  • Read temperature sensor with the ADC
  • Use the Atmel QTouch library to detect touches on the touch button and slider
  • Read/write data to the 64Mbit SDRAM
  • Use PWM as input to an analog filter and ADC to measure the filter response
  • 1 push button to interact with the microcontroller
  • 4 LEDs to show status information
  • Program the kit via USB bootloader or an Atmel programmer
  • Expand the board with Xplained top modules

The UC3-A3 Xplained can be purchased from Atmel’s official store here.