Based on ARM’s powerful Cortex-M4 core, Atmel’s SAM4S lineup offers increased performance and power efficiency, higher memory densities (up to 2MB of Flash and 160KB of SRAM), along with an extensive peripheral set for connectivity, system control and analog interfacing.
“So how low is low in terms of power efficiency and consumption? Well, the SAM4S lineup manages to achieve 200µA/MHz in dynamic mode at a low operating frequency; 30mA at 120MHz; and 1µA at 1.8V in back-up mode with the real-time clock (RTC) running,” an Atmel engineering rep told Bits & Pieces. “In short, it offers some of the best power consumption/performance rates on the market for standby mode, achieving 120MHz+ operating frequency with a RAM retention mode below 25µA.”
The SAM4S operates at 120MHz and integrates Atmel’s Flash read accelerator, along with optional cache memory to increase system performance. The SAM4S also features a multi-layer bus matrix, multi-channel direct memory access (DMA) and distributed memory to support high data rate communication.
On the security side, the SAM4S prevents unauthorized access to on-chip memory, supports secure device reconditioning (chip erase) for reprogramming – while a 128-bit ID and scrambled external bus interface ensures software confidentiality as the hardware cyclic redundancy check (CRC) checks memory integrity.
To accelerate development with the SAM4S Cortex-M4 processor-based microcontroller (MCU), Atmel offers the SAM4S Xplained, a hardware-based platform that allows engineers to more easily evaluate the device.
The SAM4S Xplained is equipped with four QTouch button sensors, LEDs and a USB port. The Xplained expansion headers provide easy access to analog and digital I/O pins, while the board is powered by the USB cable and integrates a JTAG emulator with USB interface for programming and debugging. Aside from an ARM-powered SAM4S16C microcontroller and the above-mentioned hardware, key SAM4S Xplained features include external voltage input, four LEDs and footprint for external serial Flash.
The SAM4S Xplained can be purchased from Atmel’s official store here.