Atmel has teamed up with a number of leading sensor manufacturers to accelerate the development of devices targeted at the rapidly evolving Internet of Things (IoT), wearable tech market and consumer sensor hubs. New partners include Bosch, Hillcrest Labs, Intersil, Kionix, MEMS IC, Sensirion and Sensor Platforms.
“Collaboration with leading sensor manufacturers will enable Atmel to provide customers with the most appropriate sensor and firmware solutions, thereby reducing overall time-to-market,” Espen Krangnes, Sr. Product Marketing Manager, Atmel Corporation, told Bits & Pieces. “Plus, the sensor manufacturers offer sensor extension boards (AKA wings) to connect with Atmel’s sensor hub platform. These are used to accelerate the prototyping process – along with software that is fully compatible with our development ecosystem.”
As Krangnes notes, the expansion of Atmel’s sensor hub platform partnerships will undoubtedly help customers leverage additional technologies such as QTouch, wireless, graphical user interface (GUI) and sensor connectivity for their designs.
“Our versatile sensor hub solutions combine inputs from different sensors and sensor types which range from motion sensors, such as accelerometers, magnetometers, gyroscopes and environmental sensors, offering light level, color, temperature, pressure and humidity, along with numerous other inputs,” he continued. “This provides real-time direction, orientation and inclination data – facilitating optimized performance for a wide range of applications such as gaming, navigation, augmented reality and contextual awareness.”
In addition to teaming up with leading sensor manufacturers, Atmel is also expanding its sensor hub solutions with the introduction of the SAM D20 Cortex M0+, an ultra-low power, high-performance flexible core equipped with a number of intelligent peripherals along with a variety of communication features.
As we’ve previously discussed on Bits & Pieces, Atmel’s SAM D20 Cortex M0+-based MCU builds on decades of innovation and experience in embedded Flash MCU. The device offers ultra-low power via a patented power-saving technique known as an “Event System,” which enables peripherals to communicate directly to each other without involving the CPU. In addition, the device facilitates peripheral flexibility via an innovative serial communication module (SERCOM) that is fully software-configurable, handling I2C, USART/UART and SPI communications. Finally, the devices boast various memory densities, ranging from 16KB to 256KB, with devices available in 32-, 48- and 64-pin QFP and QFN package options.
“With the increasing number of sensors in consumer devices today, low power is a key differentiator for battery-powered devices,” said Krangnes. “This is precisely why Atmel’s Cortex M0+ core offers consumer electronic designers the ability to design next-gen devices which fuse disparate data from various sensors without utilizing significant power.”
Krangnes also noted that Atmel’s SAM D20 is only the first of many devices in the series specifically tailored for sensor hubs, with the ultra-low power sipping lineup featuring an external flexible development ecosystem bundled with the top sensors and related software in the market.
“Simply put, we provide designers with flexible operating system (OS) capability, as Atmel’s sensor hub solutions support a wide range of operating systems, including Windows, Android, and, now, real-time operating systems (RTOS). Remember, the market for sensors is expected to increase to nearly $91.5 billion by 2016,” he added. “With more sensors being integrated into today’s devices, there is an increasing demand to offload the application processor with a standalone microcontroller that intelligently fuses sensor data.”
Interested in learning more about Atmel’s sensor hub platform solutions? You can check out our official product page here.