Tag Archives: micro controllers

New AVR devices bolster Atmel’s MCU lineup

Atmel has confirmed that it will be launching 6 new 4k-16k Flash devices in its flagship AVR Mega MCU family during the second quarter of 2014.

“With over two decades of MCU experience and leadership, Atmel is investing in innovative technologies and ideas to enable product differentiation for 8- and 32-bit embedded MCU designers,” said Reza Kazerounian, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Microcontroller Business Unit, Atmel Corporation


“[We] deliver highly sophisticated, yet easy-to-use 8-bit AVR MCUs allowing everyone from professionals, hobbyists, students and makers to develop embedded designs that could lead to the next ‘killer app’ in the dawn of the Internet of Things (IoT).”

As Reza notes, Atmel has a long tradition of investing in the Maker community, with the vast majority of Arduino boards on the market powered by Atmel’s versatile AVR MCUs.

“As a leader in microcontrollers, we are committed to providing differentiated MCUs that are easily accessible and easy-to-use for all communities,” Reza explained.

“With over 200,000 loyalists in our AVR Freaks community and 1.2 million Arduino development boards in the Maker community, our AVRs have definitely made a significant impact in today’s Maker and hobbyist circles. With over 65,000 active users in our Studio 6 integrated development environment, we are making it easier for all designers to access our tools.”

The new AVR MCUs – manufactured using advanced 130-nm CMOS technology – will be fully supported by Atmel Studio 6.2, the integrated development platform for developing and debugging Atmel ARM Cortex-M and AVR MCU-based applications.

“The new devices will deliver a unique combination of performance, power efficiency and design flexibility. Optimized to expedite time-to-market, they are based on the industry’s most code-efficient architecture for C and assembly programming,” Reza added.

“[Our] extensive AVR portfolio, combined with the seamlessly integrated Atmel Studio development platform, makes it easy to reuse knowledge when improving designers’ products and expanding to new markets.”

Interested in learning more about AVR? You can check out our comprehensive device breakdown here.

A closer look at Atmel’s AvantCar concept

Earlier this month, Atmel debuted its AvantCar concept at CES 2014 in Las Vegas. The fully functional console features two large curved touchscreen displays – without mechanical buttons. 

Instead, the touchscreens integrate capacitive touch buttons and sliders, allowing users to navigate general applications typically found within an automotive center console.

This includes global navigation system (GPS), car thermostat, audio controls for a radio or media player, seat controls and more. AvantCar also allows drivers to personalize their in-vehicle environment using advanced touch capabilities and LIN connectivity system to control ambient lighting.

According to Atmel Marketing Director Stephan Thaler, AvantCar successfully demonstrates the future of human machine interface (HMI) in upcoming vehicles. Indeed, next-generation automotive designs will be influenced by a wide range of trends in the consumer market such as slick and curved centerstack designs, as well as customization by appearance, color, navigation and interaction with a smartphone or tablet.

Atmel offers a number of comprehensive platforms and solutions to address the current and future requirements of a modern in-vehicle human-machine interface (HMI). However, the AvantCar Centerstack demo is the company’s first fully functional concept showcasing groundbreaking solutions within the automobile.

To be sure, AvantCar is powered entirely by Atmel technology, including maXTouch (two touchscreens), XSense (curved panel design), QTouch (touch buttons and sliders), dedicated algorithms running on Atmel touch chips and microcontrollers (proximity detection), as well as LIN-based ambient lighting control.

Let’s take a closer look at the above-mentioned technology behind the concept.


Atmel’s maXTouch lineup is qualified for various automotive applications, including in-vehicle touchscreens and touchpads.

maXTouch supports screens and pads from 2 inches up to 12 inches in size and is ideally suited for center stack displays as well as navigation systems, radio human-machine interfaces (HMIs) and rear seat entertainment systems. In addition, maXTouch devices provide unlimited touch identification, fast response time, precise operation and low power consumption for touch-based designs.


Atmel’s XSense touch sensors open a new world of possibilities for touch-based products. A highly flexible film, XSense sensors can be used on curved surfaces and edges, facilitating the design of futuristic in-vehicle touchscreens and surfaces. XSense also enables the replacement of mechanical switches or rotary knobs on a curved centerstack surface with more reliable, moisture-resistant, touch-based buttons.


Atmel’s QTouch library makes it easy for developers to embed capacitive-touch button, slider, wheel and proximity functionality in microcontroller applications.

The library facilitates the design of touch panels in the centerstack, as well as overhead or door panels. Plus, the royalty-free QTouch Library offers several files for each device, while supporting a number of touch channels – enabling both flexibility and efficiency in touch applications. In addition, Atmel provides a number of fixed-function products from 1 to 48 channels, with some of them qualified for the automotive market.

Automotive-qualified mcirocontrollers

New automotive functions require local intelligence and control, which can be optimized by the use of small, powerful microcontrollers.

In conjunction with a corresponding touch library, Atmel’s automotive-qualified MCUs are ideal for driving new and futuristic capacitive-based control panels in current and future cars.

LIN-based ambient lighting control

We offer LIN-related products at all integration levels – from simple transceiver ICs to complex system basis chips (SBC), along with system-in-package solutions such as the Atmel AVR ATA664251 for ambient lighting control.

Interested in learning more? You can check out Atmel’s extensive automotive portfolio here.

Video Diary: Atmel @ CES 2014

It’s day two of CES 2014! Atmel is showcasing a number of devices, technologies and platforms for MakerSpaces, garages and living rooms. Check out the videos below to see what we’ve been up to!

Atmel tech reps at CES 2014 talk microcontrollers (MCUs), autotmotive technology, Arduino, Makers, biometric security, encryption, key fobs, tablets, 3D printers and medical devices.

Atmel is at the heart of the DIY Maker community – powering nearly every desktop 3D printer and Arduino board on the market today, along with a number of wearable platforms and devices. In this video, we interview a wide range of personalities about the rapidly growing movement, including Atmel’s Reza Kazerounian, Matt Richardson of Make Magazine and Michael Shiloh of Arduino.

Atmel’s latest touch solutions explained at CES 2014.

Atmel’s Bob Martin, Manager, MCU Central Applications Group, talks about the evolution of CES over the years, with a specific emphasis on the DIY Maker community.

Atmel Community Manager, Sylvie Barak, welcomes you to 3D print your ideas at CES 2014. Tweet #AtmelCES and come on by MP25958.

An inside look at 3D printing with the Atmel-powered MakerBot Replicator 2 at CES 2014. Tweet #AtmelCES.

After a long day at CES 2014 this on/off (0/1?) demo was pretty addictive – providing hours of endless entertainment for our tired crew.

Is IoT the next industrial revolution?

Writing for the San Jose Mercury News, Steve Johnson notes that billions of ordinary items — ranging from factory equipment to prescription-drug bottles — are being fitted with microcontrollers and linked to the Internet.

“By outfitting the globe with billions of connected gadgets, experts foresee a world in which more elderly people survive once-life-threatening accidents, since doctors and emergency responders will be alerted the moment their patients fall,” Johnson explains. 

“[In addition], fewer planes will crash, because every part on every aircraft will be electronically monitored so they can be quickly replaced at the slightest sign of failure. Wines will [also] get better since vineyard operators will know precisely when their grapes have the perfect sugar concentrations for picking.”

Microchips implanted in dairy cows could help production, a potential innovation that would be part of the IoT. (Tony C. French/Digital Vision via Getty Images)

According to Cisco, at least 10 billion devices (many of them phones) are already linked to the Internet. These include smart cars, “intelligent” pill-bottle caps and advanced connected thermostats. 

In addition, says Johnson, cows in England are being connected to the Internet to track their grazing habits, while thousands of smart trash cans allow waste-management officials to remotely check how full each container is in real-time.

Unsurprisingly, a recent General Electric (GE) study recently concluded that the Internet of Things could add as much as $15 trillion to global GDP over the next 20 years. 

Describing the trend as “much like the Industrial Revolution” of the 18th and 19th centuries, GE confirms the world is at “the cusp of another wave of innovation that promises to change the way we do business and interact with the world of industrial machines.”

Every facet of society, says Johnson, is expected to be transformed by the Internet of Things.

“[This includes] our ability to better protect the environment, boost farm production and get early warnings of structural weaknesses in bridges and dams to enabling people to remotely control their lights, sprinkler systems, washing machines and scores of other gadgets at home,” he added.