Tag Archives: SAM4E

Qualtré debuts 11-DOF MEMS sensor platform

New platform spurs innovation by simplifying evaluation and the development of sensor fusion algorithms.

Qualtré, Inc, a leader in the development and commercialization of Bulk Acoustic Wave MEMS inertial sensors, has debuted a MEMS sensor evaluation platform with 11 degrees of freedom (DOF). This evaluation platform combines three axes of gyroscopic data, three axes of accelerometer data, three axes of magnetic data, as well as barometric pressure/altitude and temperature. The company’s sensor fusion application software library leverages the Atmel | SMART SAM4E Cortex-M4 MCU.


“With an integrated sensor fusion framework, designers can focus on their unique motion based application,” explains Dr. Sreeni Rao, Qualtré’s VP of Vertical Markets. “It’s all about bringing the relevant data together from multiple sensors to provide a more comprehensive and accurate picture of what’s going on in a system. The Qualtré 11-DOF evaluation platform makes it easy to interface multiple sensors and get started immediately writing, compiling and running sensor based applications which can easily be ported to the end-user platform.”

The current version of the sensor fusion platform provides software support for a number of functions, including Wi-Fi-based 11-DOF real-time telemetry, sensor fusion quaternion outputs, corrected heading direction and second order temperature compensation.

Typically speaking, a key challenge in sensor fusion is effectively separating signal, motion and noise. Fortunately, Qualtré’s algorithms aim to take data from different sensors that observe the same event to distinguish between noise and signals, then compute more accurate information. Sensor fusion encompasses a variety of techniques which leverage the environmental monitoring of the individual sensors and combine them intelligently to achieve broader and more precise results.

Security, the essential pillar in the Internet of Things

The three hardware pillars of the Internet of Things (IoT) are microcontrollers, wireless chips, and security chips. What is cool about Atmel is that we make all three types of hardware. Atmel is on the ground floor of the Internet of Things (IoT).

I was a pretty natural evolution, since the “Things” are really embedded systems. Atmel has made the chips driving embedded systems ever since the AVR series came out in 1995. So having a really strong position in microcontrollers is essential to any IoT company.

Another pillar of IoT is wireless. Sure, some embedded systems plug in with an RJ45 connector. Indeed, the SAM4E chip has an “E” in the name that stands for its on-board Ethernet controller. But many of these clever new “Things” will connect wirelessly. For that Atmel has Wi-Fi chips, Bluetooth chips, Zigbee chips, and even the chips used in car access key fobs you can use to communicate wirelessly to a hub or base station.


What is not obvious to a lot of people is that security is an equally important pillar in the Internet of Things. Think of the medical privacy laws. Those laws may well apply to any data you are sending to the cloud. At the recent Internet of Things Privacy Summit held here in Silicon Valley, Michelle Dennedy, chief privacy officer at McAfee noted:

 “There has to be a layer of security from the (computer) chip outward. Sure, you want your health information going to your doctor. But you need to help people feel confident that it’s not going elsewhere.”

What is great about Atmel is that we also have a complete line of security chips. You can use these chips to make sure that your “Thing” is the actual and genuine thing it is supposed to be. You can use our chips to make sure that it’s the right thing to be plugged into some other system. You can use security chips to make sure the code you are executing is the genuine code and not some hijack attempt. What I love is that many of the security chips have several kilobytes of undedicated non-volatile memory. So along with security, you have a place to store setup or user information that will persist even when power is cycled to your device.

Back in 1994 my programmer buddy John Haggis showed me the World Wide Web on his computer. It was Mosaic browser looking at a few academic websites. John was really excited. I didn’t get it.”What’s the big deal about that?” I asked. It just seemed like a fancy version of the dial-up bulletin boards I was using to get datasheets and CAD models. I won’t make that clueless mistake with IoT. This is going to be huge. The Internet of Things has all the network effects of the Internet combined with the convenience and utility of the embedded systems that have been making our lives better for the past few decades. Our automotive group tells me that we can look at future cars as just another thing in the Internet of Things. I have written up how IoT will help farmers. You can bet IoT will be a big thing in industrial automation. And there will be a major impact in consumer electronics, from thermostats to toasters. We haven’t even dreamed up some of the “killer apps” for the Internet of Things. Fasten your seat belt, it’s going to be a wild ride.

28 new application notes for Atmel | SMART SAM4S devices

Atmel engineers recently published 28 application notes for the company’s comprehensive Atmel | SMART SAM4S devices. Based on the powerful ARM Cortex-M4 core, this Atmel | SMART product line extends our Cortex-M portfolio to offer:

  • Increased performance and power efficiency
  • Higher memory densities: up to 2MB of Flash and 160KB of SRAM
  • And a rich peripheral set for connectivity, system control and analog interfacing

According to an Atmel engineering rep, the application notes target the use of peripheral modules and are based on drivers already available in the ASF (Atmel Software Framework).

“The application notes highlight the availability of the drivers and offers the reader relevant details about the API (application programming interface),” the rep told Bits & Pieces.

“This significant increase in the number of application notes for the SAM4 series gives the engineer a better starting point for using the products. More specifically, the new application notes cover the Atmel SAM4S/SD, SAM4N, SAM4L/LS, SAM4E, and to some extent, also the SAM4C and SAM G51/53 families.”


So without further ado, the following app notes are now available from the Atmel website in PDF format:

Video: Atmel @ Embedded World (Day 0)

Atmel is at Embedded World 2014 in Nuremberg Germany, where the company has launched a number of new products to drive smart, connected devices in the era of the Internet of Things (IoT).

Some of the new products, along with interactive demos, will be showcased on Days 1-3 of the show at the official Atmel booth located in Hall 4A / #4A-220. Exhibits and demos include:

  • Capacitive touch capability with Atmel’s QTouch technologies – Highlights various home appliances to demonstrate conductive immunity and moisture tolerance, along with an Xplained Pro board and capacitive touch extension board.
  • New ARM MCU solutions – A SAM4E data logger with signal processing based on Atmel’s ARM Cortex-M4 MCUs and a SAM D20 global positioning system tracker based on Atmel’s ARM Cortex-M0+ MCUs.
  • SAM A5 MPU applications – A new SAMA5D3 Xplained board, a low-cost ARM Cortex A5 processor kit, a smart thermostat, a home automation and smart fridge demo with a 7” capacitive touch panel.

Atmel’s Wi-Fi connectivity solutions – A Turtle Beach i60 headset and Roku 3 box used on a Vizio M-Series flat panel on display.
  • Atmel SmartConnect Integrates the company’s Wi-Fi technology with a Cortex M0+ core.
The new SAMR21 family of wireless MCUs (supported by the new SAMR21 Xplained PRO evaluation kits).
  • ZigBee and open-source 6LoWPAN solutions with cloud services.

Other notable demos include Ivee Sleek Wi-Fi, a voice-activated assistance for the home that helps manage and control connected devices without hands; a finger print, voice-search, secure Bluetooth / USB drive that displays passwords; a tiny automatic camera and app that boasts a searchable and shareable photographic memory and a 5mm x 5mm Cortex-A5 System on Module card. 

A polyphase smart e-metering board based on a dual ARM Cortex-M4 core system-on-chip with an integrated metrology AFE will also be on display in the booth.

Along with the new Atmel Studio 6.2 and Atmel-ICE, we will be demoing our latest integrated development platform and advanced debug probe. We will also be highlighting a new SAMA5D3 Xplained cost-effective kit based on the ARM Cortex-A5 processor MPU, as well as the new Xplained Mini ultra-low cost evaluation kit with an Atmel 8-bit AVR, low pin-count MCU for less than USD $10. 

In addition, we plan on hosting several Arduino board demonstrations based onAtmel MCUs for our Maker community.

And, by popular demand, Atmel will also be showcasing its advanced AvantCar demo, a next-generation automotive center console concept with curved touchscreens that illustrates the combined use of Atmel’s XSensemaXTouchQTouch and 8-bit AVR MCU technologies.

Meanwhile, Atmel’s low-power MCU Expert Bob Martin is scheduled to present “Differentiating and Optimizing for Static and Active Microcontroller Modes” during the hands-on workshop: “Applying Optimizing Techniques for Ultra-low Power Microcontrollers” (Class 07) on Wednesday, February 26. In this 9:00 am – 5:00 pm CET day-long session, Martin will be presenting at 9:15 am CET. Last, but certainly not least, Atmel will be announcing winners from its AVR Hero Design contest at the show.