Tag Archives: SBC

Day 1: Atmel @ Embedded World (Part 1)

Atmel kicked off Day 1 of Embedded World with a media event on the train between Munich and Nuremberg.

It wasn’t long before Atmel’s booth, located in Hall 4A/4A-220, was also jam-packed with industry insiders, analysts and journalists who came to check out our recently launched products and extensive lineup of interactive demos.

To be sure, Atmel announced a slew of new products at the show including a SAMA5D3 Xplained board with Newwark element14, 6 new 4k-16k Flash devices for its flagship AVR Mega MCU family, an expanded SAM D Cortex M0+ portfolio, SmartConnect for the IoT, a low-power LIN System Basis Chip (SBC) and two new maXTouch touchscreen controllers.

In addition, Atmel announced the winners of its AVR Hero Design Contest: Sumit Grover, Juan Luis Gonzalez, Rahul Karr and Pamungkas Sumasta, who received the grand prize for his AVR-Arduino Inertial Mobile Phone Unit.

Tomorrow, 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, Wednesday, February 26). In this 9:00 am – 5:00 pm CET day-long session, Martin will be presenting at 9:15 am CET. So be sure to stay tuned for more updates from Bits & Pieces! Note: Part two of this series can be viewed here.

Atmel’s AT91SAM9X25 powers iPAC-9X25 SBC

EMAC has debuted the iPAC-9X25, an embedded single board computer (SBC) powered by Atmel’s ARM-based AT91SAM9X25 microprocessor (MPU).

The iPAC-9X25 is targeted at a number of applications, including industrial temperature operations, embedded data acquisition and control.

Key specs include an industrial temperature range of -40C to 85C, 4GB of eMMC Flash, 16MB of serial data Flash (for boot) and 128 MB of DDR RAM.

“The iPac-9X25 is a web enabled [platform] with the ability to run an embedded server and display the current monitored or logged data,” an EMAC rep explained in a recent blog post.

“The web connection is available via two 10/100 Base T Ethernet ports, or 802.11 wireless WiFi networking when using [specific] Linux modules and adapters. All connectors [are] brought out as headers on [the] board, [with] the same footprint of a standard PC/104 module at 3.77″ x 3.54″.”

Additional features include:

  • One RS232 serial port with full handshake (RTS/CTS/DTR/DSR/RI)
Two RS232 serial ports (TX and RX only)
  • One RS232/422/485 serial port with RTS/CTS handshake
  • Two 10/100 Base T Ethernet ports
  • Two USB 2.0 Host ports
  • One USB device port
  • 7 channels of 12 bit A/D (0-3.3 volt)
Internal real time clock/calendar with battery backup
  • 21 GPIO (3.3 V) lines on header
8 high drive open collector dedicated digital output lines with configurable voltage tolerance
16 GPIO (3.3V) on header
  • 2 PWM I/O lines with additional 4 PWN lines shared with A/D
5 Synchronous Serial I/O lines (I2S)
5 SPI lines (2 SPI CS), I2C Bus and CAN Bus
  • Micro SD socket and an external reset button
  • Red power and green status LEDs

The iPac-9X25 is currently priced at $198, while additional information about the product is available here.

Atmel announces Embedded World lineup

Next week, Atmel will be launching a number of new products to drive smart, connected devices in the era of the Internet of Things (IoT) at Embedded World 2014 in Nuremberg, Germany.

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

Solutions in Embedded Processing

Solutions in Connectivity

  • World’s first highly integrated, ultra-low power Wi-Fi IoT module powered by Atmel’s Cortex M0+ MCUs.
  • Atmel’s SAMR21, a new family of Cortex M0+ based ultra-low power wireless microcontrollers targeting ZigBee and 6LoWPAN.
  • A new series of automotive LIN (local interconnect networking) SBC (system basis chip) solutions to better connect in-vehicle systems.

Solutions in Software and Tools

Atmel will also be launching the new Studio 6.2 integrated development platform (in beta), which features a new debug probe with advanced debugging to accelerate time-to-market. In addition, Atmel is slated to showcase various demos in the embedded processing, connectivity and software/tools segments, including:

  • 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.

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.

For Connectivity


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.
  • Upcoming ultra-low power IoT module – Integrates the company’s Wi-Fi technology with a Cortex M0+ core. We will be showcasing the latest Xplained PRO Starter demo kit using this soon-to-be-announced Wi-Fi IoT module.

The new SAMR21 family of wireless MCUs (supported by the new SAMR21 Xplained PRO evaluation kits) – Ideal as a platform for evaluating and developing the SAMR21 wireless MCUs.
  • ZigBee and open-source 6LoWPAN solutions with cloud services.

For Software and Tools

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 on Atmel 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 XSense, maXTouch, QTouch, 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.

Atmel launches new low-power LIN System Basis Chip (SBC)

Atmel has rolled out the ATA663254, a new flagship LIN system basis chip (SBC) for low-power, local interconnect networking systems used for automotive comfort, power-train, sensor and actuator applications. 
It should be noted that Atmel’s ATA663254 is the first available product in this series of new LIN devices.

Atmel’s new generation of LIN SBC devices deliver significantly lower current consumption in various modes of operation. Meanwhile, the integrated low dropout voltage regulator (LDO) can be used in combination with low-cost  MLC (multi-layer ceramic) blocking capacitors – providing significant cost savings compared to solutions leveraging tantalum capacitors.

According to Rob Valiton, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Automotive, Aerospace and Memory Business Units, the improved voltage regulator works down to 2.3V supply voltage with best-in-class current consumption.

“This enables storing data within the MCU during system shutdown in case of unintended power supply interruption. The advanced features of the ATA663254 enable system designers to design best-in-class in-vehicle network applications in the latest automobiles. The devices are LIN specification 2.0, 2.1, 2.2, 2.2A and SAE J2602-2 certified,” he said.

“[In addition, our] new cost-optimized and performance enhanced LIN SBC is developed on a proprietary BCD-on-SOI (Bipolar CMOS and DMOS-on-Silicon on Insulator) process technology that combines high-voltage capability with rugged silicon on insulator technology. This combination allows for high-temperature operation, excellent EMC performance and very low leakage currents.”

Valiton also noted that the new LIN SBC device addresses the latest requirements for in-vehicle networking systems such as lower power consumption, more compact PCB board designs and enabling an overall lower system cost.

“As the automotive design cycle continues to shorten, Atmel is committed to delivering the most innovative automotive products that enable customers to bring their unique, next-generation designs quickly to market,” he added.

Key ATA663254 features include:

  • LIN Trx + 5V LDO
  • LIN physical layer according to LIN 2.0, 2.1, 2.2, 2.2A and SAEJ2602-2
  • LDO: 5V/85mA±2%
  • MLC blocking capacitors instead of tantalum 
improve overall system cost
  • Works down to 2.3V supply voltage
  • Supply current
  • Sleep mode current <15µA
  • Normal mode current <290µA
  • Low Linear mode current (2V<VS<5.5V) <170µA 
enables data-storage during unintended power supply interruption
  • Compact DFN8 package
  • Heat slug
  • Wettable flanks for automatic optical inspection
  • Pinout according to the new OEM hardware recommendations

To accelerate the design cycle, Atmel is currently offering the ATAB663254A-V1.2 development kit for engineers. Key specs are as follows:

  • Provides all components necessary to drive the ATA663254
  • Choice of master or slave operation
  • All pins easily accessible
  • Switching into normal, silent or sleep mode
  • LEDs for operation indication
  • Ground coulter clip for easy probe connection while measuring with oscilloscope

Interested in learning more about Atmel’s comprehensive LIN portfolio? You can check out our LIN product breakdown here.

AT91SAM9X35 powers SBC with touchscreen display

Premier Farnell has launched the EDM6070AR-01, a fully-integrated embedded display module (EDM) that pairs an ARM9-based single board computer (SBC) with a 7” LCD and touch-screen assembly. According to Premier Farnell CTO David Shen, the multi-function embedded EDM is powered by Atmel’s  AT91SAM9X35 industrial microprocessor (MPU).


“The EDM6070AR-01, designed as an all-in-one solution, is ideally suited for a variety of embedded control HMI (human machine interface) applications including industrial control terminals, intelligent instruments, medical products, network terminals as well as data acquisition and analysis,” he explained.


“The module has a plate with display, connectors and place for the Mini6935 module with ARM microcontroller.”

The module also includes a pre-loaded Smart-Home demo app with an intuitive smart-LED controller that allows users to set independent light levels in each room, regulate temperature and humidity, play streamed audio files and manage surveillance cameras.


Aside from Atmel’s ARM-based MPU, key EDM6070AR-01 specs include:

  • 128MB DDR2 SDRAM
  • 256MB NAND Flash
  • 4MB Data Flash
  • 24-bit TFT LCD module, 7” (800 x 480, 24-bit color depth)
  • four-wire resistive touch-screen
  • SD card interface
  • Power supply: +12V@1.25A

On the software side, the EDM6070AR-01 is packaged with Linux BSP, offering support for Linux QT GUI (Graphical User Interface) and multiple file systems such as FAT and NTFS. 

As noted above, the SBC is also supplied with a Smart Home demo app and a number of example applications for developers.


The EDM6070AR-01 is available for $179 with the 7” LCD, although a standalone CPU module can be picked up for $69. Both are live on Farnell element14 in Europe, Newark element14 in North America and element14 in APAC.

Arietta G25 is an Atmel-powered SBC for the IoT

Acme Systems currently offers the Aria G25, a tiny system-on-module (SoM) built around Atmel’s versatile SAM9G25. As CNX Software reports, the company is prepping a smaller and lower-cost ARM Linux SBC powered by the same processor.

Dubbed the Arietta G25, the new board targets the DIY Maker market and IoT applications.

Key specs include:

  • CPU: Atmel’s AT91SAM9G25 (ARM9 clocked @ 400Mhz)
  • RAM: 128 MByte DDR2
  • MicroSD Socket for up to 32GB bootable Linux microSD (not included)
  • USB 2.0 ports: 1 hi-speed host/device, 1 hi-speed host, 1 full-speed
  • I2C bus: 1
  • SPI bus: 1 with 2 chip select (5 to 50 MHz)
  • PWM: 4 lines
  • A/D converters: 4 channels@10 bit
  • Size: 25x51mm
  • Power supply: single 3.3 Volt DC
  • Line levels: TTL 3.3V (NOT 5V tolerant)
  • Operative temperature range: -20 +70 °C
  • Pinstrip: 20×2 pitch 2,54mm (100mils)
  • PCB layers: 8

“Since this is early stage of development, no documentation is available, but we do have some informations about Aria G25 support,” a CNX Software writer explained.

“You can build the latest Linux kernel (3.12.8 release, or 3.13r8) for the board. [Plus], lots of tutorials are provided, including one explaining how to create an Embedded Debian Grip 7.2 image. The board is not open source hardware, but the company provides some hardware documentation. Finally, support is available via Google Groups.”

The Atmel-powered SBC, slated to ship in 2014, will initially be priced at 10 Euros ($13.53) for orders placed before May 2014, increasing to about 20 Euros ($27.06) thereafter.

 Additional information about the upcoming board is available on Roberto Asquini’s blog here.

Designing next-gen LIN systems with Atmel (Part 2)

In the first part of this series, Bits & Pieces took a closer look at LIN, or Local Interconnect Network for vehicles. The LIN bus standard, found within the latest automotive network architectures, is a low-cost, single-wire serial communication system for distributed electronics in cars and trucks.

Essentially, LIN is highly suited for various body control applications, including power windows, mirrors, smart wipers, door locks, seat/roof/lighting control, lamps and indicators, dashboard instruments, steering wheels, climate and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems, motors, switch panels and sensors.

As we discussed in part one of this series, Atmel offers a next-generation ATA6641/42 System Basis Chip (SBC) with an 8-channel high-voltage switch interface, a LIN2.1 and SAEJ2602-2-compliant LIN transceiver and lowdrop voltage regulator. In addition, the ATA6641/42 boasts an adjustable window watchdog, facilitating the development of inexpensive, low-end, but also powerful slave and master nodes for LIN bus systems meeting the latest OEM requirements.

Two versions are available: the ATA6641 with a 3.3V voltage regulator and the ATA6642 with a 5V voltage regulator. Most features can be configured via the SPI – a 16-bit SPI interface that simplifies and accelerates configuration of the slave/master LIN node for any given application. As you can see below, Figure 3 shows a typical application using the ATA6641/42.


“The ATA6641/41’s switch interface unit consists of 8 high-side current sources. They deliver a constant current level derived from a reference value measured at the IREF pin. This pin is voltage stabilized (VIREF = 1.23V typ.) so the reference current is directly dependent on an externally applied resistor connected between IREF pin and ground,” an Atmel engineering rep told Bits & Pieces.

“The resulting current at the CSx pins is (1.23V/ RIref) x rICS. For example, with a 12K resistor between IREF and GND the value of the current at the CSx pins is 10mA (assumed IMUL = `0´ => rICS_H = 100). Fail-safe measures are able to detect both a missing as well as a short-circuited resistor. If a resistor is short-circuited, an internally generated reference current IIREFfs is used to maintain a basic level of functionality.”

Each switch input boasts a high-voltage comparator, a statechange-detection register for wake-up, interrupt request generation and a voltage divider with a low-voltage output that can be fed through to the measurement pin VDIV.

In terms of switch control, 8 high-voltage I/O ports form the heart of the ATA6641/42, making it exceptionally well suited for switch control applications with higher ESD requirements. These I/O ports allow highly flexible control of up to 8 single switches or a switch matrix or any combinations of both, as shown in figure 5, supplied by an internal current source of  5mA to 25mA. Three I/O ports can be configured either as current sources (e.g., for switches toward ground) or as current sinks (e.g., for switches toward battery); the other five pins have current sourcing capability only.


The device’s flexible switch monitoring is controlled by the application’s microcontroller (MCU). The implemented state-change detection circuitry allows configuration of each input so that it triggers an interrupt upon state change even during low-power mode. Therefore the respective current source needs to be configured so that it is controlled via the CSPWM pin. A rising edge on this pin enables the current source and delivers a stable switch read-back signal at the CS pin; a falling edge updates the switch state.

A change of state generates an interrupt request. If no wake-up should occur on a given switch—either because there is no application demand for this, or due to a failure, e.g., a hanging switch or a shorted connection line—wake-up can be prevented by disabling the current source in the SPI configuration register.


If switches are placed outside and connected via a wiring harness to the ECU, complete diagnosis of short-circuits or cable breaks can be performed. Ports that are not used for switch detection can be switched off. The device also features a high-precision current source for multi-resistor coding, while the scan current through the switches can be chosen to be sufficiently high so that the current will clean the switches.

Want to learn more about Atmel’s ATA6641/42? Be sure to check back for part three of this series, in which we’ll discuss voltage measurement, PWM control, h-bridge relays and LIN auto-addressing. Note: Part one of this series can be found here and part three here.