Tag Archives: Serial EEPROM

Slate is the world’s first portable smart scale for nutrition

Who needs the latest diet trends when you have your own personal nutritionist?

The holiday season is fast approaching, which means plenty of sweets and hearty meals. It’s okay though, because you’ll tell yourself that your New Year’s resolution is to lose weight. Fast forward a few weeks into the New Year, and alas, you’ve already abandoned your plan! Tracking calories and nutrients can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be. A Calgary-based team of engineers and a registered dietician has created a solution to your fitness woes.


Meet Slate, the world’s first smart scale that provides personalized nutritional information like calorie intake, food weight, fats, protein, carbs and other macronutrients you need to track to reach your personal health aspirations. With Slate, you can set up customized goals and targets, and it will recommend what to eat based on a calculated BMI. The startup wanted to bring the same level of accuracy to health and nutrition that exists for fitness trackers.

Using Slate is much simpler than committing to a New Years’ resolution. The smart scale connects to your smartphone over Bluetooth. When you place your food items on the scale, the mobile app (available for both iOS and Android) will deliver an accurate nutritional breakdown from its large food database. Slate boasts that it is designed with its users in mind, so every aspect of the app has been carefully crafted. The app can also track and log in your daily calorie and nutritional intake, offer personal recipes tailored to your calorie goals, scan barcodes on packaged foods, and integrate to your wearables and apps including Apple HealthKit, Fitbit and MyFitnessPal. Not only for the weight watchers, Slate can be a valuable tool for the health conscious, the busy professional, diabetics and even athletes.


This portable, lightweight scale is just 5.5″ x 5.5″ x 0.6” in size and has the max capacity of 2.2 pounds. What’s more, it can measure in ounces, grams and kilograms. It has a food safe, stainless steel surface as well as tare weight so it will only weigh the food and not the container. Slate is powered by a built-in Li-on battery that’s rechargeable via microUSB.

So, are you read to take control of your health? Head over to Slate’s Indiegogo campaign, where the team is currently seeking $50,000. The first batch of units is projected to be out for delivery by April 2016.

Introducing the world’s most innovative 2-pin, self-powered Serial EEPROM

Atmel has launched the industry’s most innovative Single-Wire EEPROM with only two-pins, making it ideal for the Internet of Things, wearables, consumable, battery and cable identification markets.

The advent of smart gadgets has increasingly made it necessary for embedded systems to store small amounts of information about the system itself. While a majority of memory technology development has been dedicated to increased capacity at low costs, a new class of memory applications have arisen that demand only modest amounts of memory. However, because these memories provide capabilities that might be considered administrative or overhead, space and power must be kept down to an absolute minimum in order to keep the extra functionality from pushing the system beyond its power and size requirements.


Fortunately, a new class of serial EEPROM has emerged to satisfy this need. Meet the Atmel AT21CS01/11 SEEPROM. Tapping into our legacy of delivering “advanced technology for memory and logic,” hence our name, Atmel has launched the industry’s most innovative Single-Wire EEPROM with only two-pins — a data pin and ground pin for operation — making the new family ideal for the Internet of Things, wearables, consumable, battery and cable identification markets.

The AT21CS01/11 are self-powered, eliminating the need for a power source or Vcc pin, with a parasitic power scheme over the data pin. This latest set of devices provide best-in-class ultra-low power standby of 700nA, 200µA for write current, and 80µA for read current at 25 degree Celsius—delivering just one-third of the power of leading competitors.

With confined spacing in smaller IoT, wearables, battery and cable identification applications, the AT21CS01/11 eradicate the need for external capacitors and rectifiers with its parasitic power scheme over a single data pin. Additionally, the new devices have an ultra-high write endurance capability to allow more than one million cycles for each memory location to meet the requirements for today’s high-write endurance applications.

The AT21CS01/11 products include a simple product identification with a plug-and-play 64-bit unique serial number in every device, making it ideal for connected gadgetry in today’s IoT world. The new Single-Wire EEPROM family also delivers industry-leading electrostatic discharge (ESD) rating (IEC 61000-4-2 Level 4 ESD Compliant), so applications such as cables and consumables can tolerate exposure to the outside environment or direct human contact while still delivering flawless performance.


“With Atmel’s legacy rooted in memory, we are excited to bring a new generation of innovative ‘true 2-pin’ serial EEPROMs that are parasitically powered,” explained Padam Singh, Atmel’s Director of Marketing, Memory Products. “Our new Single-Wire EEPROM family makes it very convenient to add serial EEPROM using just one-pin from the MCU/MPU without the need to route the Vcc to the device, delivering significant board space savings while simplifying the layout. In addition, the plug-and-play 64-bit serial number is the easiest way to add identification to various accessories and consumables. We look forward to proliferating these products to next-generation applications and delivering more value-added solutions and industry-firsts.”

The recently-revealed products follow the I2C protocol, allowing for an easy migration from existing EEPROM with less overhead and capability to connect up to eight devices on the same bus. The AT21CS01 offers a security register with a 64-bit factory programmed serial number and an extra 16-bytes of user programmable and permanently lockable storage, delivering a guaranteed unique serial number for inventory tracking, asset tagging and can permanently protect the data if needed.

There are two variants of the device available to support different voltage requirements. The AT21CS01 is targeted for low-voltage applications operating at 1.7V-3.6V. For applications that require higher voltage ranges such as Li-Ion/polymer batteries, the AT21CS11 will support 2.7V-4.5V operating range and is the ideal product to meet IEEE1725 specifications for electronic identification of battery packs.

Interested? The AT21CS01 is now available in production quantities in 3-lead SOT23, 8-lead SOIC and 4-ball WLCSP, while the AT21CS11 will debut later this year in Q4. Read more about the 2-pin, self-powered Serial EEPROM series here.

Atmel and IoT and Crypto, oh my!

One of the companies that is best positioned to supply components into the Internet of Things (IoT) market is Atmel. For the time being most designs will be done using standard components, not doing massive integration on an SoC targeted at a specific market. The biggest issue in the early stage of market development will be working out what the customer wants and so the big premium will be on getting to market early and iterating fast, not premature cost optimization for a market that might not be big enough to support the design/NRE of a custom design.

Latest product in Atmel's SmartConnect family, the SAM W25 module

Here is Atmel’s latest product in the SmartConnect family, the SAM W25 module

Atmel has microcontrollers, literally over 500 different flavors and in two families, the AVR family and a broad selection of ARM microcontrollers ad processors. They have wireless connectivity. They have strong solutions in security.

Indeed last week at Electronica in Germany they announced the latest product in the SmartConnect family, the SAM W25 module. It is the industry’s first fully-integrated FCC-certified Wi-Fi module with a standalone MCU and hardware security from a single source. The module is tiny, not much larger than a penny. The module includes Atmel’s recently-announced 2.4GHz IEEE 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi WINC1500, along with an Atmel | SMART SAM D21 ARM Cortex M0+-based MCU and Atmel’s ATECC108A optimized CryptoAuthentication engine with ultra-secure hardware-based key storage for secure connectivity.

Atmel at Electronica 2014

Atmel at Electronica 2014

That last item is a key component for many IoT designs. Security is going to be a big thing and with so many well-publicized breaches of software security, the algorithms, and particularly the keys, are moving quickly into hardware. That component, the ATECC108A, provides state-of-the-art hardware security including a full turnkey Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA) engine using key sizes of 256 or 283 bits – appropriate for modern security environments without the long computation delay typical of software solutions. Access to the device is through a standard I²C Interface at speeds up to 1Mb/sec. It is compatible with standard Serial EEPROM I²C Interface specifications. Compared to software, the device is:

  • Higher performance (faster encryption)
  • Lower power
  • Much harder to compromise

Atmel has a new white paper out, Integrating the Internet of Things, Necessary Building Blocks for Broad Market Adoption. Depending on whose numbers you believe, there will be 50 billion IoT edge devices connected by 2020.

Edge nodes are becoming integrated into everyone’s life

As it says in the white paper:

On first inspection, the requirements of an IoT edge device appear to be much the same as any other microcontroller (MCU) based development project. You have one or more sensors that are read by an MCU, the data may then be processed locally prior to sending it off to another application or causing another event to occur such as turning on a motor. However, there are decisions to be made regarding how to communicate with these other applications. Wired, wireless, and power line communication (PLC) are the usual options. But, then you have to consider that many IoT devices are going to be battery powered, which means that their power consumption needs to be kept as low as possible to prolong battery life. The complexities deepen when you consider the security implications of a connected device as well. And that’s not just security of data being transferred, but also ensuring your device can’t be cloned and that it does not allow unauthorized applications to run on it.
IoT Design Requirements - Software / Development Tools Ecosystem

IoT design requirements: Software / development tools ecosystem

For almost any application, the building blocks for an IoT edge node are the same:

  • Embedded processing
  • Sensors
  • Connectivity
  • Security
  • And while not really a “building block,” ultra-low power for always-on applications

My view is that the biggest of these issues will be security. After all, even though Atmel has hundreds of different microcontrollers and microprocessors, there are plenty of other suppliers. Same goes for connectivity solutions. But strong cryptographhic solutions implemented in hardware are much less common.

The new IoT white paper is available for download here.

This post has been republished with permission from SemiWiki.com, where Paul McLellan is a featured blogger. It first appeared there on November 19, 2014.

Atmel launches industry’s first wide-Vcc low-power temperature sensor family

We’re excited to announce the launch of the industry’s first family of high-precision digital temperature sensors with the widest Vcc range from 1.7V to 5.5V. The new family delivers higher temperature accuracy and faster I2C bus communication speeds, and are available with integrated nonvolatile registers and serial EEPROM memory making them ideal for consumer, industrial, computer, and medical applications.


With the widest Vcc range in the industry, the new temperature sensor family allows customers to purchase one device to cover all their Vcc requirements in a variety of applications. Currently, digital temperature sensors on the market are available with a very limited Vcc range requiring customers to purchase multiple temperature sensors in their overall bill of materials (BOM) and utilizing multiple devices to cover the different voltage ranges across various applications.

Atmel’s new family of digital temperature sensors lets customers select just one device to cover all Vcc requirements in various applications, reducing their overall BOM. The new family also delivers a higher accuracy rate at ±0.5°C accuracy (typical) across the 0°C to +85°C temperature range across the entire wide voltage range (1.7V to 5.5V). The low voltage operation of the devices also reduce the overall power consumption in applications such as portable handheld consumer devices, enabling longer battery life.

“Developers for consumer, industrial, computer, medical applications are constantly looking for ways to reduce their overall bill of materials while increasing their system reliability and lowering their power consumption,” said Bryce Morgan, Atmel Strategic Marketing Manager. “With Atmel’s new family of temperature sensors, developers are guaranteed a wide Vcc range along with higher temperature accuracy to satisfy a variety of applications across all market segments. Even more, the new family enables these developers to lower their overall system BOM, while increasing system reliability and lowering the overall power by selecting just one device in this new temp sensor family.”

The new family also delivers a faster I2C bus communication with speeds of up to 1MHz, increasing the data throughput for both temperature sensor operations and for devices with integrated Serial EEPROM. Additionally, the new lineup includes six high-precision, digital temperature sensors based on the industry-standard LM75 functionality offered by a number of vendors. All the devices accurately measure and monitor temperature to address the thermal monitoring requirements for a wide variety of applications and are highly configurable..

Those interested in the new digital temperature sensor family are in luck! AT30TS74, AT30TS75A, AT30TS750A, AT30TSE752A, AT30TSE754A, and the AT30TSE758A are now available.

A closer look at Atmel’s AT24CS Serial EEPROM

Yesterday, Bits & Pieces got up close and personal with Atmel’s AT24MAC family which provides a pre-programmed MAC address inside of a serial EEPROM device – without consuming any user memory area.


And today we will be taking a closer look at Atmel’s AT24CS Serial EEPROM. Simply put, practically every application in production today can benefit from or (already) requires a unique identifier or serial number.

“This number allows identification and tracking for multiple purposes including node identity, build control, version control, customer tracking and authenticity check,” an Atmel engineering rep told Bits & Pieces.

“However, building and maintaining an infrastructure to assign and maintain the serialization of products, particularly in high-volume production lines across multiple locations, can be challenging.”

And that’s precisely why Atmel’s AT24CS lineup of devices includes a unique, factory-programmed, read-only 128-bit serial number to help engineers simplify inventory control of mass production lines, all while enhancing product trace-ability.

“The CS family comes in multiple EEPROM array densities from 1Kb through 64Kb,” the Atmel engineering rep continued. “As an application’s needs grow over time and greater memory densities are required, the 128-bit serial number contained within any CS series Serial EEPROM product remains unique, enabling the value to remain distinctive across the entire portfolio of applications.”

As expected, the AT24CS series maintains all of the features that make serial EEPROMs a must-have element in most designs, including one million cycle write endurance, 100-year data retention, byte write capability, along with very low active and standby current consumption. Plus, the read-only serial number is stored in a separate area and does not reduce the user portion of  the memory array.

Interested in learning more about Atmel’s AT24CS and AT24MAC? Be sure to check out our official product page here.