Tag Archives: SmartConnect

Atmel looks back at Q1 2014 wins and launches

Yesterday, Atmel execs detailed the company’s Q1 2014 highlights. Key launches, collaborative projects and product wins spanned multiple markets, including:

Winning with maXTouch (smartphones) – LG’s G Pro 2, G2 Mini and L Series 3 L90; Verizon’s Lucid 3, Xiaomi’s RedRice 5.5″, Gionee’s Elife S5.5 and ZTE’s Grand S Lite.

Winning with maXTouch (Android and Windows 8 tablets) – Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 4 10.1,” Galaxy Tab 12.2,” Galaxy Note 12.2″ and HP’s EliteBook 1000 G2.

Collaborating with Corning – Developing ultra-thin, next-generation capacitive touchscreens using Gorilla Glass and XSense.

Working with Mentor GraphicsAccelerating development of next-gen IoT devices using Atmel’s ARM-based Cortex M3 and M4 based microcontrollers under the auspices of the Embedded Nucleus Innovate Program.

Launching maXTouch 1066T and 1068T – Extending product leadership in the large screen capacitive touch market with devices targeted at 7″ – 8.9″ high performance tablets.

Introducing the new automotive maXTouch S lineup – Targeting touchscreens up to 14″ in center consoles, navigation systems, radio interfaces and rear-seat entertainment systems.

Debuting the SmartConnect platform – Integrating Atmel’s ultra-low power microcontrollers (MCUs) and wireless connectivity solutions into turnkey solutions for the Internet of Things (IoT).

Introducing new low-power ARM Cortex M0+ microcontrollers (SAM D21, D10 and D11) – Offering Atmel’s peripheral event system, support for capacitive touch button, slider and wheel user interfaces, multiple serial communications modules, along with a full-speed USB interface, as well as additional pin and memory combinations.

Unveiling new $79 SAMA5D3 Xplained evaluation kit – Providing a low-cost, fast prototyping and evaluation platform for microprocessor-based design built around Atmel’s SAMA5D3 ARM Cortex-A5 processor-based MPU.

Xplaining 8-bit development– Offering a development board for Makers and engineers based on Atmel’s 8-bit AVR technology.

Launching the ATPL230A – Introducing a Power Line Communications (PLC) modem designed to implement the physical layer of the PRIME standard (Power Line Intelligent Metrology Evolution).

Rolling out Atmel Studio 6.2 – Upgrading the popular integrated development environment for Atmel AVR and ARM based microcontrollers.

Ramping up with LIN – Extending Atmel’s automotive in-vehicle networking leadership position with the launch of next-generation, low-power local interconnect networking (LIN) systems.

Atmel’s IoT SmartConnect is on HackADay

Atmel recently expanded its wireless product portfolio with a new family of solutions targeting the rapidly evolving Internet of Things (IoT).

Essentially, the new SmartConnect family combines Atmel’s ultra-low power MCUs with its wireless solutions and complementary software into a single package, allowing designers to easily add wireless connectivity to any embedded system. This new lineup includes Atmel’s SmartConnect Wi-Fi modules, an integration of the company’s ultra-low power Wi-Fi System-on-Chip with a Cortex M0+ ARM-based MCU, and the SmartConnect ZigBee SAM R21, a single-chip integrating Atmel’s ultra-low power ZigBee solution with a Cortex-M0+-based MCU.

Earlier this week, HackADay’s Eric Evenchick talked with Atmel reps about the new SmartConnect family. In his subsequent coverage, EvenChick wrote:

“SmartConnect moves beyond the point-to-point nature of WiFi Direct, and enables connections to standard access points. The SmartConnect series is designed for embedding in low cost devices that need to connect to a network… The first devices in the SmartConnect line will be modules based on two chips: an Atmel SAMD21 Cortex-M0+ microcontroller and an Ozmo 3000 WiFi System on Chip. There’s also an on-board antenna and RF shielding can. It’s a drop in WiFi module, which is certified by the FCC. You can hook up your microcontroller to this device over SPI, and have a fully certified design that supports WiFi.”

As Evenchick notes, there are two ways to use the module.

“The first is as an add-on, which is similar to existing modules. A host microcontroller communicates with the module over SPI and utilizes its command set. The second method uses the module as a standalone device, with application code running on the internal SAMD21 microcontroller,” he explained.

“Atmel has said that the standalone option will only be available on a case to case basis, but we’re hoping this opens up to everyone. If the Arduino toolchain could target this microcontroller, it could be a great development platform for cheap WiFi devices.”

Evenchick also pointed out that there are some notable differences between Atmel’s WiFi module and other platforms on the market.

“One major feature is the built in support for TLS and HTTPS, which makes it easier to build devices with secure connections. This is critical when deploying devices that are connected over the Internet. [Plus], Atmel [announced] improvements in power management as well,” he continued.

“The module can run straight from a battery at 1.8 V to 3.3 V without external regulation, and has a deep sleep current of 5 nA. Obviously the operating power will be much higher, but this will greatly assist devices that sporadically connect to the internet. SmartConnect is targeting a launch date of June 15, so we hope to learn more this summer.”

Interested in reading more about Atmel’s SmartConnect lineup? You can check out HackADay’s full write up here and our original Bits & Pieces SmartConnect article here.

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.

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.

Atmel’s SmartConnect lineup targets the IoT

Atmel has expanded its wireless product portfolio with a new family of solutions targeting the rapidly evolving Internet of Things (IoT). Essentially, the new SmartConnect family combines Atmel’s ultra-low power MCUs with its wireless solutions and complementary software into a single package, allowing designers to easily add wireless connectivity to any embedded system. This new lineup includes Atmel’s SmartConnect Wi-Fi modules, an integration of the company’s ultra-low power Wi-Fi System-on-Chip with a Cortex M0+ ARM-based MCU, and the SmartConnect ZigBee SAM R21, a single-chip integrating Atmel’s ultra-low power ZigBee solution with a Cortex-M0+-based MCU.

SmartConnect_chip

Atmel’s SmartConnect solutions can be deployed across a wide range of markets, helping to accelerate development time for cost-effective, battery-operated applications in the residential, healthcare, industrial, smart energy and wearable spaces.

“Atmel’s Wi-Fi solutions deliver industry-leading low-power consumption and are the leading market solution for power-constraint applications such as remote controls,” explained Reza Kazerounian, Sr. Vice President and General Manager, Microcontroller Business Unit, Atmel Corporation.

“Atmel also has a long history of providing ultra-low power wireless connectivity for sophisticated applications that are IEEE 802.15.4-compliant, IPv6/6LoWPAN-based and ZigBee-certified for nearly a decade. [Our] broad portfolio of wireless products combine the company’s rich family of RF transceivers with 8- and 32-bit AVRs and ARM-based MCUs.”

As Kazerounian notes, ultra-low power wireless connectivity is critical for embedded applications in the era of the Internet of Things.

“[That is why] Atmel’s SmartConnect technology is about simplifying the use of embedded wireless connectivity technologies and enabling users to accelerate their time-to-market. This simplicity allows all players to participate in the IoT market, fueling the innovation needed to accelerate adoption,” he added.

Greg Potter, Analyst, SNL Kagan MRG, expressed similar sentiments.

“With over 50 billion devices predicted to be connected by 2020, it’s important for embedded companies to provide an ultra-low power turnkey solution that brings a complex mix of embedded and connectivity technologies in a single package,” he said.

“Atmel’s new SmartConnect family does just that by coupling ultra-low power MCUs with Wi-Fi and ZigBee connectivity into a single package. The company’s breadth of easy-to-use IoT solutions, ranging from embedded processing to connectivity and software/tools, will enable more designers to bring their connected devices to market.”

Key facts about Atmel’s SmartConnect family

SmartConnect Wi-Fi

Providing designers with flexibility to help accelerate development, this new family of modules bring wireless Internet connectivity to any embedded design. 

The first products are an ultra-low power lineup of Wi-Fi modules that enable battery-powered IoT endpoints such as thermostats, temperature sensors through Wi-Fi connectivity – without compromising battery life.

These highly integrated modules will enable designers to lower their overall bill of materials while integrating IEEE 802.11 a/b/g wireless connectivity. 

Additionally, the new Wi-Fi modules provide an integrated software solution with application and security protocols such as TLS, integrated network services (TCP/IP stack) and standard Real Time Operating System (RTOS) which are all available via Atmel’s Studio 6 integrated development platform (IDP). 

SmartConnect Wi-Fi is slated to kick off mass production in May 2014.

SmartConnect ZigBee SAM R21



Building on Atmel’s long history of ultra-low power ZigBee solutions, these new products integrate Atmel’s ARM Cortex-M0+-based MCUs with a robust peripheral set and its high-performance RF transceiver. 

The new single-chip series is available in extremely small 5x5mm 32-pin and 7x7mm 48-pin package, effectively saving board space and reducing the overall bill of materials. The devices ship in a variety of memory densities and are qualified for industrial temperature grades up to 125C, making them ideal for wireless lighting control applications such as ZigBee Light Link.

These new devices are fully supported by the wireless composer in Atmel’s Studio 6 IDP and help accelerate development time. 

The ATSAM R21 Xplained PRO board is already available at the official Atmel Store, with Atmel currently sampling the ATSAM R21 series to select customers. Public sampling will be available at the end of March with production quantities slated for July 2014. Pricing for the SAM R21? Starting at $2.75 in 10,000-piece quantities.