Tag Archives: vehicle

Accessing your vehicle with Atmel

The automotive industry has certainly come a long way since Henry Ford’s Model T first rolled off the assembly line in 1908. To be sure, car (access) keys have radically evolved from the simple, unassuming steel key of yore to acting as the human interface to a vehicle.

Photographed at the Bay State Antique Automobile Club’s July 10, 2005 show at the Endicott Estate in Dedham, MA by Sfoskett

Similarly, Atmel’s automotive portfolio has also rapidly evolved since 1997 when we introduced our very first dedicated car access transmitter.

Indeed, Atmel now offers a wide range of car access devices that are ideal for developing complete system solutions with the highest levels of security and convenience, supporting remote keyless entry, immobilizer, passive entry/go or combi key applications.

“Remember, providing a high level of security is a must for car access applications, something which is also required by insurance companies worldwide,” an Atmel automotive engineering rep told Bits & Pieces.

“And that is why Remote Keyless Entry (RKE) systems combined with immobilizers are standard in nearly all cars today, while passive Entry/Go (PEG) applications offer the ultimate convenience for car users and are well-established in current luxury vehicles.”

Unsurprisingly, such features are increasingly making their way into medium-class cars. To meet these demands, developers require cost-efficient electronic system solutions that support a high level of integration.

As such, Atmel offers a comprehensive line of ICs (RF, LF, Atmel AVR microcontrollers) to create complete car access and remote start systems, along with dedicated RF transmitters, receivers and transceivers, as well as microcontrollers.


In addition, Atmel enables a uni-directional RF link for the keyless entry function to open or lock the doors. The immobilizer system is built with a bi-directional LF link operating with the AUT64 crypto algorithm.

And last, but certainly not least, Atmel supports a bi-directional RF link for the RKE function as well as for the extremely secure duplex RF link in a Passive Entry Go system. The lF link is used for the wake- up channel in a PEG system and the immobilizer function to start the RF communication.


Interested in learning more about Atmel’s expansive automotive portfolio? Be sure to check out some of our related blog posts from earlier this week, including “A closer look at Atmel’s vehicle portfolio,” “Atmel expands MaXTouch auto lineup,” and “LIN networking for the automotive masses.”

A closer look at Atmel’s vehicle portfolio

Earlier this morning, Atmel announced the expansion of an already formidable automotive maXTouch lineup with the mXT336S (optimized for 7-inch touchscreens) and mXT224S (targeted at smaller touchscreens and tablets).

In addition to touchscreens, Atmel boasts an extensive automotive ecosystem that meets strict quality demands, helping to make vehicles more safe and affordable. Primary solutions include battery management (Li-ion), car access, radio, networking, motor control systems and microcontrollers.

As previously discussed on Bits & Pieces, Atmel’s versatile AVR microcontrollers deliver power, performance and flexibility – making them appropriate for a wide range of automotive applications.

So what differentiates AVR microcontrollers from the competition in the automotive sphere? Well, according to an engineering rep, Atmel offers functionality and high temperature capabilities in its vehicle-oriented chip designs.

“Plus, complete system-in-package (SIP) solutions integrate components such as an AVR microcontroller, LIN and CAN interfaces, voltage regulator, watchdog, floating point unit (FPU), FlashVault code protection, high-speed Ethernet and USB with OTG connectivity in a single cost-effective package,” the engineering rep told Bits & Pieces. “In fact, Atmel’s highly integrated designs can reduce system costs by up to 60 percent, while saving time in development, integration and prototyping.”

Key specs include:

  • High performance – Executing powerful instructions in a single clock cycle, Atmel’s 8-bit automotive AVR MCUs achieve throughputs approaching 1 MIPS per MHz, balancing power consumption with processing speed.
  • Code protection – Atmel FlashVault allows devs to partially program and lock flash memory for secure on-chip storage. Code stored in FlashVault will execute as normal, but cannot be read, copied or debugged. It is also capable of carrying software such as math libraries or encryption algorithms to potentially untrustworthy environments where the rest of the source code can be developed and debugged.
  • Built-in voltage protection – The on-chip voltage regulator with short-circuit monitoring interface featured in several 8-bit microcontrollers ensures reliable operation and extends the useful life of the device and the product it controls.
  • Optimized power efficiency – Thanks to more than a decade of research, Atmel picoPower technology reduces microcontroller power usage in both sleep and active mode to achieve the industry’s lowest power consumption numbers.

Interested in learning more? Additional information about Atmel’s expansive automotive portfolio is available here and here.