Tag Archives: XSense

Atmel’s ToT hits the road for EELive!

Atmel’s Mobile Training Center is heading to Las Vegas Nevada on March 26th and EE Live! in San Jose in early April.

We’ll be at the McEnery Convention Center on 150 W San Carlos on Tuesday, April 1 – Thursday, April 3, showcasing a wide variety of tech across a number of spaces 
including touchsecuritymicrocontrollers (MCUs), wirelesslighting and automotive.

More specifically, you can check out:

Atmel, along with Xively, will also be co-hosting an Internet of Things (IoT) Engineering Summit at EE Live! on Tuesday, April 1, 2014 @ 11:00 – 11:45 am. Participants are slated discuss the following IoT-related topics:

  • Embedded processing and security
  • Connectivity and interface
  • Software tools and development

You can register for Atmel’s ToT Las Vegas stop here and EE Live! here.

Interested in learning more about Atmel and the IoT? You can check out our article archive on the subject here as well as Atmel’s recent SoMa panel discussion on the IoT here.

Atmel kicks off ToT selfie sweepstakes


Snap, smile and click! Atmel has kicked off its long-awaited Tech on Tour (ToT) selfie sweepstakes

So if you are attending one of our ToT events, or happen to see us stopping to refuel, be sure to come on over and take a selfie with the Atmel crew and our tech-packed mobile trailer. Don’t be camera shy, because you could win a brand new Samsung Galaxy Tab 3!

You can click here for additional details.

As we’ve previously discussed on Bits & Pieces, our tricked-out ToT mobile trailer allows visitors to interact with a wide range of next-gen Atmel tech, including AVR and ARM based microcontrollersautomotive and crypto solutions,microprocessorsInternet Of Things (IoT) productswearable devices3D printerstouch sensors and XSense. 

If you don’t see a stop near you and think your city would enjoy Atmel’s traveling show, be sure to request one and we’ll see what we can do.

This weekend, Atmel’s ToT will be at SXSW in Austin, Texas. We’re based at the Hyatt Regency Austin from March 7-9, 2014, so be sure to stop by during the show to see our latest demos.

More specifically, you can check out:

In addition, we’re proud to host a guest appearance by Autodesk, the very same folks behind the world famous Instructables and 123D Circuits.

Interested in learning more about Atmel’s tech on tour? You can check out our official ToT page 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.

125 new core 32-bit MCU products in 2013

Did you know that Atmel introduced over 125 new core 32-bit microcontroller products during 2013? 

Specifically, we launched a new family of ARM Cortex-M4-based ultra-low power microcontrollers for sensor hub and battery-operated consumer applications.

In addition, the company expanded its family of ARM Cortex-A5 microprocessors with smaller packaging and extended temperature range for wearables, industrial, automotive and medical applications.

Meanwhile, Windows 8.1 designs featuring Atmel’s flagship maXTouch included the ASUS Vivo Tab Note 8, Toshiba Encore WT8, Nokia’s Lumia 2520, HP Omni 10 5600us tablet, HP EliteBook Revolve 810 G2, Lenovo ThinkPad 8, LG Electronics Tab-Book H160 and Z160.

Additional milestones?

  • Turtle Beach selected Atmel’s ultra-low power Wi-Fi system-on-chip solution for the i60 and Z300 EarForce media headset products.
  • maXTouch chosen for Sony’s new PlayStation 4.
  • New Samsung Smart TV remote control touch powered by maXTouch.
  • Atmel’s AvantCar concept, a futuristic automotive center console featuring maXTouch, XSense, LIN transceivers and 8-bit AVR microcontrollers, showcased at CES 2014.

Plus, Atmel’s next-gen XSense is currently shipping in both the HP Omni 10 5600us tablet and HP EliteBook Revolve 810 G2. As we’ve previously reported on Bits & Pieces, touch screen developer Carclo recently told the Yorkshire Post it is well positioned to meet the requirements for the expected ramp up in XSense.

This week, Carclo confirmed “Atmel’s growth expectations and increase in customer design activity in its XSense business” was positive news for its Inkjet Technology business, which provides the coated film technology.

Atmel’s XSense can perhaps best be described as a high-performance, highly flexible touch sensor which allows engineers to design devices with curved surfaces and functionality along product edges. Based on a proprietary roll-to-roll metal mesh technology, XSense touch sensors provide a clear alternative to existing touch sensors. Simply put, manufacturers can now build light-weight, sleek, edgeless smartphones, tablets and other touch-enabled devices with extremely versatile form factors.

Additional key XSense specs include:

  • Highly accurate stylus performance (active or passive)
  • Support for larger touchscreens
  • Flexibility – for curved surfaces
  • Narrow border – for larger active screen areas
  • Narrow bond area – for optimized device reliability
  • Low sheet resistance for better noise immunity and lower power

Interested in learning more? You can find additional information about Atmel’s XSense technology here.

Sir Mix-A-Lot visits Atmel HQ



The famous ’90s rapper turned music producer Sir Mix-A-Lot recently visited Atmel headquarters in San Jose to check out our newly-unveiled Tech on Tour mobile trailer.

 While there, we had the opportunity to discuss various product demos, particularly Sir Mix-A-Lot’s impression of Atmel’s smart WiFi and XSense.

As we’ve previously discussed on Bits & Pieces, Atmel’s XSense is a high-performance, highly flexible touch sensor which allows engineers to design devices with curved surfaces and even add functionality along product edges.

Essentially, this means manufacturers now have the capability to build light-weight, sleek, edgeless smartphones, tablets and other touch-enabled devices.

The founder of the Nastymix record label, Sir Mix-A-Lot debuted in 1988 with Swass. The rapper is perhaps best known for his 1992 album Mack Daddy and its Grammy Award-winning single “Baby Got Back.”

You can check out additional photos of Sir Mix-A-Lot’s visit below.

Video: Atmel’s AvantCar demo

Earlier this month, Atmel debuted its AvantCar concept at CES 2014 in Las Vegas. The fully functional console features two large curved touchscreen displays – without mechanical buttons. 

Instead, the touchscreens integrate capacitive touch buttons and sliders, allowing users to navigate general applications typically found within an automotive center console.

This includes global navigation system (GPS), car thermostat, audio controls for a radio or media player, seat controls and more. AvantCar also allows drivers to personalize their in-vehicle environment using advanced touch capabilities and LIN connectivity system to control ambient lighting.

According to Atmel Marketing Director Stephan Thaler, AvantCar successfully demonstrates the future of human machine interface (HMI) in upcoming vehicles. Indeed, next-generation automotive designs will be influenced by a wide range of trends in the consumer market such as slick and curved centerstack designs, as well as customization by appearance, color, navigation and interaction with a smartphone or tablet.

Atmel offers a number of comprehensive platforms and solutions to address the current and future requirements of a modern in-vehicle human-machine interface (HMI). However, the AvantCar Centerstack demo is the company’s first fully functional concept showcasing groundbreaking solutions within the automobile.

 To be sure, AvantCar is powered entirely by Atmel technology, including maXTouch (two touchscreens), XSense (curved panel design), QTouch (touch buttons and sliders), dedicated algorithms running on Atmel touch chips and microcontrollers (proximity detection), as well as LIN-based ambient lighting control.

Interested in learning more about Atmel’s AvantCar demo? You can check out our in-depth article on the subject here.

Atmel’s Tech on Tour mobile trailer hits the road



Atmel’s Tech on Tour (ToT) crew has tirelessly crisscrossed the globe for many years, offering hands-on technical training for a wide range of company products. This month, Atmel kicked off a new ToT era with a tricked-out mobile trailer that will be hitting the road this month.

The versatile mobile training center allows visitors to interact with a plethora of next-gen Atmel tech, including AVR and ARM based microcontrollers, automotive and crypto solutions, microprocessors, Internet Of Things (IoT) products, wearable devices, 3D printers, touch sensors and XSense.

In addition to hands-on training, Atmel will leverage the fact that it is at the heart of the Maker Movement and well positioned at the center of IoT innovation. From my perspective, the IoT will be led by a rising generation of tinkerers, inventors and innovators. These are dedicated people who are working out of universities, garages and small companies. We will go and meet them.

IMG_1202

Our mobile Tech on Tour trailer provides a familiar setting for customers, engineers and Makers, as well as designers, students, professor and executives. We want to meet people in the market working on projects like electronics, robotics, transportation, alternative energy and sustainable agriculture. That is why we are offering hands-on training and access to soldering irons, along with a chance to brainstorm about the future together.

IMG_1345

To be sure, the ToT trailer is quite a scalable platform, functioning not only as a mobile training center, a showroom and conference center, but also as a trade show booth, entertainment center, content creation platform, executive meeting center, recruitment platform, tech support center and employee engagement engine.

TruckInsideFronta_111513_IMG_8912.small

On top of that, we are partnering with all global distribution partners, customers, third parties, Makers, government officials and universities to bring Atmel to the market. We are very excited about the concept and the pull from the market and distribution partners has been very promising.

Note: You can request a ToT stop at your location here.

Atmel’s AvantCar concept is on SemiWiki



Writing for SemiWiki, Don Dingee says the full potential for smaller, curved displays “jumps out” in the context of wearables and the Internet of Things (IoT).

According to Dingee, flexible displays present a challenge well beyond the simplistic knobs-and-sliders, or even the science of multi-touch that allows swiping and other gestures. 

Indeed, abandoning the relative ease of planar coordinates implies not only smarter touch sensors, but sophisticated algorithms that can handle the challenges of projecting capacitance into curved space.

“Atmel fully appreciates the magnitude of this revolution, and through a combination of serendipity and good planning is in the right place at the right time to make curved touchscreens for wearables and the IoT happen,” he explains.

“With CES becoming an almost-auto show, it was the logical place to showcase the AvantCar proof of concept, illustrating just what curves can do for touch-enabled displays in consumer design.”

As Dignee notes, the metal mesh technology in XSense – “fine line metal” or FLM – means the touch sensor is fabricated on a flexible PET film, as it is capable of conforming to flat or reasonably curved displays up to 12 inches.

“XSense uses mutual capacitance, with electrodes in an orthogonal matrix, really an array of small touchscreens within a larger display,” he continues.

“This removes ambiguity in the reported multiple touch coordinates by reporting points independently, and coincidentally enables better handling of polar coordinates following the curve of a display using Atmel’s maxTouch micro controllers (MCUs).”

Dingee also asks his reader to imagine Atmel’s XSense concept outside of a next-gen vehicle, extending to a myriad of IoT and wearable devices.

“Gone are the clunky elastomeric buttons of the typical appliance, replaced by a shaped display with configurable interfaces depending on context. Free of the need for flat surfaces and mechanical switches in designs, touch displays can be integrated into many more wearable and everyday consumer devices,” he adds.

“The same revolution created by projected capacitance for touch in smartphones and tablets can now impact all kinds of smaller devices, a boon for user experience designers looking for more attractive and creative ways to present interfaces.”

Interested in learning more about Atmel’s AvantCar concept? You can check out our detailed coverage of the futuristic demo here.

AutomoBlog features Atmel’s AvantCar concept

Earlier this week, Atmel showcased its AvantCar curved touch screen console concept at CES 2014 in Las Vegas. As Atmel Marketing Director Stephan Thaler notes, the exhibit demonstrates the future of human machine interface (HMI) in upcoming vehicles. 

Indeed, the fully functional console features two large curved touchscreen displays – without mechanical buttons. Instead, the touchscreens integrate capacitive touch buttons and sliders, allowing users to navigate general applications typically found within an automotive center console.

Atmel’s CES 2014 AvantCar demo was covered by a number of publications and journalists during the show, including Chris Nagy of AutomoBlog.

“No longer accepting that a touch interface or screens must be flat, convex and concave shapes could be commonplace. The majority of devices [at CES 2014] showing off curved displays are smartphones and televisions. However, one company at CES is marketing the potential of curved touch controls in future automotive interiors,” writes Nagy.

“Atmel has brought an array of ideas purposing to change the way driver’s interact with their cars. Exhibited on their AvantCar concept, Atmel’s high-tech interior features reveal several advancements meant to make the interaction with vehicle controls more natural and attractive. While Atmel’s local interconnect networking systems will probably appeal fascinating to automotive engineers, a large touchscreen with an ultra sensitive, high response rate exhibited within the AvantCar’s center console can easily entice the broad audience of gadget-loving motorists.”

In his AvantCar article, Nagy also highlights the importantl role Atmel’s XSense technology plays in the demo and beyond.

“Employing a surface utilizing metal mesh technology, the XSense touch sensor residing inside an automobile could greatly contribute to sound ergonomics and interior style,” says Nagy.

“Perhaps the first spot coming to mind for the use of Atmel’s XSense technology would be creating curved vehicle infotainment displays operating on MyFord Touch or the systems related to newly-announced Android-based consoles.”

As the journalist points out, XSense offers a stylish, viable alternative to mechanical switches, knobs and buttons found in almost every modern vehicle interior.

“On future vehicles, windows, door locks and climate controls could potentially be operated through touch with XSense. Who knows, maybe the steering wheel could also be replaced with a wheel-like touch sensor on a future car,” he adds.

“Atmel champions the longevity and weatherproof of the XSense touch sensor as being beneficial for applications within future vehicle interiors. The wide-scale possibilities of curved touch sensors will also serve as a blessing to the interior stylists for major auto companies as a full-range of shapes can be presented in a cutting-edge fashion.”

A closer look at Atmel’s AvantCar concept



Earlier this month, Atmel debuted its AvantCar concept at CES 2014 in Las Vegas. The fully functional console features two large curved touchscreen displays – without mechanical buttons. 

Instead, the touchscreens integrate capacitive touch buttons and sliders, allowing users to navigate general applications typically found within an automotive center console.

This includes global navigation system (GPS), car thermostat, audio controls for a radio or media player, seat controls and more. AvantCar also allows drivers to personalize their in-vehicle environment using advanced touch capabilities and LIN connectivity system to control ambient lighting.

According to Atmel Marketing Director Stephan Thaler, AvantCar successfully demonstrates the future of human machine interface (HMI) in upcoming vehicles. Indeed, next-generation automotive designs will be influenced by a wide range of trends in the consumer market such as slick and curved centerstack designs, as well as customization by appearance, color, navigation and interaction with a smartphone or tablet.

Atmel offers a number of comprehensive platforms and solutions to address the current and future requirements of a modern in-vehicle human-machine interface (HMI). However, the AvantCar Centerstack demo is the company’s first fully functional concept showcasing groundbreaking solutions within the automobile.

To be sure, AvantCar is powered entirely by Atmel technology, including maXTouch (two touchscreens), XSense (curved panel design), QTouch (touch buttons and sliders), dedicated algorithms running on Atmel touch chips and microcontrollers (proximity detection), as well as LIN-based ambient lighting control.

Let’s take a closer look at the above-mentioned technology behind the concept.

maXTouch

Atmel’s maXTouch lineup is qualified for various automotive applications, including in-vehicle touchscreens and touchpads.

maXTouch supports screens and pads from 2 inches up to 12 inches in size and is ideally suited for center stack displays as well as navigation systems, radio human-machine interfaces (HMIs) and rear seat entertainment systems. In addition, maXTouch devices provide unlimited touch identification, fast response time, precise operation and low power consumption for touch-based designs.

XSense



Atmel’s XSense touch sensors open a new world of possibilities for touch-based products. A highly flexible film, XSense sensors can be used on curved surfaces and edges, facilitating the design of futuristic in-vehicle touchscreens and surfaces. XSense also enables the replacement of mechanical switches or rotary knobs on a curved centerstack surface with more reliable, moisture-resistant, touch-based buttons.

QTouch


Atmel’s QTouch library makes it easy for developers to embed capacitive-touch button, slider, wheel and proximity functionality in microcontroller applications.

The library facilitates the design of touch panels in the centerstack, as well as overhead or door panels. Plus, the royalty-free QTouch Library offers several files for each device, while supporting a number of touch channels – enabling both flexibility and efficiency in touch applications. In addition, Atmel provides a number of fixed-function products from 1 to 48 channels, with some of them qualified for the automotive market.

Automotive-qualified mcirocontrollers



New automotive functions require local intelligence and control, which can be optimized by the use of small, powerful microcontrollers.

In conjunction with a corresponding touch library, Atmel’s automotive-qualified MCUs are ideal for driving new and futuristic capacitive-based control panels in current and future cars.

LIN-based ambient lighting control



We offer LIN-related products at all integration levels – from simple transceiver ICs to complex system basis chips (SBC), along with system-in-package solutions such as the Atmel AVR ATA664251 for ambient lighting control.

Interested in learning more? You can check out Atmel’s extensive automotive portfolio here.