New 8-bit MCUs enable increased functionality in sensor nodes

Posted By : Alex Lynn
New 8-bit MCUs enable increased functionality in sensor nodes

It has been announced by Microchip Technology that they are expanding their tinyAVR MCU series with two new devices which offer advanced analogue features and the largest memory variants in the family.

Designed for reliable operation in harsh environments, the ATtiny3217 and ATtiny3216 offer built-in safety functions to help designers to create robust and safe systems.

AVR microcontrollers (MCUs) have long been used to create highly responsive sensor nodes because of their cost effectiveness and ease of implementation. To enhance the capability and responsiveness of sensor applications, including capacitive touch interfaces, the ATtiny3217 and ATtiny3216 bring the benefit of two Analogue to Digital Converters (ADCs) that enable systems to implement touch control simultaneously with other analogue measurements.

One ADC can be used with the Peripheral Touch Controller (PTC) for touch signal acquisition, while the second one monitors other inputs such as thermistors and pressure sensors, or both ADCs can be used for faster sampling of different types of sensors.

Additional benefits of the ATtiny3217 and ATtiny3216 MCUs include:

  • Improved real time performance and accuracy: The dual ADC can be used for synchronous sampling of analogue signals, such as voltage and current, thus improving the overall system real time performance and accuracy. Additionally, the devices feature a hardware based Event System that enables inter-peripheral communication without CPU involvement, reducing latency and ensuring faster system response.
  • Robust and reliable performance: Both devices come with built-in safety functions to help designers to detect and respond to voltage supply variations or drops, including Power On Reset (POR), programmable Brownout Detect (BOD), Voltage Level Monitor (VLM) and Windowed Watchdog Timer (WWDT).
  • Improved noise immunity and functionality in extreme environments: The devices operate at up to 5V and are available in 125°C variants.
  • Increased functionality with more room for application code: With 32KB of Flash, designers have plenty of room for their application code while retaining a small physical footprint on the PCB.

Microchip’s tinyAVR family of MCUs, including the ATtiny1617 and the ATtiny817 are optimised for performance, power efficiency and ease of use in small packages.

All tinyAVR MCU series devices are supported by the Atmel Studio 7 integrated development environment (IDE) and the Atmel START code configurator. For evaluation purposes, the ATtiny3217 Xplained Pro evaluation kit is also available.

The ATtiny3217 and ATtiny3216 are available now for sampling and in volume production. The ATtiny3217 Xplained Pro evaluation kit (ATTINY3217-XPRO) is available now priced at $38 each.

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