Atmel - Microcontroller said to lower Industry’s Best Power Consumption by 63%

22nd June 2009
ES Admin

Atmel announced today the availability of its 32-bit AT32UC3L AVR32 microcontroller with Atmel’s picoPower low power technology and embedded capacitive touch controller peripheral. The AT32UC3L is the industry’s lowest power 32-bit MCU with less than 0.48 mW/MHz in active mode executing real-life applications. The device is also the first 32-bit microcontroller to feature a built-in capacitive touch interface, making the device suitable in a wide range of embedded applications. The introduction of AT32UC3L expands Atmel’s 32-bit MCU portfolio consisting of ARM and AVR32 products.

picoPower technology sets new standard for 32-bit MCU power consumption. Atmel’s picoPower technology enables the AT32UC3L to operate on less than 1.5 uA with the 32 KHz Real Time Clock active, and below 100 nA with all oscillators stopped. The device features Atmel’s true 1.6V technology, which keeps the device fully operational in systems with supply voltage ranging from 1.62 to 3.60V.

Embedded Capacitive Touch Peripheral. The AT32UC3L’s built in capacitive touch peripheral unit makes capacitive touch as easy as incorporating just another peripheral. The device supports capacitive touch buttons and sliders, and the hardware support enables the addition of capacitive touch to the application with no additional software overhead. The capacitive touch hardware also allows the microcontroller to wake up from sleep on touch.

Atmel's QTouch™ technology provides the industry's most robust touch solution with a high signal to noise ratio that improves the system’s design margin, increases EMC performance and raises ESD tolerance. It is ideal for applications where reliability is required, such as consumer user interfaces, industrial and automotive applications and those where high moisture levels are present.

FlashVault Code Protection. The AT32UC3L also includes a brand new flash security technology named FlashVault. FlashVault allows the on-chip flash to be partially programmed and locked, creating secure on-chip storage for secret code and software intellectual property. Code stored in the FlashVault will execute as normal, but cannot be read, copied or debugged. This allows a device with FlashVault code protection to carry a piece of valuable software such as a math library or an encryption algorithm from a trusted location to a potentially untrustworthy partner where the rest of the source code can be developed, debugged and programmed.

Peripheral Event System Eliminates Interrupts Processing. In addition to capacitive touch and secure memory, the AT32UC3L brings numerous innovations into the 32-bit microcontroller space with new functionality, improved reliability, and reduced cost. The AT32UC3L introduces Atmel’s Peripheral Event System for the first time on a 32-bit microcontroller. The innovative peripheral event system allows peripherals to send signals (events) directly to other peripherals without involving the CPU. By offloading to the peripheral event system the repetitive task of forwarding these events, the CPU will reduce drastically the time consuming handling of interrupts. This will free up more time for the CPU to handle other tasks in the application, and often allow the CPU to remain longer in one of the AVR32’s many energy saving sleep modes.

Clock Failure Protection. The UC3L has a state-of-the art clock system with clock failure protection, Frequency Meter, Real Time Clock with Calendar mode, a precision crystal oscillator tuner and accurate Digital Frequency Locked Loop. The peripherals include a 9 channel 12-bit ADC and 8 channel Analog Comparator. And the device is the first microcontroller from Atmel to feature an 8-bit PWM output on every I/O pin.

Development Tools
Atmel’s AVR32 UC3L is supported by the AVR32 Studio integrated development environment used for Atmel’s AVR32 product line. It is available free of charge on Atmel's website. IAR’s Embedded Workbench also supports AVR32 devices. Debugging tools include Atmel’s AVRONE!, STK® 600 Starter Kit, and JTAGICE mkII on-chip debugger.

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