Atmel Launches new AVR32 Microcontroller with High Speed Communication for Digital Audio Solutions
Atmel Corporation announced today the introduction of a new AVR32 microcontroller with high speed communication. Featuring Atmel’s 91 DMIPS AVR32 CPU, the AT32UC3A3 includes Hi-Speed USB interface with On-The-Go, a dual high speed SD/MMC card interface plus SDRAM and NAND flash interface with SLC and MLC, ECC. It is targeted to the rapidly growing digital media solutions and audio player docking station markets, where Atmel has seen considerable success with the AT32UC3A introduced in 2007. The AT32UC3A3 also fits a wider range of embedded applications where fast transfer of large amounts of data is a requirement.
AT32UC3A3 features Atmel’s innovative peripheral DMA controller in combination with a multilayer databus. This offloads the CPU by automating the transmission of large packets of data. In addition, to the dual port SRAM found in all AVR32 microcontrollers, the AT32UC3A3 introduces for the first time a distributed SRAM architecture that eliminates latency and potential delay for data flowing through the controller. The 128 KB of on-chip SRAM is split into 3 regions, each offering a separate memory interface to the memory and peripheral DMA controllers. This allows multiple hi-speed data transfers to run simultaneously.
Software audio decoding
The AVR32 is unique in that it offers a wide range of DSP instructions usually only found in high end CPUs and DSPs. Its high performance eliminates the need for custom audio decoder hardware, and it is capable of decoding a stereo MP3 stream at less than 25 MHz. With a maximum speed of up to 66 MHz, this means there is plenty of CPU performance left to handle “heavier” audio formats such as AAC.
High quality playback
The AVR32 microcontroller offers an integrated stereo 16-bit bitstream DAC. This requires only a small external power amplifier to generate the output voltages required for line, headphones or external speakers. Playback in four channel audio or full surround sound requires an external audio codec, usually connected to the microcontroller’s IIS interface.
High speed communication
Streaming a single digital audio track requires a bandwidth of 320 kbit/s or less. But the consumer demands much faster communication for fast synchronization of a large music library with cover art. The AVR32 AT32UC3A3 offers multiple high speed communication interfaces, including a Hi-Speed USB interface with 480 Mbit/s, a NAND flash controller with support for Multi Level Cell error correction, and an MMC/SD port with support for up to two SD card slots with more than 12 Mbyte/s transfer speed.
Low Power consumption
Atmel’s AVR32 microcontroller is one of the world’s leaders in low power design, and the AT32UC3A3 consumes less than 2.0mW/MHz in active mode. This allows the AVR32 microcontroller to deliver more than 150 hours of audio playback from two AA batteries. In standby mode with only Real Time Clock running, a device can stay in the drawer for more than 9 years.
ATEVK1104 reference design - digital audio docking station
To demonstrate the digital audio capabilities of the AVR32 microcontrollers and reduce the time to market for potential customers, Atmel has designed the ATEVK1104 reference design. The kit demonstrates playback from USB mass storage device, SD card or NAND flash, and shows how music can be downloaded or streamed from a PC through the Hi-Speed USB interface. Later this year, Atmel will introduce Bluetooth®, and ZigBee® radio connectivity add-on kits. The reference design also demonstrates Atmel’s capacitive touch solutions.
More than 100 million iPod® and iPhone® devices have been sold in the market, and consumer and automotive audio equipment manufacturers are adding iPod docking capability to their existing products. To registered Apple® “Made for iPod” licensees, Atmel will provide an iPod docking extension kit to the ATEVK1104 and ATEVK1105. The extension kit contains the hardware, firmware and source code required to access and controls the iPod and iPhone via the USB port.