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Atmel debuts high-security, edge node app sol'ns for IoT

Posted: 19 Nov 2014     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Atmel  IoT  ARM Cortex  WiFi module  MCU 

Atmel has rolled out a number of products that feature low-power operation and hardware-based security aimed at edge node applications for the Internet of Things (IoT). According to the company, the 32bit SAM L21 family is based on the ARM Cortex M0+ core and flaunts a record-low power consumption of 40uA/MHz in active mode and 200nA in sleep mode.

On-board peripherals include full-speed USB host and device interfaces, AES acceleration, 12bit analogue and capacitive touch sensing. Many peripherals can remain on while the rest of the system is in low-power mode, supporting always-on applications. The family's specs suit handheld and battery-powered IoT applications, promising designs with multi-year battery lifetimes.

The company announced several low-power 8bit MCUs in the megaAVR family. The mega16PB, mega88PB and mega48PB include peripherals such as SPI and I2C interfaces, analogue comparators and ADCs with improved voltage reference, with memory ranging from 4-16KB of Flash. A recent feature is an ID number unique for every device. This unique identifier can help improve security in IoT and wireless applications by supporting tamper-proof authentication. Targeting developers from the professional to the DIY hobbyist, the megaAVR family has the support of a free development tool (Atmel Studio IDE) and a low-cost (<$10) Arduino shield development board, the Xplained Mini.

Atmel SAM device

For those creating wireless IoT devices, Atmel is offering the SAM 25 WiFi module. It integrates the FCC-certified WINC1500 WiFi transceiver with the SAM D21 Cortex M0+ MCU, an SPI interface and the ATECC108A crypto-authentication engine. The module comes pre-loaded with software that includes TLS 1.0, a TCP/IP stack and WPA2 personal and enterprise security, making it a turnkey platform for secure IoT development. The crypto-authentication engine includes hardware-based key storage for enhanced security.

Atmel also announced the expansion of its partnership with IAR Systems, whose Embedded Workbench IDE tool supports all of Atmel's MCU architectures. The two companies have added 1,400 example projects to the Atmel Software Framework (ASF) library of reference designs across a range of applications. The ASF library of free source code helps simplify low-level configuration and design by providing hardware abstraction with consistent APIs to get developers started quickly.

- Rich Quinnell
  EE Times





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