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ARM Cortex-A5-based MPU targets industrial IoT, wearables

Posted: 15 Sep 2015     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Atmel  industrial IoT  wearable  MPU  ARM Cortex 

Atmel Corp. has uncloaked a line-up of Atmel | SMART ARM Cortex-A5-based microprocessors (MPUs) that claims to provide the world's lowest power consumption for all MPUs in its class. According to the company, the device deliver sub 200µA in retention mode with context preserved, 30µs ultra-fast wake-up and a new backup mode with DDR in self-refresh at only 50µA.

The Atmel | SMART SAMA5D2 series boasts a complete audio subsystem, lower pin-count and ultra-small package for space-constrained applications, and built-in PCI-level security targeting industrial Internet of Things (IoT), wearables and point of sale (POS) applications.

Expanding the Atmel SAMA5 family, the SAMA5D2 series delivers just the right price-to-performance ratio for applications requiring an entry-level MPU and extended industrial temperature range (-40°C to 105°C ambient temperature). The series is also a great migration path for designers using ARM926-based MPUs looking for higher performance and additional features including low power, higher security, DDR3 support, smaller footprint, audio, USB HSIC and Atmel's patented SleepWalking technology.

Featuring an ARM NEON engine, the SAMA5D2 series delivers 500MHz and 166MHz of system clocking. The memory system includes a configurable 16bit or 32bit DDR interface controller, 16bit external bus interface (EBI), QSPI Flash interface, ROM with secure and non-secure boot solution, 128KB of SRAM plus 128KB of L2Cache configurable as SRAM extension. The user interface system for the SAMA5D2 includes a 24bit TFT LCD controller, an audio subsystem with fractional PLL, multiple I2S and SSC/TDM channels, a stereo class D amplifier and digital microphone support.

The robust security system in the SAMA5D2 includes the ARM TrustZone technology, along with secure boot, hardware cryptography, RSA/ECC, on-the-fly encryption/decryption on DDR and QSPI memories, tamper resistance, memory scrambling, independent watchdog, temperature, voltage and frequency monitoring and a unique ID in each device.

To support the series of SAMA5D2 MPUs, Atmel has developed a free Linux distribution available on and published in the mainline kernel. For non-operating system users, Atmel delivers more than 40 peripheral drivers in C. Atmel collaborates with a global network of partners, including IAR, ARM, Free Electrons, Active-Semi, Micron, ISSI, Winbond, Segger, Lauterbach, FreeRTOS, Express Logic, NuttX and Sequitur Labs, that deliver development tools, PMIC, memories and software solutions.

To help accelerate a designer's development, the SAMA5 Xplained Ultra kit is available for $79. The Xplained Ultra board includes an embedded debugger and programmer and includes a range of compatible extensions boards. Standalone programmer debugger solutions supporting the SAMA5 family are also available from both Atmel and third parties.

Early samples of the SAMA5D2 are available and ATSAMA5D2-XULT Xplained Ultra boards are available in October. First production quantities of the Atmel | SMART SAMA5D2 series will ship in December 2015 and pricing starts at $4.95 for 1,000-piece quantities.

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