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Chips roll for Linux embedded designs

Posted: 08 Jun 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Linux? application processors? embedded design?

AT32AP7001 application processor from Atmel

Atmel Corp. introduces the AT32AP7001, a member of the AVR 32 AP7 family of application processors optimized for cost constrained, Linux-based embedded designs. The device is packaged in a 30-by-30mm VQFP for easy integration into a four-layer PCB design.

Examples of applications for the AT32AP7001 include printers, fax machines, surveillance cameras, audio processing and industrial control equipment. The device is built to run the Linux OS in an embedded setting. Atmel provides a free port and support of the OS and tool chain.

AT32AP7001 is built around Atmel's high throughput AVR32 AP7 application processor core and offers 210 Dhrystone v2.1 MIPS when clocked at 150MHz and powered at 1.8V (1.4DMIPS/MHz), with an active power consumption of 75mA (500?A/MHz). The core has built-in DSP, SIMD instruction set, branch prediction and MMU. The device offers dynamic frequency scaling (DFS), which allows on-the-fly adjustments of the power consumption in the four on-chip clock domains (CPU, high speed bus, two independent peripheral buses).

On-chip peripherals of the AT32AP7001 include a BT 656 compliant camera interface, three full duplex IIS audio channels, one AC97 interface and a built-in two-channel 16bit audio bitstream DAC. It also includes a Hi-Speed (480Mbps) USB device interface with seven endpoints, a dual port MMC/SD card interface, four USARTS, two SPI interfaces and a two-wire interface (I?C compatible). The device also offers up to 90 I/Os.

The AT32AP7001 memory subsystem consists of a 32Kbyte on-chip high speed SRAM, 16+16 Kbyte instruction and data caches, a memory management unit, DMA for high speed peripherals and a peripheral DMA controller for peripherals that run on a relatively low speed. The on-chip bus matrix contains four independent system buses, allowing up to 1.2GBps throughput between CPU and peripheral memories.

Atmel provides a free of charge port of the Linux OS for the AVR32 AP7 family available from this Website. Atmel also maintains and provides a free-of-charge port of the GCC toolchain, device drivers and popular libraries and applications.

Unlike multicore or two-processor solutions, AT32AP7001 has a single development environment and straightforward debugging. Compilers with C and C++ support are available from GNU (GCC) and IAR Systems (Embedded Workbench). Both compilers are SIMD- and DSP-aware and have intelligence that can identify patterns in the C-code and automatically compile the appropriate SIMD DSP instructions. Both also support access to inline assembly for tight-loop/inner-loop algorithmic optimizations.

For entry-level evaluation of the AVR32 AP7 application processors, Atmel recommends the AVR32 network gateway kit that is available now. Customers looking for a complete reference system can also use the ATSTK1000 starter kit. Both kits offer a full evaluation of the AT32AP7000 family of parts, including the Linux, GCC and IAR toolchains.

AT32AP7001 is available now in a 208-pin VQFP package and is priced at $8 in quantities of 10,000 pieces.

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