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Low-cost starter kit rolls for Atmel customizable MCUs

Posted: 21 Nov 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:starter kit? customizable MCU? FPGA?

Atmel Corp. has launched the low-cost AT91CAP9A-STK starter kit for its CAP customizable microcontroller (MCU) product family. The starter kit offers no-risk evaluation of the customization capabilities of the CAP MCU by mapping application-specific IP blocks into its FPGA that emulates the functionality of the CAP's embedded metal programmable (MP) block.

Built on a single PCB including a AT91CAP9S ARM926EJ-S-based MCU, 64Mbyte of SDRAM application memory, 512Mbyte of NAND flash and an optional DataFlash with up to 8Mbyte; together with external interfaces for Ethernet, USB Host and Device, 1/4 VGA LCD panel with touchscreen, SD card, 4 analog inputs and audio headphones; the CAP starter kit features an Altera Stratix2 EP2S15F484 FPGA and its associated EPCS16 serial configuration memory.

The FPGA provides 15,600 four-input lookup table equivalents, corresponding to approximately 124,800 gates in the CAP MP block. For application-specific external interfaces, the AT91CAP9S has 64 general-purpose I/O connections and the FPGA has 2 banks of 64 I/Os. Debug is facilitated by the provision of an ICE-JTAG interface for CAP9 JTAG programming, and a USB-Blaster-JTAG interface for Stratix2 JTAG programming. The CAP starter kit also includes Atmel's AT73C224 and AT73C239 ICs for power supply and battery management.

"The CAP Starter Kit significantly enlarges the CAP user community. It lowers even further the cost barrier for developing a customized microcontroller. It can be used by anyone from a developer in a tier 1 electronics company to the smallest startup to find out how easy it is to customize an ARM-based system-on-chip for a specific application," said Michel Le Lan, Atmel's marketing director for application-specific products.

The AT91CAP9A-STK starter kit is available for $750.

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