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Chip manages power in 32bit MCU-based designs

Posted: 10 Sep 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:32bit MCU design? power management unit? companion analog?

Atmel Corp. has released its AT73C224 analog companion power management unit that is designed for a wide range of applications based on 32bit MCUs. The AT73C224 supplies the required voltages and currents to the main sections of generic 32bit MCU-based applications including MCU core, memory, I/O, USB host and interfaces.

AT73C224 outputs four power supply channels. For the MCU core and new-generation low-voltage memories, one step down DC/DC converter supplies a 0.9V to 3.4V programmable output voltage and a 500mA output current. Completing the coverage of output voltage, one step up DC/DC converter supplying 5.2V or higher output voltage is integrated, with output current set by an external FET up to 1A. This can be used to supply a USB host, display modules or HDD devices. Two linear regulators (LDO) with programmable output voltage from 1.3V to 3.3V and programmable output current are able to supply generic interfaces with up to 200mA in "Smoother Mode" and up to 100mA for sensitive RF sections using RF Mode. Finally, a real time clock is integrated together with a very low current (1?A) crystal oscillator and backup battery management system.

The AT73C224 device integrates several state machines that can be selected during factory test, to reduce stabilized output delivery time during the start up sequence or default voltage configuration. All the programmable features in the AT73C224 can be controlled by the MCU using TWI, SPI or GPIO mode.

"The AT73C224 is an excellent example of an analog companion for any 32bit MCU application, especially Atmel ARM, AVR or CAP based applications," said Michele Casetta, marketing manager for Atmel's power management and analog companions (PMAAC) product line. "The key point of the AT73C224 is its flexibility: it is able to accept any type of power input from 3V to 5V, it is able to generate power supplies from 0.9V up to 5.2V and even higher. Finally it can manage the RTC mode of the system thanks to its own 1?A crystal oscillator and RTC macro, allowing the MCU to be switched off, cutting leakage current and increasing battery operating time."

Atmel offers the AT73C224 in a 5mm x 5mm, 32-pin QFN package in order to satisfy portable device manufacturers' minimum space and low cost requirements. The AT73C224 is priced at $1.08 in quantities of 100,000 units. It is available now mounted on a reference design board or as engineering samples.





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