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Customizable MCU dev't kit packs 2M logic gates

Posted: 02 Mar 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:MCU development kit? 2 million logic gate? microcontroller customizable?


Atmel Corp. is offering the AT91CAP9HA-DK development kit for its upcoming ARM926EJ-S-based AT91CAP9H customizable microcontroller that features 2 million gates of customizable logic.

The AT91CAP9HA-DK enables customers to start developing designs now, in anticipation of the availability of the AT91CAP9H. Its comprehensive set of memories, user interfaces and external connections, in addition to a standard AT91CAP9 device for the fixed MCU architecture and the FPGA for custom logic, enables the kit to be rapidly configured to emulate the application under development, saving time, reducing cost and enabling the design to be fully debugged before committing it to metal programmed silicon. A lower-cost alternative is available with an FPGA capacity of 1.5 million gates.

The AT91CAP9HA-DK consists of three boards: a motherboard, a mezzanine board and a memory extension board. The motherboard hosts the power supplies, EEPROM program memory, keypad, VGA screen with touch sensing, debug interface and external connections for USB, Ethernet, CAN, SD/MMC cards, image sensor, analog inputs, I?S and AC97 audio codecs, as well as PIO expansion and FPGA I/O connectors for interfacing to application-specific boards. The mezzanine board hosts the AT91CAP9 processor that provides the fixed portion of the CAP architecture. Its external bus interface (EBI) is carried to an external connector. The mezzanine board offers two FPGA options: an Altera Stratix III EP3SL200 that provides 198900 4-input lookup tables, the equivalent of 1.5 million gates in the CAP Metal Programmable Block, or an EP3SL340 with 338000 LUTs, equivalent to 2 million gates. The memory extension board is available in 1.8V and 3.3V variants. The 1.8V option hosts burst cellular RAM, NAND flash, mobile DDR SDRAM and a service TWI EEPROM; the 3.3V option hosts SDRAM, NAND flash, NOR flash and a service TWI EEPROM.

Michel Le Lan, Atmel's marketing director for ASICs, commented, "The AT91CAP9HA Development Kit responds to the need expressed by numerous clients for more customizable logic in the CAP architecture. In particular, the 2 million gates in the CAP9H will be more than adequate for advanced video compression capabilities in addition to the customers' application-specific logic. We are making the development kit available now, in advance of the release of the CAP9H device, so that customers can start developing their applications on an FPGA, to be ready for the availability of the metal-programmable device."

The AT91CAP9HA-DK Development Kit is available now. The AT91CAP9HA15-DK (1.5 million gates) option is priced at $4,000; the AT91CAP9HA20-DK (2 million gates) alternative is priced at $4,700.

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