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32bit MCU has built-in capacitive touch peripheral

Posted: 25 Jun 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:microcontroller? MCU? touch capacitive? embedded?

Atmel Corp. has released a 32bit microcontroller with a power consumption of only 0.48mW/MHz in active mode.

The AT32UC3L features the company's picoPower low power technology and an embedded capacitive touch controller peripheral that makes the device suitable in a wide range of embedded applications. In sleep mode, the AT32UC3L claims power use below 100nA. Atmel's picoPower technology enables the AT32UC3L to operate on less than 1.5?A with the 32kHz real time clock active, and below 100nA with all oscillators stopped. The device features Atmel's true 1.6V technology, which keeps the device fully operational in systems with supply voltage ranging from 1.62V to 3.60V.

The built in capacitive touch peripheral unit makes capacitive touch as easy as incorporating just another peripheral. The device supports capacitive touch buttons and sliders, and the hardware support enables the addition of capacitive touch to the application with no additional software overhead. The capacitive touch hardware also allows the MCU to wake up from sleep on touch.

Atmel's QTouch technology provides the industry's most robust touch solution with an SNR that improves the system's design margin, increases EMC performance and raises ESD tolerance. It is useful for applications where reliability is required, such as consumer user interfaces, industrial and automotive applications and those where high moisture levels are present.

The AT32UC3L includes a flash security technology named FlashVault. This allows the on-chip flash to be partially programmed and locked, creating secure on-chip storage for secret code and software IP. Code stored in the FlashVault will execute as normal, but cannot be read, copied or debugged. This allows a device with FlashVault code protection to carry a piece of valuable software such as a math library or an encryption algorithm from a trusted location to a potentially untrustworthy partner where the rest of the source code can be developed, debugged and programmed.

Asied from those mentioned above, the AT32UC3L features numerous innovations. It introduces Atmel's Peripheral Event System for the first time on a 32bit MCU. This peripheral event system allows peripherals to send signals (events) directly to other peripherals without involving the CPU. By offloading to the peripheral event system the repetitive task of forwarding these events, the CPU will reduce drastically the time consuming handling of interrupts. This will free up more time for the CPU to handle other tasks in the application, and often allow the CPU to remain longer in one of the AVR32's many energy saving sleep modes.

The MCU features clock failure protection, frequency meter, real time clock with calendar mode, a precision crystal oscillator tuner and accurate digital frequency locked loop. The peripherals include a nine-channel 12bit ADC and eight-channel analog comparator. And the device is the first MCU from Atmel to feature an 8bit PWM output on every I/O pin.

The MCU is supported by the AVR32 Studio integrated development environment used for Atmel's AVR32 product line. Debugging tools include Atmel's AVRONE!, STK 600 Starter Kit, and JTAGICE mkII on-chip debugger.

Samples of the AT32UC3L are available. The 64Kbyte flash version has a suggested retail price of $1.96 in 10K units. The 16Kbyte flash version has a suggested retail price of $1.47 in 10K units.

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