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Flash MCU ups impedance matching at low power

Posted: 18 Dec 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:microcontroller? flash MCU? processor? sensor?

Improved safety, security
The SAM3S is the first ARM MCU with parallel data capture mode on PIOs and DMA support. The parallel data capture mode on the PIOs complements the external bus interface for data collection from external devices not compliant with standard memory read protocols, such as low-cost image sensors. Read control signals and the clock are user programmable and data is transferred to memory by DMA offloading the CPU. The security market is moving towards the integration of camera functionality in PIR sensors. The parallel PIO capture mode can interface to image sensors, making the SAM3S a perfect low-cost MCU for next-generation PIR cameras.

The SAM3S significantly improves the safety and security features. The Memory Protection Unit ensures code protection and secures multi-application/task execution. The hardware CRC with DMA checks the memory integrity in the background, and triggers an interrupt in case of corruption. The ECC detects and corrects single bit failures on the embedded flash memory. A 128bit unique ID and the scrambled external bus interface ensure external software confidentiality while the security bit ensures internal software confidentiality. A mechanism detects clock failure and automatic switches on internal RC oscillator while configuring the outputs of the PWM in a defined state.

The SAM3S series is the suited Cortex-M3 upgrade path for the SAM7S and SAM7SE MCUs. With the Cortex-M3 core running at a maximum clock rate of 64MHz at 1.8V, 85C, the SAM3S flash MCU brings a 50 percent raw performance increase over the SAM7S series. In its 64-pin version, the SAM3S is pin-to-pin compatible with the SAM7S, enabling customers to upgrade performance while hardware remains unchanged to preserve investments previously made.

The Cortex-M3 core has a completely new instruction set architecture, different from previous ARM7 and ARM9 cores. The 32bit ARM instruction set has been replaced by a variable length Thumb-2, offering similar performance and 26 percent better code density. Migrating legacy ARM assembly code to the CM3 requires a complete re-write. Atmel has taken steps to ensure maximum code portability between its ARM7-, ARM9- and Cortex-M3-based MCUs. Atmel's SAM7, SAM9 and Cortex-M3-based SAM3 devices have identical hardware abstraction layers and a unified programming model, as well as common peripherals that provide near-recompile-and-go code portability between devices.

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