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New Atmel SAM3S Cortex Microcontrollers Offer High Integration and Very Low Power

By Bill Giovino
Dec 15, 2009 - 12:16:00 PM

Atmel SAM3S microcontrollers draw a mere 1.45mW/MHz and boast lots of peripherals. Sam I Am?
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San Jose, CA, December 15, 2009 - Atmel Corporation has introduced the Atmel SAM3S family of ARM Cortex-M3 32-bit flash microcontrollers.

The new Atmel SAM3S family includes 18 new Flash microcontrollers and run at a top speed of 64MHz. A 128-bit wide internal Flash memory interface allows most linear code to run with zero wait states. The Atmel SAM3S is also the only known ARM Cortex-M3 to run at only 1.62V.

The Atmel SAM3S is a General Purpose microcontroller family, It succeeds the Atmel SAM3U.

Atmel SAM3S Block Diagram
Atmel SAM3S Block Diagram
Features of the new Atmel SAM3S include:

  • ARM Cortex-M3 32-bit RISC core
  • 64MHz Core
     -Internal RC oscillator fallback if external oscillator fails
  • 1.62V to 3.6V operation
  • Up to 256KBytes Flash
      -Hardware CRC insures memory integrity
      -ECC detects and corrects single-bit errors
  • Up to 46KBytes RAM
  • Unique 128-bit Chip ID (Factory Programmed)
  • Memory Protection Unit allows for RTOS memory area protection
  • Four 16-bit PWM
  • Six 16-bit Timers
     -Motor control features: quadrature decoder, gray counter, and hardware synchronization between Timers and ADC.
  • 21-channel peripheral DMA runs at core speed
  • Parallel Interface Signal Capture
  • On-Die Termination Resistors (ODT)
  • Watchdog Timer
  • Real-Time Clock
  • Real-Time Timer (day, month, year)
  • 12-bit ADC with one million samples per second
  • 12-bit DAC
  • 4 USARTs
  • Two I2C interfaces
  • I2S Interface
  • USB 2.0 Interface with 8 endpoints, a 2688 bytes FIFO, dedicated PLL, and integrated resistors
  • Temperature Sensor
  • Analog Comparator
  • Pin-to-pin compatible with SAM3S and SAM7S microcontrollers
  • 48-pin QFP and QFN, Up to 100-pin QFP and BGA packages

Target applications for the Atmel's SAM3S include consumer, industrial control, metering, toys, medical, test and measurement, ZigBee 802.15.4 wireless networking, PC, cell phone and gaming peripherals.

The Parallel IO Capture Mode on the Atmel SAM3S allow easy connections to devices with non-standard parallel interfaces, such as low-cost sensors. The user can custom-program the behavior of the PIO clock and control signals. Captured data is  transferred to memory via a peripheral DMA. In most situation,s the Atmel SAM3S peripheral DMA is non-intrusive and does not steal cycles.

Atmel SAM3S ODT Pin Noise Reduction
Atmel SAM3S ODT Pin Noise Reduction
Atmel SAM3S On-Die Termination (ODT)
The On-Die Termination (ODT) resistors remove the requirement for the external resistors normally on PCB designs. Typical value of the on-die series resistors are 35 Ohms. These on-die resistors prevent signal reflection of PCB traces by improving impedance matching with external components. This also simplifies board design and reduces system costs.

Atmel SAM3S Power Savings
At a 10MHz clock speed or lower, when not performing a Flash read operation, the memory interface of the Atmel SAM3S shuts down the sense amplifiers of the Flash memory array. In addition, on-chip is a self-adapting regulator that helps prevent current spikes and lowers the average current draw. Along with other power-saving enhancements, this allows the Atmel SAM3S to require a mere 2.3mW at 1MHz. When running at very low speeds, the SAM3S power draw is only 1.3mW at 500kHz.

- In Active Mode, power draw is 1.45mW/MHz @ Vdd(core) = 1.8V 64MHz
- In Wait Mode, current draw is 4.6µA @ 1.8V with RTC & RTT & Watchdog running and SRAM alive (wakeup in less than 10µsec)
- In Backup Mode, current draw is 1.6µA @ 1.8V with RTC, RTT, and Watchdog (wakeup in less than 500µsec)
- In Sleep Mode, current draw is 11µA @ 1.8V 32KHz with RTC

Atmel SAM3S Availability and Pricing
The Atmel SAM3S will be available for sampling 1Q2010 and for production 2Q2010. Pricing ranges from $2.50 USD to $4.45 USD in quantities of 10k units.

About Atmel
"Atmel is a worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of capacitive touch solutions, microcontrollers, advanced logic, mixed-signal, nonvolatile memory and radio frequency (RF) components. Leveraging one of the industry's broadest intellectual property (IP) technology portfolios, Atmel is able to provide the electronics industry with complete system solutions focused on consumer, industrial, security, communications, computing and automotive markets."

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New Atmel SAM3S Cortex Microcontrollers Offer High Integration and Very Low Power

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