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Atmel SAMA5D3 has Lots of Power and Linux Development

By Bill Giovino
Feb 4, 2013 - 12:28:57 AM

Atmel_SAMA5D3 with lots of Power, free Android 4.0, and LOOK - it even plays Minesweeper! Demo board makes a nice Linux trainer, too.
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Atmel Corporation has introduced the Atmel SAMA5D3 ARM Cortex-A5 microprocessor series, its highest performance, low-power microprocessor. The new SAMA5D3 series targets industrial applications, including factory and building automation, smart grid, medical and handheld terminals, along with consumer applications such as smart watches, outdoor GPS, DECT (digital enhanced cordless telecommunications) phones.

The Cortex-A5 core is the most efficient core of the Cortex-A family. The Cortex-A5 is a subset of the Cortex-A9. The Atmel SAMA5D3 is targeting ARM9 and ARM11 users. Atmel boasts it has the best performance for it's power consumption, making it the most efficient Cortex-A core. Also, it has a real cool Linux demo board.

Atmel SAMA5D3 Eval Board browsing the best of the internet
Atmel SAMA5D3 Eval Board browsing the best of the internet
The demo and evaluation board, pictured here, is based on embedded Linux and can also be used as a Linux trainer. The board includes a home automation demo and also plays a smooth game of Minesweeper. A kit comes with Linux demonstration software and a graphical user interface (GUI) based on the Qt. the Qt SDK makes it easy for anyone to build attractive GUIs and comes with wdigets, demos, documentaion, and training material.

The Atmel SAMA5D3 can run as up to 536MHz. It requires less than 0.5mW in Low-power mode, less than 200mW when running like mad at 536MHz.

Atmel is making a 12-year lifetime commitment to this device. So use it with confidence.

The SAMA5D3 product embeds one 160-Kbyte internal ROM containing a standard and a secure bootloader. The secure bootloader is described in a separate document, under NDA. The standard bootloader supports booting from the 8-bit NAND Flash with ECC management, SPI Serial Flash, SDCARD, EMMC, or TWI EEPROM. The boot sequence can be selected using the boot order facility (Boot Select Control Register). The internal ROM embeds Galois field tables that are used to compute NandFlash. What all this means is that the SAMA5D3 provides excellent protection against anti-cloning.

Atmel SAMA5D3 Features:

  • ARM® Cortex-A5 Processor with ARM v7-A Thumb2® Instruction Set
  • CPU Frequency up to 536 MHz
  • 32 Kbyte Data Cache, 32 Kbyte Instruction Cache, Virtual Memory System Architecture (VMSA)
  • Fully Integrated MMU and Floating Point Unit (VFPv4)
  • One 160 Kbyte Internal ROM Single-cycle Access at System Speed, Embedded Boot Loader:
    Boot on NAND Flash, SDCard, eMMC, serial DataFlash®, selectable Order
  • One 128 Kbyte Internal SRAM, Single-cycle Access at System Speed
  • High Bandwidth 32-bit Multi-port Dynamic Ram Controller supporting 512 Mbyte 8 bank DDR2/LPDDR/LPDDR2
  • Independent Static Memory Controller with SLC/MLC NAND Support with up to 24-bit Error Correcting Code (PMECC)
  • Atmel SAMA5D3 Block Diagram
    Atmel SAMA5D3 Block Diagram
    Watchdog Timer and Real Time Clock
  • Boot Mode Select Option, Remap Command
  • Internal Low-power 32 kHz RC Oscillator and Fast 12 MHz RC Oscillators
  • Selectable 32768 Hz Low-power Oscillator and 12 MHz Oscillator
  • One 400 to 1000 MHz PLL for the System and one PLL at 480 MHz optimized for USB High Speed
  • 39 DMA Channels including two 8-channel 64-bit Central DMA Controllers
  • 64-bit Advanced Interrupt Controller
  • Three Programmable External Clock Signals
  • Programmable Fuse Box with 256 fuse bits, 192 of them available for Customer
  • Battery Backup Registers
  • Clock Generator and Power Management Controller
  • Very Slow Clock Operating Mode, Software Programmable Power Optimization Capabilities
  • LCD TFT Controller with Overlay, Alpha-blending, Rotation, Scaling and Color Space Conversion
  • ITU-R BT. 601/656 Image Sensor Interface
  • Three HS/FS/LS USB 2.0 Ports with PHY
    Supports Host or Device mode
  • One Host Controller with Integrated Root Hub (3 Downstream Ports)
  • One 10/100/1000 Mbps Gigabit Ethernet Mac Controller (GMAC) with IEEE1588 support
  • One 10/100 Mbps Ethernet Mac Controller (EMAC)
  • Two CAN Controllers with 8 Mailboxes
    fully Compliant with CAN 2.0 Part A and 2.0 Part B
  • Softmodem Interface
  • Three High Speed Memory Card Hosts (eMMC 4.3 and SD 2.0)
  • Two Master/Slave Serial Peripheral Interface
  • Two Synchronous Serial Controllers
  • Three Two-wire Interface up to 400 Kbits supporting I2C Protocol and SMBUS
  • Four USARTs, two UARTs, one DBGU
  • Two Three-channel 32-bit Timer/Counters
  • One Four-channel 16-bit PWM Controller
  • One 12-channel 12-bit Analog-to-Digital Converter with Resistive Touch-Screen function
  • Write Protected Registers
  • TRNG (True Random Number Generator)
  • Encryption Engine
  • AES: 256-bit, 192-bit, 128-bit Key Algorithm, Compliant with FIPS PUB 197 Specifications
  • TDES: Two-key or Three-key Algorithms, Compliant with FIPS PUB 46-3 Specifications
  • SHA: Supports Secure Hash Algorithm (SHA1, SHA224, SHA256, SHA384, SHA512)
  • Atmel Secure Boot Solution
  • Five 32-bit Parallel Input/Output Controllers
  • 160 I/O pins
  • Input Change Interrupt Capability on Each I/O Line, Selectable Schmitt Trigger Input
  • Individually Programmable Open-drain, Pull-up and Pull-down Resistor, Synchronous Output, Filtering
  • Slew Rate Control on High Speed I/Os
  • Impedance Control on DDR I/Os
  • Package: 324-ball LFBGA, pitch 0.8 mm

Engineers can download free Atmel Linux distributions, and a free Android 4.0 port will be available by March. A C-Compiler is available for non-operating system (OS) use. A wide ecosystem of suppliers provide development tools, OS, protocol stacks, along with system-on-modules and kits.

Availability and Pricing
"The Atmel SAMA5D3 is shipping in a 324-ball BGA package and is in mass production now. Pricing starts below USD $7.00 for 1,000-piece quantities"

About Atmel
"Atmel Corporation is a worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of microcontrollers, capacitive touch solutions, 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 industrial, consumer, communications, computing and automotive markets."

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Atmel SAMA5D3 has Lots of Power and Linux Development

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Product data and specifications in this article are the responsibility of the manufacturer. No warrenty is expressed or implied as to the accuracy of manufacturer-supplied data. So there.
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