Atmel Rolls Out Three AVR picoPower Microcontrollers (MCU)

Atmel(R) Corporation (Nasdaq: ATML), announced today three new AVR(R) microcontrollers with incorporated power-saving technology that provides multi-year battery life in lighting control, security, keyless entry, ZigBee(TM) and other applications that spend a significant amount of their time in sleep mode. The picoPower(TM) technology reduces “power-save” power consumption to as little as 650 nA, even with the 32 kHz clock running and superior brown-out detection, the industry’s lowest RTC sleep power consumption.

The three picoPower devices now available are the ATmega164P, ATmega324P and ATmega644P 44-pin general purpose microcontrollers. All three microcontrollers are pin and feature compatible, differing only in the size of Flash, EEPROM and SRAM memory. ATmega164P has 16 KB of self-programmable Flash program memory, whereas the ATmega324P and ATmega644P have 32 KB and 64 KB, respectively. All three devices feature a 10-bit ADC, two USARTs, SPI, Two-Wire-Interface and operate from 1.8 to 5.5 volts with up to 20 MIPS throughput.

AVR picoPower microcontrollers consume as little as 340 uA in active mode, 650 nA in power-save mode with real time counter (RTC), and 100 nA in power-down mode. They will be pin-, performance- and code-compatible with existing AVR microcontrollers.

“Very low power consumption is becoming mandatory in a wide variety of applications,” stated Ingar Fredriksen, Director of Product Marketing, AVR products. “This is obviously important for battery-powered applications, but also non-battery applications can benefit from lower power consumption as this allows smaller and lower cost power supplies. To further strengthen the AVR microcontroller’s position as an ultra-low-power device, we are now upgrading many of our high-volume products to picoPower technology, enabling the industry’s lowest power RTC sleep power consumption. The systems for which we developed picoPower share one attribute; they spend most of their time in sleep mode. Saving a few nanoAmps in sleep mode power consumption can add years to the battery life of the end-product. Atmel has focused on eliminating or drastically reducing the power drain from oscillators, brown-out detectors, I/O pin leakage and the like to achieve the lowest power MCUs on the market,” Fredriksen concluded.

Atmel’s picoPower technology utilizes a variety of innovative techniques that eliminate unnecessary power consumption in power-down modes. These include an ultra-low-power 32 kHz crystal oscillator, automatic disabling and re-enabling of brown-out detection (BOD) circuitry during sleep modes, a power reduction register (PRR) that completely powers down individual peripherals, and digital input disable registers that turn off the digital inputs to specific pins.

Pricing and Availability
The ATmega164P and ATmega324P in 40-pin PDIP, 44-pin TQFP and 44-pin QFN packages are available now for sampling. Production quantities will be available in 4Q 2006. Volume prices for 10ku are $2.23 for ATmega164P and $2.78 forATtiny324P respectively.

ATmega644P will be available for sampling in 1Q 2007 and production quantities in 2Q 2007. Volume prices for 10ku will be $3.72.

About Atmel
Atmel is a worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of 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, Atmel ICs can be found Everywhere You Are(R).

Atmel(R), logo and combinations thereof, Everywhere You Are(R), AVR(R) and others, are registered trademarks, picoPower(TM) and others are trademarks of Atmel Corporation or its subsidiaries.