Atmel Debuts picoPower AVR Microcontrollers with on-Board LCD Controllers

Atmel(R) Corporation (Nasdaq: ATML) announced four new AVR(R) microcontrollers that incorporate power-saving technology for multi-year battery life in LCD, lighting control, security, home automation, ZigBee(TM) and other battery applications. The new AVR products are upgraded versions of the popular 64-pin ATmega325/329 and the 100-pin ATmega3250/3290 microcontrollers.

The 64-pin ATmega329P and 100-pin ATmega3290P devices integrate a complete LCD controller that has several powerful features which include a dedicated low-power LCD waveform, an internal contrast control, a flexible selection of drive time and frame frequency, an internal power supply for the LCD voltage, and the ability to operate in power-save mode for low power consumption. Compared to existing market solutions, the internal LCD power supply reduces the number of components in the end product, only requires one external capacitor and is powerful enough to drive a 3.3V LCD display from a battery voltage of 1.8V or higher.

“Fewer external components make an application less expensive, reduce time to market and simplify production logistics,” said Ingar Fredriksen, Director of Product Marketing AVR. “Development and debugging is easier and the PCB area is reduced and simplified. For typical LCD applications the picoPowerä technology with on-chip LCD controller can add years to the battery life,” concluded Mr. Fredriksen.

The new ATmega325P and ATmega3250P devices are pin and feature compatible to the ATmega329P and ATmega3290P, without the on-chip LCD controller. The ATmega325P and ATmega3250P are a perfect fit in applications where many general purpose I/O, high connectivity and ultra-low power consumption are essential.

All four microcontrollers feature 32 Kbytes of self-programmable Flash memory, 2 Kbytes of SRAM and 1 Kbyte of EEPROM, 10-bit ADC, 3 Timer/Counters, USART, SPI, I2C compatible two-wire-interface, and full operation from 1.8 to 5.5 volts with up to 16 MIPS throughput. The ATmega329P can support up to 100 LCD segments and the ATmega3290P supports up to 160 LCD segments.

These new products expand Atmel’s world leading and highly successful line of picoPower AVR microcontrollers from five to nine members. 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 that completely powers down individual peripherals, and digital input disable registers that reduces the leakage current on digital inputs. The picoPower AVR 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.

AVR picoPower microcontrollers use the standard AVR microcontroller development tools. The AVR Studio(R) integrated development environment is available free of charge on Atmel’s web site.

Pricing and Availability
The ATmega329P and ATmega325P in 64-pin TQFP or QFN packages are available now. Samples for the ATmega3290P and ATmega3250P in 100-pin TQFP packages will be available in January 2007. Production quantities will be available in the first quarter of 2007 for ATmega329P and ATmega325P, and the second quarter of 2007 for ATmega3290P and ATmega3250P. Volume prices for 10k units are $3.54 for ATmega329P, $3.20 for ATmega325P, $3.90 for ATmega3290P and $3.37 for the ATmega3250P, respectively.

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) , megaAVR(R) and others, are registered trademarks, picoPowerä and others are trademarks of Atmel Corporation or its subsidiaries.