Atmel Extends ARM7-Powered Microcontrollers to 512KB

Atmel(R) Corporation (Nasdaq: ATML), announced 512K byte dual-bank Flash memory extensions to its AT91SAM7S, SAM7X and SAM7XC microcontrollers based on the ARM7TDMI(R) processor core. Doubling the Flash memory density from 256K bytes to 512K bytes gives software engineers the capacity to integrate new features for their next-generation products and true in-application programming at an additional cost of less than 20%.

Supports true in-application programming. The Flash memory on the AT91SAM7S512, SAM7X512 and SAM7XC512 is arranged in two separate banks that allow the device to be programmed simultaneously with application execution. A dual-bank implementation protects the application against potentially catastrophic failure resulting from unexpected power outages during firmware updates.

Networked embedded systems need more memory, bandwidth & security. Increasingly complex communication protocols, data throughput and streaming content used in networked embedded systems require ever-larger amounts of data buffers and higher levels of security. To meet this need, Atmel has doubled the density of the zero-wait-state, 32-bit wide SRAM on its AT91SAM7X512 and SAM7XC512 from 64 to 128K bytes.

Peripheral DMA increases bandwidth by a factor of 6. Like all of Atmel’s SAM7 MCUs, the new devices have 11 to 13 dedicated peripheral DMA channels (PDC) that increase on-chip bandwidth from a maximum of 4 Mbps, on conventional ARM7(TM) MCUs, to 25 Mbps or more. By off-loading peripheral-to- memory transfers from the CPU, the PDC actually increases the number of CPU operations available to the application. This capability is unique to Atmel microcontrollers.

Optional “top secret” encryption. Another derivative, Atmel’s AT91SAM7XC, provides “top secret” encryption capability by integrating a hardware crypto engine that can be configured to do 128-, 192- or 256-bit (“top secret”) AES or triple-DES encryption.

According to Jacko Wilbrink, Atmel’s ARM(R) MCUs product marketing director, “While the smaller SAM7S series, starting with 32K to 512K bytes of on-chip Flash, is dominant in the consumer space for applications like USB- enabled PC accessories and toys, the SAM7X family, with on-chip Ethernet and CAN, is winning market share in telecom infrastructure, medical, building automation and alarm systems. We expect the newest SAM7XC, with embedded AES and 3DES encryption, to achieve significant market share in secured systems.”

Pricing and availability. Pricing for the 512K Flash variants of the SAM7S, SAM7X and SAM7XC devices start at US$6 in quantities of 10,000 units. The AT91SAM7S512 is available in 64-pin LQFP and 64-lead QFN green packages. The AT91SAM7X512 and AT91SAM7XC512 are available in 100-pin LQFP and 100-ball BGA green packages.

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).

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