Atmel Introduces CAP Starter Kit for Customizable Microcontroller

Atmel® Corporation (Nasdaq: ATML) announced the launch of the AT91CAP9A-STK Starter Kit for its CAP(TM) Customizable Microcontroller product family. The CAP Starter Kit is the ideal vehicle for low-cost, no-risk evaluation of the customization capabilities of the CAP MCU by mapping application-specific IP blocks into its FPGA that emulates the functionality of the CAP’s embedded Metal Programmable (MP) Block.

Built on a single PCB including a AT91CAP9S ARM926EJ-S®-based microcontroller, 64M Bytes of SDRAM application memory, 512M Bytes of NAND Flash and an optional DataFlash with up to 8M Bytes, together with external interfaces for Ethernet, USB Host and Device, ¼ VGA LCD Panel with Touch Screen, SD Card, 4 analog inputs and audio headphones, the CAP Starter Kit features an Altera® Stratix®2 EP2S15F484 FPGA and its associated EPCS16 serial configuration memory. The FPGA provides 15600 four-input Lookup Table (LUT) equivalents, corresponding to approximately 124800 gates in the CAP MP Block. For application-specific external interfaces, the AT91CAP9S has 64 general-purpose I/O connections, and the FPGA has 2 banks of 64 I/Os. Debug is facilitated by the provision of an ICE-JTAG interface for CAP9 JTAG programming, and a USB-Blaster-JTAG interface for Stratix2 JTAG programming. The CAP Starter Kit also includes Atmel’s AT73C224 and AT73C239 ICs for power supply and battery management.

Michel Le Lan, Atmel’s Marketing Director for Application-Specific Products, commented, “The CAP Starter Kit significantly enlarges the CAP user community. It lowers even further the cost barrier for developing a customized microcontroller. It can be used by anyone from a developer in a tier 1 electronics company to the smallest startup to find out how easy it is to customize an ARM-based system-on-chip for a specific application. It is also the ideal vehicle for students of electronics engineering to consolidate their knowledge of system-on-chip hardware and software design.”

About CAP
Atmel’s CAP(TM) is an ARM® microcontroller-based system-on-chip with fast local memory, a wide range of industry-standard peripherals and interfaces, and a Metal Programmable (MP) Block that allows the designer to add custom logic. By combining the performance, density and low power consumption of the fixed portion of the device with the flexibility of the MP Block, CAP enables application-specific products to be developed in a fraction of the time and at a fraction of the cost of standard-cell ASICs, but at a unit price close to that of standard cell devices. CAP also offers superior performance, smaller form factor and lower power consumption at a unit price significantly lower than an MCU-plus-FPGA combination for the same functionality. CAP is fully supported with an emulation board, software development tools, operating systems, code modules and a worldwide network of expert design centers to facilitate application software development. The CAP MP Block can be personalized with IP developed by the customer, by third-party design centers or from Atmel’s extensive libraries.

Availability and Pricing
The AT91CAP9A-STK Starter Kit is now available. The AT91CAP9A-STK Starter Kit is priced at $750.

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®, logo and combinations thereof, and others, are registered trademarks, CAP(TM) and others are trademarks of Atmel Corporation or its subsidiaries. ARM® is a registered trademark of ARM Ltd. Altera® and Stratix® are registered trademarks of Altera Corporation.