To strengthen its position in the industrial control market, Atmel Corp. has introduced two new eight bit AVR microcontrollers with interrupt acceleration and support for message objects, dynamic reassignment and multiple CAN frames.
Pin-to-pin compatible with Atmel's 128-Kbyte AVR CAN MCU (AT90CAN128), the AT90CAN32/64 devices integrate in a single chip, a V2.0A/V2.0B CAN controller, a 32-/64-Kbyte Flash program memory, a 2-/4-Kbyte RAM, and a 1-/2-Kbyte on-chip EEPROM.
The on-chip CAN controller can handle 15 independent message objects, programmable on-the-fly, and dynamically assign them to the reception, transmission or reception buffers in case of multiple CAN frames.
Extensive masking, filtering and buffering of CAN frames reduces the host processor load. A large portion of the AT90CAN32/64 processing speed and memory
remains available for the application while a complete higher layer protocol stack (CANopen, DeviceNet or J1939) can run on the chip.
An on-chip interrupt accelerator processor (IAP) informs the CPU of critical messages without running a software scan routine, minimizing the overhead impact on real time event applications.
The IAP, via CAN, UART or SPI, allows remote programming and field upgrades. Atmel's IAP allows to simply reprogram any CAN node through the CAN bus, without disturbing the CAN bus exchanges, or interrupting the running system.
By comparison, said Manish Vadher, Atmel's marketing director, so-called IAP capabilities available on the market require a manual operation to stop the
system, to shift the system to the programming mode and to re-start it.
Available with the MCUs is a library of IAP routines as well as running Bootloader examples to customers wanting to build their own Bootloaders.
Also onboard the MCUs are 16-bit timers with enhanced Pulse Width Modulation capabilities, an 10-bit/8-channel A/D converter and several serial interfaces.
A wide operating voltage range (2.7V-5.5V) plus five low-power management modes, allow developers to optimize the MCUs for the power consumption profiles of their applications. v optimize the application power consumption.
A stand-alone development kit, ATDVK90CAN1, is available for $115 which can be used to evaluate performance as well as demonstrate CAN features. With the kit, Atmel also provides a C-code driver library for all peripherals including the CAN-driver and various program examples.
AT90CAN32/64 samples are available now in TQFP and QFN 64-pin packages in industrial temperature range. AT90CAN32 production volumes are expected in December 2005, and in March 2006 for the AT90CAN64. Pricing for 10,000-units is $4.50 per unit for the AT90CAN32, and $5 for the AT90CAN64.
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