Atmel Corporation is shipping production quantities of the Atmel SAMA5D3
series, its highest performance, low-power microprocessor units (MPUs)
based on the ARM Cortex-A5 core. The new series is designed for embedded
applications in the industrial space, including factory and building
automation, smart grid, medical and handheld terminals, along with
consumer applications such as smart watches, outdoor GPS, DECT (digital
enhanced cordless telecommunications) phones.
has developed the SAMA5D3 MPUs using a 65nm low-power process
technology to deliver up to 850DMIPS at 536MHz while offering 1328MB/s
at 166MHz bus speed. The floating point unit (FPU) also provides
additional high-precision processing power for image, audio and sensor
data. The SAMA5D3 series delivers low-power consumption under 200mW in
active mode at maximum speed and below 0.5mW in low-power mode when
retaining context and offering fast wake-up. A comprehensive peripheral
set includes a dual Ethernet port (one Gigabit), 3x high-speed USB
ports, dual CAN, TFT LCD controller with graphics accelerator for image
composition, camera interface, SDIO/SD/MMC, UARTs, SPIs, TWIs, soft
modem, 12-bit ADC and 32-bit timers.
SAMA5D3 series feeatures a secure boot loader and a hardware encryption
engine with Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), Triple Data Encryption
Standard (3DES) and Secure Hash Algorithm (SHA) support to
encrypt/decrypt data or communications while a true random number
generator (TRNG) can be used to generate or diversify unique keys.
can start prototyping their designs with the SAMA5D3 evaluation kits.
There is one kit per SAMA5D3 derivative. A kit is delivered with a Linux
demonstration software and a graphical user interface (GUI) based on Qt. The softpack is also compatible with the evaluation kit.
Atmel SAMA5D3 is shipping in a 324-ball BGA package and is in mass
production now. Pricing starts below USD $7.00 for 1,000-piece
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.