Design Con 2015

Atmel ships high performance, low-power Cortex-A5-based MPUs

February 06, 2013

Toni_McConnel-February 06, 2013

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.

Atmel 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.


The 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.

Designers 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.

The 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 quantities.

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