Atmel has introduced a new family of 8-bit AVR microcontrollers for LIN automotive networking applications. The first device in the family, ATtiny167, is qualified to AECQ-100 grade 0 and optimized to LIN slave applications. It can sustain ambient temperatures of up to 150 °C. Combined with a LIN transceiver such as ATA662x or ATA666x the ATtiny167 is said to provide a complete solution for sensors in a gearbox, exhaust gas system, pumps or turbo.
Michel Passemard, director of automotive MCU tactical marketing at Atmel, noted that many automotive body subsystems such as door locks, window lifts, wipers, lighting systems, and sun and rain sensors are connected via LIN networks. Such applications call for tiny LIN controllers with analog/digital converters for sensors signal formatting and a 16-bit PWM channel to control half bridge drivers such as Atmel's ATA6831/32 or H bridge motors control such as Atmel's ATA6223.
The ATtiny167 includes a hardware LIN UART with automatic baud rate synchronization in slave mode. A frame-processing request of only two interrupts, one for LIN identifier available and one for transmit or receive completed.
With integrated hardware routines, the code size for LIN is reduced to about 1 Kbyte of flash leaving about 15 Kbytes of flash to the user application. Automatic synchronization is performed on each entering frame without calling for any CPU resources and Interrupt generation is limited to the extreme minimum to not jeopardize the real-time capability of the application.
Passemard said a critical requirement for embedded processors in the automotive market is the availability of an effective and well-supported LIN communication stack, for which Atmel worked with Mentor Graphics.
The ATtiny167 is sampling now, packaged in a 20-pin SOIC, 20-pin TSSOP or 32-pin QFN. The device will be qualified at 125 °C in all packages and 150 °C in QFN and TSSOP packages. It will be available for volume production in December. Prices start at $1.48 in 10,000 quantities for the 125 °C version. The ATtiny87 and ATtiny327, with 8 Kbytes and 32 Kbytes flash, respectively, will be introduced in the fourth quarter.