Electronic Design

Ultra-Low-Power MCU Line Adds Three Members

Atmel added three new products to its AVR microcontroller family that incorporates power-saving technology to provide multi-year battery life in lighting control, security, keyless entry, ZigBee, and other applications that spend a significant amount of time in sleep mode. The picoPower technology reduces "power-save" power consumption to as little as 650 nA, even with brown-out detection and the 32-kHz clock running.

The three new picoPower devices are the ATmega164P, ATmega324P, and ATmega644P 44-pin general-purpose microcontrollers. All three devices are pin and feature compatible, differing only in the size of Flash, EEPROM, and SRAM memory. The ATmega164P has 16 kbytes of self-programmable Flash program memory, while the ATmega324P and ATmega644P have 32 kbytes and 64 kbytes, respectively. All three devices feature a 10-bit ADC, two USARTs, SPI, and Two-Wire-Interface. They operate from 1.8 to 5.5 V with up to 20 MIPS throughput.

AVR picoPower microcontrollers consume as little as 340 µA in active mode, 650 nA in power-save mode with real time counter (RTC), and 100 nA in power-down mode. They will be pin-, performance-, and code-compatible with existing AVR microcontrollers.

Atmel's picoPower technology uses a variety of techniques to eliminate unnecessary power consumption in power-down modes. These include an ultra-low-power 32-kHz crystal oscillator, automatic disabling and re-enabling of brown-out detection circuitry during sleep modes, a power reduction register that completely powers down individual peripherals, and digital input disable registers that turn off the digital inputs to specific pins.

Samples of the ATmega164P and ATmega324P in 40-pin PDIP, 44-pin TQFP, and 44-pin QFN packages are available now. Production quantities will be available in the fourth quarter of 2006. Volume prices for 10k units are $2.23 for ATmega164P and $2.78 for ATmega324P, respectively.

ATmega644P will be available for sampling in the first quarter of 2007 with production quantities in the second quarter of 2007. Volume prices for 10k units will be $3.72.

Atmel Corp. www.atmel.com/products/avr/picopower

TAGS: Components
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