Auto Electronics

Atmel introduces System-in-Package solution for LIN networking applications

Atmel has introduced the ATA6617, the first device in a proposed family of System-in-Package (SiP) solutions for LIN automotive networking applications. The ATA6617 combines in a single package Atmel's ATA6624 LIN System Basis Chip (SBC) - including LIN transceiver, voltage regulator, and watchdog - with an AVR microcontroller, the ATtiny167 with 16k flash memory. Customers can create complete LIN nodes with just one IC.

Optimized for low-cost LIN slave applications, the new LIN SiP is based on second-generation LIN IP that offers excellent EMC and ESD performance. Atmel said the device enables system cost reductions of up to 25%.

A powerful LIN UART with integrated hardware routines simplifies protocol stack handling and limits the interrupt generation, thus reducing the microcontroller load and flash memory consumption, according to the company. Simple assignment of an individual physical LIN node address can be realized by using an integrated 100 microampere current source.

To ensure that the LIN node's current consumption is well below 100 microampere in applications that are continuously connected to the battery, the ATA6617 provides several current saving modes where different functionalities are individually switched off or on, depending on the application requirements.

All pins of the LIN system basis chip and the microcontroller are bonded out, thus providing customers the same flexibility and performance for their applications as with discrete parts.

The ATA6617 is available in a QFN38 package that measures 5 mm x 7 mm. Atmel said designers can save more than 50% of PCB size compared to conventional solutions. Pricing starts at $1.89 for 10k quantities. A development board is available, as are certified LIN 2.0 and 2.1 protocol stacks from leading suppliers. Additional LIN SiP family members, including an 8 kB flash memory version, are expected in Q2 2009.

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