Atmel's picoPower 8/16-bit XMEGA MCU Cuts Power and Processing Requirement By 98%

Virtually eliminates context switching and interrupt usage

BOSTON, Oct. 27 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- ESC Boston, MA, Booth Number 801 -- Atmel(R) Corporation (NASDAQ: ATML) announced today its latest family of 32 MIPS, picoPower(TM) 8/16-bit microcontroller that radically improves MCU performance by off-loading interrupts and data transfers to an on-chip event manager and DMA.

Atmel's AVR(R) XMEGA(TM) MCUs have several key benefits for the users:

-- Highest performance with the AVR 8/16-bit single cycle core and FLASH program memory

-- Reduced CPU active time with the new innovative XMEGA event system. With 8 routing channels to route direct communication between on-chip resources like ADC, Memory, I/O, timers and comparators the event system reduces the CPU active time by as much as 98%.

-- Improved data rate, saved CPU load and reduced active time with the integrated 4-channel DMA controller. The DMA can transfer data between all memories and peripherals in any combination the users configure. The XMEGA DMA reduces CPU usage with 96% for SPI@4Mbps and 57% for UART@2Mbps.

-- High speed and accurate sampling of analog data with two 12-bits, 8-channels and 2Ms/s ADCs. Integrated 64x gain stage increases the dynamic range to 18-bits.

-- Market leading low power with Atmel's unique picoPower(TM) technology. Power down current is as low as 100nA and active current is cut up to 98%.

-- Highest Flexibility with built in 5 different sleep modes, DES and CES crypto engines, WDT, USART, TWI, SPI, analog comparators, DACs, various 8/16 bits timers, EEPROM, SRAM, RTC, PLL and 6 different oscillators including a 1% RC oscillator and a 1uA 32kHz ultra low power oscillator.

Ingar Fredriksen, Atmel's director of AVR product marketing, explained, "We realized, after looking at a wide range of customer designs, that the majority of CPU cycles are spent handling interrupts and moving data. This realization meant that there was great potential to free up a significant amount of processing power by simply rethinking how various events are handled in the MCU. XMEGA microcontrollers are designed to revolutionize system performance, with lower power consumption."

100% pin- and code-compatible. All AVR XMEGA MCUs are pin- and 100% code-compatible across all devices. With XMEGA developers only need to keep and maintain one code base that can be used and re-used across multiple projects.

Availability and Pricing. Samples of the XMEGA devices are available now with flash memory density from 64 KB to 256 KB in 64 to 100 pin packages. Pricing varies from $1.75 to $5.00 depending on volume quantity and memory option.


For more information on XMEGA, take a look at our technical news brief at

AVR Studio is available free of charge from Atmel's web site,

Introduction videos are available at

About Atmel

Atmel is a worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of microcontrollers, advanced logic, mixed-signal, nonvolatile memory and radio frequency (RF) components. Leveraging one of the industry's broadest intellectual property (IP) technology portfolios, Atmel is able to provide the electronics industry with complete system solutions focused on consumer, industrial, security, communications, computing and automotive markets.

(C) 2008 Atmel Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Atmel(R), Atmel logo and combinations thereof, Everywhere You Are(R), AVR(R), AVRstudio(R) and others, are registered trademarks, XMEGA(TM), picoPower(TM) and others are trademarks of Atmel Corporation or its subsidiaries. Other terms and product names may be trademarks of others.

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