Atmel Control releases new microcontrollers


atmel.jpgAtmel Corporation has just announced a new range of AVR microcontrollers that will be able to combine USB controller and high performance analog features. Both the ATmega16U4 and ATmega32U4 are able to reduce system cost in battery powered devices like gaming accessories. Currently, modern batteries require sophisticated algorithms that accelerate and optimize charging, and USB adds on additional constraints on the battery charging since both voltage and maximum current are limited. AVR’s new devices enable an optimized battery charging combined with USB functions. The analog to digital converter will be able to use sense motion or pressure in the end application, while the high-speed PWM is ideal for low cost motor control.

This means hardware like gaming peripherals such as sophisticated joysticks also use up a number of analog to digital conversion channels, while several PWM channels are used to drive force-feedback motors. These new devices feature a rich sopecifications set which adress those needs, and are optimized for the global system cost. Among them are a 10-bit ADC with 12 channels; a built-in temperature sensor allowing compensating thermal effects on analog performance; a programmable gain x1, x10, x40 and x200 giving more flexibility to measure differential voltages for current monitoring. Atmel Corporation has also included a high-speed timer with three PWM channels with complementary outputs and programmable dead-times allows 8-bit resolution PWM with an industry-best frequency of 500 kHz, up to 11-bit resolution PWM with a frequency over 60 kHz.

According to Jean-Christophe Lawson, Atmel’s AVR Product Marketing Manager, “The new microcontrollers complement the existing family of AVR USB microcontrollers serving a variety of embedded host or peripheral USB applications. Smaller foot print and enhanced analog performance was requested for several USB-based applications and we are pleased to introduce a new combination of features that will optimize the performance and cost of the customer’s applications.”

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