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MCU lowers power consumption by up to 90% says Atmel

Atmel has announced a next generation 32bit microcontroller which it claims lowers power consumption by up to 90%.

The Atmel 32-bit AVR UC3L mcu incorporates picoPower technology and embedded capacitive touch controller peripherals. By lowering the static power consumption by 90% and active power consumption by 45%, Atmel says it has enabled a performance/power ratio unsurpassed in the microcontroller market.

Featuring 1.5 DMIPS per MHz and dsp instructions, target applications include audio processing applications such as USB and Bluetooth headsets, game pads and human interface devices.

The series comes in a 5.5 x 5.5mm TLLGA package with a power consumption of 9nA. This figure is lower than the tantalum capacitor decoupling the board power supply and comparable to leakage currents in advanced battery technologies. Active power consumption is reduced to 165µA/MHz, a 45% improvement from previous generations.

According to Atmel, the device's performance enables further power savings by running at far lower speed than conventional mcus while providing the same performance. The power saving is enabled through the Atmel picoPower technology which is designed to address all aspects of a microcontroller's power consumption, including active operation modes as well as all sleep modes. The technology includes peripheral SleepWalking, where peripherals can operate in extremely low power states and make qualified decision during cpu sleep.

"As portable applications designers demand more ease-of-use and increased capabilities, more compute power packed in extremely small spaces, with extended battery life, becomes a must," said Dr Oyvind Strom, Atmel's product marketing director for AVR products. "The next generation Atmel 32bit AVR UC3L mcu addresses these demanding tasks, including voice control, capacitive touch interfaces and other signal processing with a form factor and power consumption previously addressable by ASICs only."

Chris Shaw

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