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Microchip launches functional safety ready AVR DA MCU family

Microchip Technology has announced its next generation AVR DA family of microcontrollers (MCUs), its first Functional Safety Ready AVR MCU family with Peripheral Touch Controller (PTC).

The new family is a response to growth in the Internet of Things (IoT) delivering greater connectivity for industrial and home applications as well as operational features, which require higher-performance microcontrollers for better real-time control as well as to enable enhanced human machine interface applications.

Commenting Greg Robinson, associate vice president of marketing, Microchip's 8-bit microcontroller business unit, said,“The technology spans applications from connected home security, building automation and sensor systems to automotive and industrial automation, enabling the design of more robust, accurate and responsive applications.”

Microchip’s Functional Safety Ready designation is applied to devices that incorporate the latest safety features and are supported by safety manuals, Failure Modes, Effects, and Diagnostic Analysis (FMEDA) reports, and in some cases, diagnostic software – reducing the time and cost of certifying safety end applications.

The AVR DA MCU family includes several integrated safety functions to ensure robust operation – features ensuring a sufficient supply voltage such as power-on reset, brown-out detector and voltage-level monitor. The cyclic redundancy check (CRC) scan ensures the application code in the flash memory is valid. By ensuring code integrity, unintended and potentially unsafe behaviour of the application can be avoided.

The family of MCUs enable CPU speeds of 24 MHz over the full supply voltage range, memory density of up to 128 KB flash, 16 KB SRAM and 512 bytes of EEPROM, 12-bit differential ADC, 10-bit DAC, analogue comparators and zero cross detectors.

The PTC enables capacitive touch interface designs supporting buttons, sliders, wheels, touchpads, smaller touch screens as well as gesture controls used in a wide range of consumer and industrial products and vehicles. The AVR DA family is supporting up to 46 self-capacitance and 529 mutual capacitive touch channels and features the latest generation PTC with Driven Shield+ and boost mode technologies providing enhanced noise immunity, water tolerance, touch sensitivity and response time.

In addition, theses devices bring additional value to embedded real-time control systems. The integrated event system enables inter-peripheral communication without involving the CPU. Events are latency free and never lost, providing enhanced real-time performance and predictability for reliable and safe designs. By reducing the time the CPU needs be active, the overall power consumption of the application is reduced.

The configurable custom logic peripheral enables the setup of logical functions internally, eliminating the need for external components, reducing board space and bill of material costs. With the new advanced analogue features like the 12-bit differential ADC, the AVR DA family can measure small amplitude signals in noisy environments, making them well suited for sensor node applications in harsh environments.

With a high memory density and SRAM-to-flash ratio these devices are expected to be attractive for both wireless and wired connected sensors nodes, as well as other stack-intensive applications.

Neil Tyler

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