Atmel promises to expand ARM portfolio to almost 200, and adds floating point

October 27, 2011 // By Phil Ling
Atmel has revealed that several devices in its new Cortex-M4 Flash family will include a floating point unit (FPU) expanding the Atmel ARM processor-based device offering into the Digital Signal Controller (DSC) market. The company is also now sampling its SAM4S16, the first device in the Cortex-M4 processor-based family, to lead customers.

Atmel says its ARM Cortex-M4 processor-based family confirms the company's commitment to the rapidly growing, hybrid digital signal control (DSC) market following the introduction of the Atmel AVR UC3C MCU series in 2010.

The DSC market requires the combination of high-efficiency digital signal processing and industry-leading microcontroller technology, which replaces a two-chip MCU and DSP implementation and reduces the overall system cost. Selected members of the Atmel SAM4 family will include the Cortex-M4 processor and a floating point unit (FPU). 

Running ARM DSP library, the Atmel Cortex-M4 based SAM4 family boosts execution speed by 2X for fixed-point and 10X for floating-point DSP algorithms over the Cortex-M3 SAM3 family. It forms part of the unveiling of its fifth generation Cortex-M4 based Flash MCUs.

Throughout 2012, Atmel says the SAM3 and SAM4 families will quadruple its Cortex-M product portfolio to nearly 200 ARM-based microcontrollers and will include devices with on-chip memory densities of up to 2MB Flash, 192KB of SRAM and extensive peripherals including high-speed USB. The SAM4S16 device operates at a maximum speed of 120MHz with 1024KB Flash and 128KB SRAM with a full peripheral set featuring full-speed USB, high-speed SDIO/SD/MMC, UARTs, TWIs, SPI, I2S, 12-bit ADC and DAC and an external bus interface supporting PSRAM, LCD modules, NOR Flash, and NAND Flash.

The device also offers hardware code protection and supports Atmel QTouch technology for touch button, slider and wheel functionality targeting the industrial markets. Atmel’s ARM Cortex-M4 processor-based Flash microcontrollers, planned for market introduction in 2012, will offer up to 2MB Flash, 192KB of SRAM, extensive peripherals that include high-speed USB OTG with on-chip transceiver, Ethernet and CAN and an external bus interface supporting PSRAM, LCD modules, NOR Flash, and NAND Flash.