Ultra-low power 8/16-bit AVR XMEGA MCU includes USB and high-precision analog systems

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By eeNews Europe

The new family lowers overall system cost through higher integration, capacitive touch support, and ultra-low power consumption. The AVR XMEGA microcontrollers are designed for applications in the industrial, consumer, metering and medical segments.     

The new AVR XMEGA MCUs integrate full-speed USB connectivity with functions that reduce overhead and provide higher data rates. Using the high-precision internal oscillator in the AVR XMEGA, designers can lower the system cost by eliminating the crystal oscillator traditionally required for full-speed USB. Atmel provides free software for all common USB device classes in the AVR Software Framework, which is a complete software package that includes drivers and communication stacks for AVR microcontrollers.     

The AVR XMEGA family features high-precision analog functions. The family includes two 12-bit analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) with programmable gain stages that remove the need for external amplifiers. The ADCs operate down to 1.6 V operating voltage, and have a combined sample rate up to 4 MSPS. The two 12-bit digital-to-analog converters (DACs) also support systems that need fast and high-precision analog output. The DACs can drive high loads to reduce external driver component costs, while built-in current outputs enable embedded applications to remove external resistors or other constant current sources.     

The Atmel AVR XMEGA family claims to be the only 8/16-bit MCU in the market with DMA, Controller and Event System. Peripherals and communication modules can utilize the DMA system to move data so the AVR XMEGA CPU has more idle time to save power or to perform other tasks.

The innovative event system enables direct inter-peripheral signaling for short and 100% predictable response time without interrupt and CPU usage. Designers can now develop a solution with predictable real-time performance and data throughput even under a high system load. Other functions such as hardware AES and DES encryption and decryption ensure fast and low-power secure communication.

Cryptography protects important intellectual software property during remote programming and firmware distribution. Atmel AVR XMEGA can also easily realize robust touch sensing interfaces through the Atmel QTouch Library, enabling buttons, sliders, wheels or proximity for user interfaces.     

All devices include the Atmel picoPower ultra-low power technology with true 1.6 V operation, accurate real time clock (RTC) operation and full data retention at the industry-leading current consumption of 500 nA.

The new Atmel AVR XMEGA devices with USB are available now. Pricing starts at $2.00 each in 10,000-piece quantities.     

Visit Atmel at


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