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Atmel Corporation has introduced an AVR32 microcontroller with high-speed communication.

Featuring Atmel’s 91 DMIPS AVR32 CPU, the AT32UC3A3 includes a Hi-Speed USB interface with On-The-Go, a dual high-speed SD/MMC card interface, plus SDRAM and NAND flash interface with SLC and MLC, ECC.

It is targeted at the digital media solutions and audio player docking station markets.

The AT32UC3A3 also fits a wider range of embedded applications where fast transfer of large amounts of data is a requirement.

The microcontroller features Atmel’s peripheral DMA controller in combination with a multilayer databus.

This offloads the CPU by automating the transmission of large packets of data.

In addition to the dual-port SRAM found in all AVR32 microcontrollers, the AT32UC3A3 introduces a distributed SRAM architecture that eliminates latency and potential delay for data flowing through the controller.

The 128KB of on-chip SRAM is split into three regions, each offering a separate interface to the memory and peripheral DMA controllers.

This allows multiple high-speed data transfers to run simultaneously.

The AVR32 offers a range of DSP instructions usually only found in high-end CPUs and DSPs.

Its high performance eliminates the need for custom audio decoder hardware, and it is capable of decoding a stereo MP3 stream at less than 25MHz.

With a maximum speed of up to 66MHz, there is plenty of CPU performance left to handle ‘heavier’ audio formats such as AAC.

The AVR32 microcontroller offers an integrated stereo 16-bit bitstream DAC.

This requires only a small external power amplifier to generate the output voltages required for line, headphones or external speakers.

Playback in four-channel audio or full surround sound requires an external audio codec, usually connected to the microcontroller’s IIS interface.

The AVR32 AT32UC3A3’s high-speed communication interfaces include a Hi-Speed USB interface with 480Mbit/s, a NAND flash controller with support for multi-level cell error correction, and an MMC/SD port with support for up to two SD card slots with more than 12Mbyte/s transfer speed.

The AT32UC3A3 consumes less than 2.0mW/MHz in active mode.

This allows the AVR32 microcontroller to deliver more than 150 hours of audio playback from two AA batteries.

In standby mode with only the real-time clock running, the device can stay operational for more than nine years.

To demonstrate the digital audio capabilities of the AVR32 microcontrollers and reduce the time to market for potential customers, Atmel has designed the ATEVK1104 reference design.

The kit demonstrates playback from a USB mass storage device, SD card or NAND flash, and shows how music can be downloaded or streamed from a PC through the Hi-Speed USB interface.

The reference design also demonstrates Atmel’s capacitive touch solutions.

Atmel will also provide an Ipod docking extension kit to the ATEVK1104 and ATEVK1105.

The extension kit contains the hardware, firmware and source code required for access and controls the Ipod and Iphone via the USB port.

Later this year, Atmel will introduce Bluetooth and ZigBee radio connectivity add-on kits.

Samples of the AT32UC3A3 are available now.

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