Industrial sensors include the electronics required to detect, position or identify an object or rotating axis in a factory-automated system. They utilize a variety of technologies, including inductive, magneto-resistive, capacitive, optical, pressure and ultrasonic. Industrial sensors require:

  • Non-volatile storage for calibration values
  • Small PCB size
  • Accurate analog measurement
  • Arithmetic for signal conditioning
  • Digital communication interface for new emerging standards such as IO-Link
  • Optional analog output signal
  • Long product life time
  • Optional hardware authentication products for secure identification and authenticated confidential communications

Atmel® enables designers to meet the needs of a variety of sensor applications with the Atmel AVR® family of microcontrollers.

Features and Benefits

  • Small form factor down to DNF 2x2x0,5 mm
  • Provides on-chip true EEPROM
  • ADC with differential measurement and optional gain stage
  • Internal analog reference voltage remains stable in changing temperatures
  • Efficient 8-/16-bit CPU minimizes power consumption
  • Serial communication interfaces with Direct Memory Access (DMA) support
  • Internal Digital-to-Analog converter (DAC) and pulse width modulation (PWM)
  • The Atmel CryptoAuthentication family is a low-cost and easy-to-implement solution for providing a secure vault for root secrets (Keys) and secure mechanisms for authentication

Industrial Sensor Devices

IO-Link-enabled sensor with Atmel microcontroller and HMT transceiver: Working in close cooperation with HMT and MESCO Engineering, Atmel offers a turn-key solution based on the AVR microcontroller, the HMT7442 IO-linktransceiver and the optimized IO-Link device MESCO software stack.


IO-Link is the emerging industrial communication standard to connect the control unit to the sensors and actuators. The standard is backwards compatible with the commonly used binary switch signaling, and introduces a bi-directional digital communication. These new capabilities bring several benefits to the end user, including easier cabling, remote diagnostics and configuration.

For many sensor designers, the physical size constraint is the key factor for integrating the IO-Link capability. Atmel, HMT and MESCO Engineering have placed a strong focus on saving board space in our offering of the TM96.0 GENIE Explorer Variant A reference design. Measuring only 6 by 20 mm, this is the smallest reference design available in the industry today. This combined solution provides:

  • Small form factor
    • HMT PHY 3x4mm MLPD package
    • AVR microcontroller with 8KB Flash in 4x4mm QFN
    • Path to a single package solution
  • Reduced bill of material
    • Integrated reverse polarity protection
    • Integrated surge protection
    • No external crystal required
  • Rapid time to market
    • Fully certified, interoperable and maintained software stack
    • Proven hardware platform
    • Evaluation kit with pre-compiled library and debug capability
  • Flexibility
    • Wide choice of AVR devices enables the best application fit

For more information on the reference design, click here.

Atmel Products

MicrocontrollerSecure Authentication
AVR UC3 L Series 32-bit

Reference Designs and Tools

Use our reference designs, software tools, and other resources as a starting point to build and design your own solutions.

IO-Link reference design: TM96.A.Genie Explorer Variant A

The TM96.0-A reference design demonstrates the high integration of the Atmel, HMT and MESCO solution. It acts as an IO-Link device and is equipped with a push button, 2 LEDs ,and a potentiometer to allow developers to add stimuli to the system. The reference design runs the MESCO IO-Link stack on an Atmel tinyAVR88 microcontroller and communicates on the IO-Link cable using HMT's HMT7742 PHY IC. The implementation used in the reference design does not require external protection to sustain reverse polarity or to comply to the EMC surge protection defined in the IEC 60255-5 standard. This makes the TM96.0 an ideal tool to evaluate the Atmel-HMT-Mesco solution.


Please visit for further information.

IO-Link Evaluation Kit: TM96.B.Genie Explorer Variant B

The TM96.0-B Evaluation Kit enables hardware and software designers to develop, test and debug this IO-link sensor application. The TM96.0B features the IO-link transceiver HMT7742 and the Atmel ATmega328P. It is equipped with all necessary connectors for in-system programming, and supports debug sessions using the free of charge Atmel AVR StudioIDE and the Atmel AVR Dragon or Atmel JTAGICE-mkII. An evaluation kit is provided with pre-compiled MESCO library software, which can be linked to the main application using the WinAVR GCC compiler. For more information, visit


Reference Designs

[ + ] Wireless Thermostat with SAM4LC Reference Design

[ + ] Audio Recorder with MEMS Microphone Sensor Reference Design

Learn more about the Atmel solution Application Notes, Devices, and Tools and Software.