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January 9, 2017Microchip’s Online Store Now Includes All Former Atmel Products
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Atmel AVR XMEGA Technical Details
We'll tell you all you need to know to start evaluating and working with this product.
Pin and Memory Options
Analog and Digital Converters
Atmel® AVR® XMEGA® devices employ advanced analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) that deliver both high speed and high resolution. These ADCs offer up to four conversion channels with different result registers, which can have different setup and configuration processes. This provides easier use since different software modules can access and use an ADC independently.
1 or 2 ADCs in each device
- 12-bit resolution
- Up to 2MSPS per ADC
- Differential and single-ended input
- Built-in gain stage
- Offset and gain correction
- Over-sampling and decimation
- Integrated temperature sensor
Selected AVR XMEGA devices feature digital-to-analog converters (DACs), which provide two independent channels that can each convert up to 1MSPS.
- 0 – 4 DAC channels in each device
- 12-bit resolution
- Up to 1MSPS per DAC channel
The DAC can drive:
- Pure capacitive load
- Pure resistive load
- Combined load
- 10 mA output drive strength
The ADC and DAC can use both accurate internal and external reference options. Reference buffers inside AVR XMEGA devices eliminate the need for high output current from the external reference.
The Event System facilitates inter-peripheral signaling for short and 100% predictable response time. This ensures real-time control, and also offloads the CPU because each time an event is used, one interrupt with context switch is eliminated. The figure below and to the left shows the traditional approach—where the peripherals interrupt the CPU when they need to signal something. The figure below and to the right shows the AVR XMEGA approach—where the Event System offloads these tasks from the CPU. Most of the peripherals and the DMA controller are connected to the Event System. The AVR XMEGA E series features an asynchronous peripheral Event System instead.
XMEGA Custom Logic: XCL
AVR XMEGA E devices feature an innovative XMEGA Custom Logic module (XCL) consisting of two independent 8-bit timers/counters and two lookup tables used for defining glue logic. It is designed to reduce bill of material (BOM) and PCB size as the XCL can replace external circuitry such as delay elements, RS-latches, D-latches, D-flip-flops logic, AND, NAND, OR, NOR, XOR, XNOR, NOT, MUX logic gates. In addition, it can, together with the USART, enable customized communication protocols.
The AVR XMEGA 4-channel direct memory access (DMA) controller can be used for fast, CPU-independent data transfer between any combination of data memory and peripherals:
- Peripheral <-> Memory
- Peripheral <-> Peripheral
- Memory <-> Memory
It offers channel priority selection, several addressing modes, and double buffering capabilities. The DMA controller is particularly useful for all data-oriented applications such as signal collection and processing, industrial control, and communication gateways. It can also offer benefits in other applications because it significantly reduces the CPU load for data transfer, as shown in the table below:
Atmel AVR CPU
AVR XMEGA devices use the Atmel AVR® CPU. The instruction set and design of the CPU are tuned to minimize code size and maximize execution speed. Its true single-cycle execution of arithmetic and logic operations means AVR XMEGA microcontrollers perform close to 1 MIPS per MHz. The fast-access register file with 32 x 8-bit general-purpose working registers is directly connected to the arithmetic logic unit (ALU). During a single clock cycle, the ALU can be fed two arbitrary registers, do a requested operation, and write back the result. It provides efficient support for 8-, 16-, and 32-bit arithmetic.
Atmel picoPower Technology
Atmel picoPower® technology enables AVR XMEGA devices to deliver true 1.6 Volt operation, which means all functions—including the ADC and DAC, Flash and EEPROM memory programming, operate down to 1.6V. This allows safe operation directly from a 1.8V ±10% power supply. It also enables deeper battery discharge to increase battery life.
For more information, view the picoPower lab video
Selected Atmel AVR XMEGA devices include a Full-Speed USB Device module. This module provides 31 fully configurable endpoints and supports all four USB transfer modes (control, interrupt, isochronous and bulk). It also offers a unique multi-packet function that reduces CPU load and provides higher data rates. A 1100KB/s data rate can be maintained with only 7% CPU load. The high-precision internal oscillator eliminates the need for the external crystal traditionally required for Full-Speed USB. The Atmel Software Framework includes free software for all the most common USB device classes.
- HID mouse
- HID keyboard
- HID generic
- Mass storage
- Personal healthcare
- DFU bootloader
UART, SPI, I2C and EBI Communication Interfaces
All AVR XMEGA devices include USART, SPI and I2C interfaces. They can be used with the DMA controller, the AES and DES cryptographic module and CRC module to offer fast, reliable and secure communication with low CPU load. In addition, the 100-pin device versions have an external bus interface (EBI) to connect more data memory or memory-mapped external hardware. Key features include:
- Between 3 and 8 USARTs in each device
- Full asynchronous and clocked synchronous operation
- Fractional Baud rate generator that eliminates the need for external crystal
- IrDA modulation
- Up to 4 Mbps data rate
- Between 2 and 4 SPIs in each device
- Fast full-duplex synchronous serial communication
- Master and slave operation
- Up to 16 Mbps data rate
- Between 2 and 4 TWIs in each device
- I2C and SMBus compatible
- Master and slave operation
- Slave operation and wake-up from address match from all sleep modes
- 100kHz, 400kHz and 1MHz support (1MHz in some devices, refer to the device datasheets)
- Up to 128Mb of SRAM
- Up to 16MB of SDRAM
- External peripherals (e.g., LCDs)
- Memory-mapped devices
The ultra-low-power LCD controller in AVR XMEGA microcontrollers supports up to 4x40 segments and requires only 3µA to run the LCD. To reduce hardware design complexity, the LCD controller includes integrated LCD buffers, an integrated LCD power supply, and an innovative SWAP mode that enables flexible signal routing to the LCD pins. To reduce the current consumption, the LCD module has built-in ASCII character mapping, programmable segment blinking and support for scrolling text. LCD drivers are available in the Atmel Software Framework free of charge.
16-bit Timer/Counters with Compare and Capture Channels
All AVR XMEGA timer/counter modules include pulse-width modulation (PWM) and input capture functionality. There are up to eight timers/counters and 32 PWM channels in one device. Using a high-resolution extension module, it is possible to achieve PWM resolution down to 4 nS. The timers/counters also support more advanced uses that include PWM with high and low side output and dead-time insertion, as well as fault protection modes. The input capture function includes pulse width and frequency measurements, and when two 16-bit timers/counters are cascaded, this also enables 32-bit input capture.
I/O Pin Functions
AVR XMEGA devices offer flexible I/O pin configuration with various output configurations, sensing and synchronous/asynchronous wake-up. The optional slew-rate limitation reduces EMI. Virtual ports registers allow single-cycle pin manipulation. This makes software for bit-banging smaller and faster.
The I/O pins comply with the LV-TTL specification, and they offer high drive strength with up to 10mA/20mA source/sink current.
AES and DES Crypto Engine
The cryptographic engine supports 64-bit DES and 128-bit AES encryption and decryption. This capability means that encrypted communication can be done much faster than in software, and as the table below shows, it enables high encrypted communication data rates.
|Max Encrypted Communication Rate||UART||SPI||Vs. Software|
|128-bit AES||4 Mbps||3.2 Mbps||10x faster|
|Triple-DES||3.2 Mbps||2.3 Mbps||100x faster|
Clock and Power Management
The AVR XMEGA clock system includes accurate internal oscillators, as well as external crystal and clock options. Dynamic clock switching and clock scaling can be done to tune accuracy and power consumption to fit the application needs. With a built-in external oscillator, failure detection and automatic run-time calibration of the internal oscillators, the AVR XMEGA offers a safe, reliable and flexible clock system.
AVR XMEGA devices have five different sleep modes to turn off unused modules and reduce power consumption in the application. This granularity is further enhanced by the power reduction registers.
In idle sleep mode, all peripherals operate while the CPU is sleeping to reduce power consumption. The enables up to a 50% reduction in power consumption while the event system, DMA controller and all peripherals still operate.
AVR XMEGA devices offer industry-leading low-power numbers in power-save mode, using only 100 nA to run the real-time counter and provide full data retention. Full data retention is important because it enables a short wake-up time of only 2uS from the deepest sleep mode.
In power-down mode, AVR XMEGA devices use only 100nA with SRAM and register retention, and feature 5us wake-up time from pin change on any I/O pin, TWI address match and USB resume. Safety functions like watchdog and brown-out detection can be optionally enabled in all sleep modes.
Standby and extended standby sleep modes are identical to power-down and power-save, except the external oscillator is kept running to reduce wake-up time.
The multi-level interrupt controller has three priority levels. The higher-level interrupts are prioritized and executed before lower-level interrupts. This ensures predicable real-time response for all critical tasks. All peripherals can be assigned any interrupt level.
The analog comparator (AC) compares the voltage level on two inputs and gives a digital output based on this comparison. Two important properties of the AC are hysteresis and propagation delay. In AVR XMEGA devices, both of these parameters can be adjusted in order to find the optimal operation for each application. The input selection includes analog port pins and several internal signals, including a 64-level programmable voltage scaler. Each device contains at least two analog comparators, which can be configured together in a window mode. In window mode, it is possible to control whether a signal is above, below, inside or outside a voltage window.
Capacitive Touch Sensing
The Atmel QTouch® Library provides a simple-to-use solution for realizing touch-sensitive interfaces on AVR XMEGA devices. AVR XMEGA microcontrollers provide up to 64 sense channels for capacitive buttons, sliders and wheels. Touch sensing can be added to any application by linking the appropriate QTouch Library for the AVR XMEGA microcontroller. This is done by using a simple set of APIs to define the touch channels and sensors, and then calling the touch-sensing APIs to retrieve the channel information and determine the touch sensor states.
Download the QTouch Library free of charge.
Cyclic redundancy check (CRC) is an error-detection technique test algorithm used to detect accidental errors on data. The CRC module in AVR XMEGA devices supports two commonly used CRC polynomials: CRC-16 (CRC-CCITT) and CRC-32 (IEEE 802.3). It can be used to determine the correctness of communication data , as well as data present in the data memory and program memory. Combined with the DMA controller, it enables continuous and fully autonomous CRC checks on communication data.
RTC with Optional Battery Backup System
The real-time counter (RTC) runs continuously, including in low-power sleep modes, to keep track of time. It can wake up the device from sleep modes and/or interrupt the device at regular intervals. It is optimized for low power consumption and uses only 500 nA to keep the RTC and an external 32.768kHz crystal oscillator running.
Some applications require the RTC to keep running in the event of a main power loss. Selected AVR XMEGA devices integrate a battery backup system that automatically performs power switching between main power and battery backup power, and this feature also keeps the RTC running when the main power fails. No external RTC devices or power switch components are required.
Power and System Supervision
All AVR XMEGA devices offer various dedicated functions that can and should be used to ensure safe and reliable operation.
Power-on reset (POR) ensures proper power-on and power-down cycling for the device. It works when the supply voltage is very low, and makes sure the device is reset before RAM and register content is lost.
Brown-out detection (BOD) monitors the supply voltage and puts the device in reset if the supply voltage drops below the required level. The voltage level to monitor is programmable to various levels between 1.6V and 3.0V, so it will match the minimum application supply voltage. This ensures that program execution does not continue when the supply voltage is too low to guarantee correct operation.
The watchdog timer (WDT) monitors program operation and makes it possible to recover from program error situations such as run-away or dead-lock code.
The external oscillator failure detection (XOSCFD) function monitors the external clock source and PLL, and will issue an interrupt and switch to the 2MHz internal oscillator if the clock fails. It makes it possible to safely recover from situations where the external clock source fails.
Together, these functions protect your applications and ensure safe and reliable operation.