Atmel Introduces SAMA5D3 Cortex A5 Embedded MPUs and Evaluation Kits

Atmel has recently announced the Atmel SAMA5D3 series, a family of high performance, low-power microprocessor units (MPUs) based on ARM Cortex-A5 core. The SAMA5D3 series is designed for embedded applications in the industrial space, including factory and building automation, smart grid, medical and handheld terminals, as well as consumer applications such as smart watches, outdoor GPS, and DECT phones.

SAMA5D3 family has the following characteristics:Atmel_SAMA5D3

  • ARM Cortex-A5 core up to 536MHz (850DMIPS).
  • Floating point unit (FPU) with up to 3 times the performance of Cortex A8 FPU.
  • 166MHz bus speed delivering up to 1328MB/s bandwidth.
  • Power consumption:
    • <200mW in active mode at 536MHz with all peripherals activated
    • 0.5mW in low-power mode with SRAM, registers retention and <0.5ms wake-up time
    • ~1.2µA in backup mode with RTC running
  • Connectivity:
    • Dual Ethernet and dual CAN ports (Only one model has both)
      • Gigabit Ethernet MAC with IEEE1588 and 10/100 MAC
      • Two CAN controllers
    • 3x HS USB ports that can be configured as three host or two host and one device port
    • 3x SDIO/SD/MMC ports, up to 7x UARTs, 2x SPIs, 3x TWIs, soft modem, CMOS sensor interface, 12-bit ADC, 32-bit timers, etc…
  • Display and Camera Support:
    • Graphic LCD controller (For most models)
    • Resistive touchscreen interface
    • CMOS sensor interface
    • 2x Synchronous Serial Controller (SSC) interfaces
  • Security – Secure boot,  AES/Triple DES encryption engine, Secure Hash Algorithm (SHA) and True Random Number Generator (TRNG)
Atmel SAMA5D3 Block Diagram (Click to Enlarge)
Atmel SAMA5D3 Block Diagram (Click to Enlarge)

There are 4 MPUs in this series each with specific features:

  • SAMA5D31 – LCD Controller (LCDC), RMII 10/100 Mbit Ethernet (EMAC), High Speed Multimedia Card Interface (HSMCI2), and UART0/1
  • SAMA5D33 – LCD Controller (LCDC), and Gigabit Ethernet (GMAC)
  • SAMA5D34 – LCD Controller (LCDC), Gigabit Ethernet (GMAC), CAN0/1, and High Speed Multimedia Card Interface (HSMCI2)
  • SAMA5D35 – Gigabit Ethernet (GMAC), RMII 10/100 Mbit Ethernet (EMAC), CAN0/1, High Speed Multimedia Card Interface (HSMCI2), UART0/1 and TC1 (Timer Counter 1)

Atmel provides evaluation kits for each MPUs:

  • Atmel SAMA5D31-EK – $595
  • Atmel SAMA5D33-EK – $595
  • Atmel SAMA5D34-EK – $595
  • Atmel SAMA5D35-EK – $445

They all comes with 4Gb DDR2, 2Gb NAND Flash, 128Mb NOR , 32Mb SPI Serial DataFlash, 512Kb EEPROM, and lots of connectors. SAMA5D35-EK is cheaper because it does not include a 5.0” WVGA resistive TFT LCD module. Debugging is done with J-Link and CDC on-board, and an optional JTAG test access port is available. The kits comes preloaded with Linux demonstration software and a graphical user interface (GUI) based on Qt.

As with SAM9 processors, Atmel provides 3 bootloaders (AT91Bootstrap, U-Boot and Barebox), Linux distributions, and Buildroot and OpenEmbedded/Yocto support via, and an Android 4.0 port will be available at in March. The If you don’t plan to use an OS for your application, the company also offers a  C-language software package (softpack). Development can be done in Windows or some Linux distributions (Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora and openSUSE). You can also access full documentation, and download the design and manufacturing Files (including schematics, gerbers, test programs…) for all 4 evaluation kits (Select “Other Documents”).

The Atmel SAMA5D3 is in mass production now, and pricing starts below $7 US for 1,000-pcs quantities. You can get more information on SAMA5D3 series microsite, and find out more about (or buy) SAMA5D3 evaluation kits on Atmel e-Store.

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