Microchip EERAM Combines SRAM and Backup EEPROM into a Single Chip

Most micro-controllers comes with both SRAM volatile memory, and flash or EEPROM for non-volatile (persistent) memory, but Texas Instruments – and other companies – have been selling MCUs with FRAM (Ferroelectric Random Access Memory) and standalone FRAM chip, a non-volatile memory that delivers performance and power efficiency similar to SRAM, and much better endurance that either flash or EEPROM. You don’t see FRAM in that many MCUs and solutions, because it’s more expensive than having SRAM + flash, but some applications requiring ultra low power consumption and non-volatile storage write capabilities may benefit from the technology. Those include data logging, sensor networks, and batteryless applications. Microchip has also it own technology with EERAM, a non-volatile SRAM memory that includes a “shadow” EEPROM used to automatically backup data on power down with a small external capacitor providing enough power to save SRAM to the EEPROM. Once power is recovered (Vdd > Vtrip), the content of the EEPROM is copied back into …

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Microchip SAM D5x and SAM E5x ARM Cortex-M4 Micro-Controllers Launched with Optional Ethernet and CAN Bus

Microchip has just introduced two new families of micro-controllers based on ARM Cortex-M4F with SAM D5x and SAM E5x series sporting up to 1 MB of dual-panel flash and 256 KB of SRAM both with ECC support. Both families also support QSPI flash with XIP (eXecute In Place) support, features an SD card controller and a capacitive touch controller, with SAM E5x family also adding support for two CAN-FD ports and Ethernet. Microchip SAM A5x/E5x key features and specifications: MCU Core – ARM Cortex-M4F core running at 120 MHz with single precision Floating Point Unit (FPU) Memory – Internal memory architecture with user configurable Tightly Coupled Memory, System memory, Memory Protection Unit and 4KB Combined I-cache and D-cache; up to 256KB ECC SRAM, up to 1MB ECC flash Storage I/F – Quad Serial Peripheral Interface(QSPI) with Execute in Place (XIP) Support Peripherals Up to 2x Secure Digital Host Controller (SDHC) Peripheral Touch Controller (PTC) supporting up to 256 channels of …

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Arduino MKRFOX1200 Board Combines Microchip SAM D21 MCU with Sigfox Module in MKRZero Form Factor

Arduino MKRFOX1200 is the first official Arduino board to feature LPWAN technology thanks to a Microchip ATA8520 Sigfox module combined with a Microchip SAMD21 ARM Cortex M0+ micro-controller, all that in the same form factor as MKRZero or MKR1000 boards. Arduino MKRFOX1200 specifications: MCU – Microchip SAMD21 ARM Cortex-M0+  MCU @ 48 MHz with 256KB flash, 32KB SRAM Connectivity – Microchip AT8520 Sigfox module operating @ 868 MHz with 2dB “GSM” antenna connected to u.FL connector 2x 14-pin headers for I/Os: 8x digital I/O 8x external interrupts (0, 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, A1 -or 16-, A2 – or 17) 7x analog inputs (8/10/12-bit ADC) 1x analog out (10-bit DAC) 12x PWM pins ((0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, A3 – or 18 -, A4 -or 19) 1x UART, 1x SPI, 1x I2C 3.3V operating voltage DC Current per I/O Pin 7 mA USB – 1x full speed micro USB device and embedded host Misc …

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Secure IoT Connectivity with NodeMCU ESP8266 Board, ATECC508A Crypto Chip, Mongoose OS, and AWS IoT

There are many examples of Internet of Things projects, but more often than not the implementation is not secure, either because the device is exposed to the Internet with minimum or no security (worst case), or a gateway (hopefully) provides secure connection to the Internet, but the communication between sensor nodes and the gateway in the local network is not secure, due to memory limitation of the nodes, for example it might be challenging to implement security on ESP8266. Mongoose OS is an open source operating system for the Internet of Things developed by Cesanta working on ESP32, ESP8266, STM32, and TI CC3200, and the developers have demonstrated a secure solution with Mongoose OS running on ESP8266 connecting over a TLS connection to AWS IoT (Amazon Web Service IoT) and using TLS credentials stored in Microchip ATECC508A CryptoAuthentication Device. The addition of ATECC508 chip either using “XplainedPro extension board for crypto products” (ATCRYPTOAUTH-XPRO) or ATECC508A chip itself, is to avoid …

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Microchip Atmel ATtiny417/814/816/817 tinyAVR MCUs Include Core Independent Peripherals (CIPs)

Microchip’s latest Atmel tinyAVR MCUs combine Atmel 8-bit AVR core with CIPS (Core Independent Peripherals) normally found in the company’s PIC MCUs. Since Atmel’s purchase by Microchip, I believe this is the first time the company leverages features from both MCU families. The four new ATtiny MCUs come with 4 to 8 KB flash, and up to 24 pins: ATtiny417 – 8-bit Atmel AVR MCU with 4KB Flash, 256 bytes SRAM, 128 bytes EEPROM, 20MHz/20 MIPS, two 16-bit timer/counters, one 12-bit timer/counter, RTC, USART, SPI, Two-wire Interface (I2C), 10-bit ADC, 8-bit DAC, analog comparator, accurate internal oscillators and multiple calibrated voltage references, Custom Logic, 10-bytes unique ID, and 24 pins ATtiny814 – Same as above but with 8KB flash, 512 bytes SRAM, Peripheral Touch Controll (PTC), and 14 pins ATtiny816 – Same key features as ATtiny814 but with a 20-pin package with more I/Os ATtiny817 – Same key features as ATtiny814 but with a 24-pin package with more I/Os “Core …

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Getting Started with MPLAB Xpress Board and Online IDE

Microchip launched MPLAB Xpress online IDE and board earlier this year, and as part of the launch they offered 2,000 free boards. I joined the program and received my board. The keyword for the board is “Xpress”, as you should be able to get started in mere minutes thanks to the operating system agnostic online IDE that works with Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari. That also means you don’t need to install any other tool. All you need is a web browser. MPLAB Xpress Board Let’s start by quickly checking out the package, board, and offline documentation. Once you open the package, you’ll get the board, a folded sheet of paper for the schematics, and some information on the package itself with the pinout diagram, and a quick start guide explaining that the board acts as a mass storage device, and all you need is a web browser for programming it. The part has two parts: “Application” and “Programmer”. …

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LoRaONE is a Small LoRa IoT Development Board Based on Atmel SAMD21 MCU, Microchip LoRaWAN Module (Crowdfunding)

While there are many long range LPWAN standards, LoRa appears to be one of the most popular with boards such as LoPy, and now SODAQ LoRaONE module hitting crowdfunding campaigns. LoRaONE is powered by an Atmel Cortex M0+ micro-controller, features Microchip RN2483 or RN2903 LoRaWAN module, GPS, and various sensors. LoRaONE board specifications: MCU- Atmel ATSAMD21G18 ARM Cortex M0+ micro-controller @ 48 MHz with 256 KB flash memory, 32KB SRAM, and up to 16 KB EEPROM (by emulation) Connectivity LoRa via Microchip  RN2483 (433/868 MHz) or RN2903 (915 MHz) module depending on your region GPS via u-blox EVA 7M USB – 1x micro USB port for power and programming Expansion headers (unpopulated) 14x digital pin, 12x for analog and 8x for PWM, plus UART, SPI and TWI (I2C) Analog output pin – 10-bit DAC External Interrupts: Available on all pins DC Current per I/O pin: 7 mA Operating Voltage – 3.3V Breadboard compatible Debugging – Serial Wire Interface Sensor – …

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Microchip Introduces MPLAB Xpress Cloud-based IDE and MPLAB Xpress Evaluation Board

Microchip has just launched MPLAB Xpress online IDE with some of the most used features of the company’s MPLAB X IDE, as well as a free – in limited quantities – MPLAB Xpress evaluation board based on a PIC16 micro-controller. Let’s get through the development board specifications first: MCU – Microchip PIC16F18855 MCU with 14KB flash, 1KB SRAM, 256 bytes EEPROM USB – micro USB port for power and programming Expansion Headers Unpopulated mikroBUS header supporting one of 180 Click boards Unpopulated 2x 14-pin header with GPIOs, I2C, SPI, UART, ADC, etc… Misc – Reset button, user button, potentiometer Dimensions – N/A Playing with hardware is always more fun, but if you just want to evaluation the online IDE, you don’t even need the board. Visit MPLAB Xpress Code Examples page, load one of the example, possibly log-in if you want to save changes to the 10GB free online storage that comes with a myMicrochip account, and you’ll be able …

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