New Functional Safety Ready MCU Features Real-Time Control and HMI




With increased connectivity in industrial and home applications as well as enhanced cabin and operational features in connected vehicles, higher-performance microcontrollers (MCU) are required for better real-time control as well as enabling better human machine interface (HMI) applications. To address this, Microchip Technology has introduced its next generation AVR DA family of microcontrollers, its first functional safety ready MCUs with peripheral touch controller (PTC).

Microchip’s functional safety ready designation is applied to devices that incorporate the latest safety features and are supported by safety manuals, failure modes, effects, and diagnostic analysis (FMEDA) reports, and in some cases, diagnostic software – reducing the time and cost of certifying safety end applications. The AVR DA MCU family includes several integrated safety functions to ensure robust operation – features ensuring a sufficient supply voltage such as power-on reset, brown-out detector and voltage-level monitor. The cyclic redundancy check (CRC) scan ensures the application code in the flash memory is valid. By ensuring code integrity, unintended and potentially unsafe behavior of the application can be avoided.

The new MCU family expects to meet the demand across multiple industries with advanced analog and core independent peripherals, and more capacitive touch channels over existing devices. It addresses applications ranging from connected home security, building automation and sensor systems to automotive and industrial automation, enabling accurate and responsive applications.

Microchip’s AVR DA family of MCUs enables CPU speeds of 24 MHz over the full supply voltage range, memory density of up to 128 KB flash, 16 KB SRAM and 512 bytes of EEPROM, 12-bit differential ADC, 10-bit DAC, analog comparators and zero cross detectors. The PTC enables capacitive touch interface designs supporting buttons, sliders, wheels, touchpads, smaller touch screens as well as gesture controls used in a wide range of consumer and industrial products and vehicles. The AVR DA family of MCUs supports up to 46 self-capacitance and 529 mutual capacitive touch channels and features the latest generation PTC with Driven Shield+ and boost mode technologies providing enhanced noise immunity, water tolerance, touch sensitivity and response time.

In addition, the AVR DA family can bring additional value in embedded real-time control systems, with an integrated event system which enables inter-peripheral communication without involving the CPU. Microchip says events are latency free and never lost, providing enhanced real-time performance and predictability for reliable and safe designs. By reducing the time the CPU needs to be active, the overall power consumption of the application is reduced.

The AVR DA family of MCUs supports up to 46 self-capacitance and 529 mutual capacitive touch channels and features the latest generation PTC (Image: Microchip Technology)

The configurable custom logic peripheral enables the setup of logical functions internally, eliminating the need for external components, reducing board space and bill of material costs. With the new advanced analog features like the 12-bit differential ADC, the AVR DA family of MCUs can measure small amplitude signals in noisy environments, making them suited to sensor node applications in harsh environments.

The AVR DA family of MCUs’ high memory density and SRAM-to-flash ratio make them suitable for both wireless and wired connected sensors nodes, as well as other stack-intensive applications.

Several options are available for software and hardware support. Software support includes Microchip’s MPLAB X, MPLAB Xpress and Atmel Studio, code configuration tools including MCC and START, and compilers including GCC, XC8 and the IAR Embedded Workbench. A functional safety certified version of the XC8 compiler is available via Microchip’s functional safety ready program. Hardware support is included in debuggers/programmers including MPLAB PICkit 4, MPLAB SNAP, Atmel ICE and the AVR128DA48 Curiosity Nano evaluation kit.

The AVR DA family of MCUs is available in volume production in 10,000 quantities starting at $0.87.

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Original article: New Functional Safety Ready MCU Features Real-Time Control and HMI
Author: Nitin Dahad