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Forum: µC & Digital Electronics Atmel announces ARM Cortex-M3 based Controllers


Author: Andreas Schwarz (andreas) (Admin) Flattr this
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Atmel has announced a new controller family called AT91SAM3U based on the ARM Cortex-M3. If you have been following the development of the ARM market this was only a matter of time, since the big competitors NXP and TI (with its recent aquisition of Luminary) are already shipping Cortex-M3 based controllers. Unlike them however, Atmel seems to be targeting only the higher end of Cortex-M3 applications, which is also not too surprising considering their strong position in the 8 bit market with the AVR (and AVR XMEGA) family.


Author: shiramoo (Guest)
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Even if bad financial sta Atmel apparently trying to consolidate their 
position on lane ARM cortex Mx taking account that TI will offer its 
products to market based on the ARM Mx cortex in the fall. TI has a set 
of powerful peripherals (Het, high speed ADC, DAC, DMA) in conjunction 
with the core performance ARM cortex M3 could dominate the market ARM 
course if the price will be sufficiently attractive. The fight is on the 
ARM will appear between TI, Atmel, ST, NXP and the price will be a 
decisive factor. Automotive market (especially the engine) and it will 
probably offer new products based on ARM cortex M3 market is now mainly 
dominated by family Infineon (Tricore TC17xx family) and Freescale 
(MPC55XX family) on European respecitv American segment.
Advances in nano manufacturing(90nm currently used but 40nm for near 
future) will enhance the performance in frequency and power consumption 
which brings all those passionate for this segment of real satisfaction 
and correlated with stiff competition between producers menionati prices 
will lead to very good (see AMD vs Intel).

Author: Robert Teufel (robertteufel)
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shiramoo wrote:
> Even if bad financial sta Atmel apparently trying to consolidate their
> position on lane ARM cortex Mx taking account that TI will offer its
> products to market based on the ARM Mx cortex in the fall. TI has a set
> of powerful peripherals (Het, high speed ADC, DAC, DMA) in conjunction
> with the core performance ARM cortex M3 could dominate the market ARM
> course if the price will be sufficiently attractive.
While I agree with you in every aspect so far, Cortex-M3 devices that 
include TI mixed signal IP will show up eventually and fall might be 
correct as well but my guess would be rather fall of 2010. Benn in that 
industry on the manufacturers side for a long time and in the short 
term, ther devices will be those developed by Luminary and most likely 
even continued to be manufactured at TSMC for quite a while.

The fight is on the
> ARM will appear between TI, Atmel, ST, NXP and the price will be a
> decisive factor.
Got that one right but the other factor is going to be unique features. 
So far Atmel is the only one to promote USB2.0 HS on a Cortex-M3.

Automotive market (especially the engine) and it will
> probably offer new products based on ARM cortex M3 market is now mainly
> dominated by family Infineon (Tricore TC17xx family) and Freescale
> (MPC55XX family) on European respecitv American segment.
My best guess is, here you are completely out of touch. The domination 
in the power train by Freescale PPC and Infineon TriCore is definitely 
correct but they can not be challenged by anything Cortex-M at all. The 
CPUs of the TriCore and the PPC are MUCH more powerful. However, there 
could be some interesting lineup with the Cortex-R4 and the above 
mentioned architectures. In engine management many things are about 
real-time performance and timer capabilities. Both Freescale and 
Infineon have "timer-monsters" implemented in their devices and they 
both have real-time coprocessors tightly coupled to the main CPU. In 
other words, the PPC and TriCore play in a different league, so to say 
the Champions league for power train while the Cortex-M3 is nowhere 
close in processing power for that application.

Having written all this, the Cortex-M has a much brighter outlook to be 
THE standard entry 32-bit architecture than any other architecture on 
the market right now. That is why my focus is on Cortex-M as well, just 
not for higher end automotive.

Best regards, Robert
http://mcu-related.com/architectures/35-cortex-m3.html

Author: shiramoo (Guest)
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Much respect for your comments relevant and respect a good connoisseur 
of the family and not only ARM.
I want to make a statement clarificatoare the possible penetration of 
ARM cortex M3 in automotive (engine):
Will not compete in any kind of powerful cores and Infineon cream (as 
you well marked) but may enter in the segment with engines less 
pretensions replacing a good price the legendary C167 that is still 
present on the Renault and Ford cars and could be easily surpass by ARM 
speed and peripherals.
A cortex M3 TI made with 20 channels Het, 16ch on 10bit ADC, DMA, 32KB 
RAM, 512MB flash, two units CAN, SPI, ASC can successfully cope with the 
engines of claims and average to below average not alone gear box.
Infineon and Freescale are trying to reduce costs through micro families 
less endowed (TC1734, Montecarlo) along with monsters as the TC1797 and 
Mamba engine to catch and more modest engine. I can say that the 
legendary S12 (Star from Freescale) 16 bit and it is still used engine 
(max 2 cyl) and may leave room for more cheap 32bit.
I admit I am not a very good connoisseur of  ARM using for hobby now 
PIC24H (due to good price/performance) but for next year for sure I will 
happly go to 32bit core, ARM Cortex M3 or MIPS  depending on price , 
periferial and tools available.
All the best from Shiramoo

Author: Flying bird (Guest)
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The ARM Cortex-M3 is applied to the fields which require high 
performance but low cost. Before Atmel released its AT91SAMSU Cortex-M3 
controller, ST, NXP and TI has already launched their cortex-m3 based 
processors. But different processors produced by different manufacturers 
have differences, take the frequency for example, nxp lpc1700 is up to 
100MHz, ST STM32F103ZE is 72MHz and Atmel AT91SAM3U is 96MHz. Meanwhile, 
they incorporate various peripherals, although most of them are the 
same. Before you choose these processors for your project, you shall 
evaluate their functions, you can make your own PCB, write a simple 
program to test its functions respectively, in this way it would be good 
for a beginner to get started with embedded development, but for an 
experienced engineer, it would be too time-consuming , so he will buy an 
evaluation board from the market to test the functions of the 
processors. I bought an AT91SAM3U Cortex-M3 Board last year and test its 
functions, I think this Atmel Cortex-M3 Based controller is reliable, 
high performance but low power consumption.

Best regards,
Daniel
http://www.embedinfo.com/en

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