Atmel Introduces Industry's Lowest Power 8-bit Flash Microcontroller

11/13/2002 - Atmel® announced the first member of the low power AVR® flash Microcontroller family. The Mega 169 is designed to address the requirements for battery operated and portable applications.

The Mega 169 consumes miserly 300 Micro Amps at 1 Microsecond instruction time; it has an unrivaled throughput of 2 MIPS per milliwatt. To reduce power consumption further, the AVR CPU clock is controlled by software. The designer can select a high clock frequency for compute intensive operations and slow the clock to 32kHz to perform simple control functions. This reduces power consumption to 20 Micro Amps in active mode. In the power down mode, all peripherals with the exception of external interrupts are turned off and power consumption drops to 500 Nano Amps. This means products designed with the Mega 169 will be able to run up to 10 times longer on the equivalent battery power when compared to traditional microcontroller solutions. The low power AVR Family is extremely responsive to external events. Interrupts on up to 18 inputs can wake the part from a power down mode in less than 1 microsecond, which is a 6X improvement. This encourages the use of low power modes, which reduce power consumption.

"The Atmel Mega 169 provides the ideal combination of integration and low power, " said Tim Matt, Vice President of Advanced Technology Development, Invensys Energy Management Division. "Our challenge was to offer our customers a Flash based Microcontroller System with an integrated 24 by 4 LCD panel and 10 years battery life using two AA Batteries. The Mega 169 allows us to reach that goal," he added.

The Low Power AVR Family helps design engineers reduce development costs, design time and ultimately production cost. The Mega 169 combines a highly code-efficient and powerful Microcontroller with a low power Flash memory technology.

"The first member of the low power family is the Mega 169 designed for metering and other Battery powered applications requiring an integrated LCD controller." said Atmel's Jim Panfil, Director of Microcontrollers. "The Mega 169 will soon be followed by derivatives larger program memory, more I/O's and peripheral options," he added.

Evaluation and debug tools are available now. The STK 502 expansion module, priced at $99, when combined with the STK 500 starter kit, priced at $79, contains all the necessary hardware to evaluate programs and tests the capabilities of the Mega 169. The STK 502 includes a temperature monitoring application example with C-code drivers for all peripherals including the LCD-driver. It also enables designers to develop and test their code before the hardware design is completed which reduces development time.

The Mega 169 is available today with volume production expected in January 2003.

About Atmel
Founded in 1984, Atmel Corporation is headquartered in San Jose, California with manufacturing facilities in North America and Europe. Atmel designs, manufactures and markets worldwide, advanced logic, mixed-signal, nonvolatile memory and RF semiconductors. Atmel is also a leading provider of system-level integration semiconductor solutions using CMOS, BiCMOS, SiGe, and high-voltage BCDMOS process technologies.

Atmel, the Atmel logo, AVR and combinations thereof are registered trademarks, and others contained herein are trademarks, of Atmel Corporation.

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