Atmel Unveils BCDMOS Watchdog IC for Improved Automotive Safety

10/28/2003 - Atmel® Corporation (Nasdaq: ATML) announced the availability of a new member of its watchdog IC family with increased functionality that helps to make automotive applications safer. The new ATA6025 is manufactured using Atmel's 0.8-micron high-voltage BCDMOS process to support operations up to 40 Volts. This technology is optimized for applications in harsh environments. The new device is especially designed for automotive applications where low power consumption in standby mode is required, for example, a vehicle's external lighting systems.

Compared to conventional watchdog ICs, the ATA6025 provides extended functionality. The integrated fail-safe function (push-pull driver) helps to avoid failures of safety-critical car functions when the watchdog is not triggered correctly by the microcontroller. For example, if the microcontroller controlling a car's lighting systems fails, the ATA6025 takes over this function and ensures that the lights remain switched on. Further add-on functions are the ATA6025's under- and overvoltage detection and a dedicated input (ignition pin) to enable low-power standby mode. In standby mode, the watchdog IC ATA6025 has a current consumption of less than 100 microampere.

This increased functionality helps design engineers to develop electronic control units (ECU) with less external components for increased system safety. The device also includes further protection features to meet the automotive industry's strict requirements. The output stage is short-circuit protected with a current limitation of 15 mA. The maximum output voltage of this output stage is limited to 22 V. Protection against conducted interferences as well EMC and 2 kV ESD protection is provided, the device withstands transients according to ISO/TR 7637/1.

Samples of the new BCDMOS watchdog IC ATA6025 in SO8 package are available now. Pricing starts at US$ 0.90 (10 k).

ECU = Electronic Control Unit
EMC = ElectroMagnetic Compatibility
ESD = ElectroStatic Discharge

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® and combinations thereof are the registered trademarks of Atmel Corporation or its subsidiaries.

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