12/2/2003 - Atmel® Corporation (Nasdaq: ATML) announced the availability of the new LF antenna driver IC ATA5277 for handsfree car access Passive Entry Go (PEG) applications. The new application-specific antenna driver device, which is the world's first such IC that is freely available, includes the full functionality to generate a magnetic LF field in conjunction with an antenna coil to transmit data to a receiver in a key fob, card or transponder. It also complements Atmel's recently introduced receiver IC ATA5282 to design a complete car access system. In addition to PEG systems, the ATA5277 is also suited for Tire Pressure Monitoring (TPM) systems including the pressure on demand function.
The new antenna driver device ATA5277 is dedicated for decentralized systems, located close to the coil in the car's body. The bi-directional transmission can be controlled via a one-wire I/O interface (DIO), the diagnostic control block monitors and defines the system's status. The ATA5277's two door handle switches allow to directly connect the door switch pins to the door handle. This specific architecture with the door switch inputs and the DIO line link to the electronic control unit (ECU), enables to minimize the overall wire harness efforts. While a centralized PEG system requires the use of a shielded wire harness between the driver stage and the antenna coils to reduce radiation problems, the decentralized architecture benefits from the close link of the driver stage to the antenna coil, thus minimizing the radiation problems remarkably.
A constant current is mandatory for PEG systems because otherwise the key fob's receiver could not reliably measure the field strength and the system would not correctly detect the position of the handsfree device. Competing devices achieve this by discrete solutions, which is very complex and costly, while the ATA5277 provides a constant current through LF antennas of up to 1 A within a battery supply voltage range from 7 V to 16 V. An integrated boost converter generates a supply voltage of up to 40 V for the driver stage. The antenna current is programmable in 16 steps via the bi-directional microcontroller interface. Carrier modulation, mode selection and diagnosis status are also handled by this interface.
Fast data rates are also an important feature for PEG-systems. The ATA5277 allows a data transmission rate of typically 4 kbit/s. This data rate can even be doubled by Atmel's patented Quick Start Control (QSC). The QSC function, implemented into the ATA5277, shortens the oscillation build-up and decay times. This mode requires an external high-voltage MOSFET.
The ATA5277 does not only provide fast data rates, it also helps to remarkably reduce the reaction time of the PEG system since the magnetic field is built up within a few microseconds by operating the door handle while the system's microcontroller is still in sleep mode.
The IC is short-circuit protected and provides open-load as well as overtemperature detection.
Samples of the antenna driver IC ATA5277 in small QFN28 packages are available now. Pricing starts at 2.10 US$ (10 k).
DIO = Digital Input/ Output
ECU = Electronic Control Unit
LF = Low Frequency
PEG = Passive Entry Go
QSC = Quick Start Control
RKE = Remote Keyless Entry
TPM = Tire Pressure Monitoring
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.
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Atmel's antenna-driver IC ATA5277 information may be retrieved at: http://www.atmel.com/dyn/resources/prod_documents/doc4669.pdf
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