Atmel Reduces Development Costs with New In-Circuit-Emulator

4/2/2004 - Atmel® Corporation (Nasdaq: ATML) announced the availability of the AVR® JTAGICE mkII, a powerful development tool for on-chip debugging of all AVR 8-bit microcontrollers with IEEE 1149.1 compliant JTAG interface or debugWIRE Interface.

"As a part of Atmel's strategy to help design engineers drastically reduce development costs, design time and ultimately production costs, the JTAG ICE mkII represents a groundbreaking new approach to debug low cost 8-bit microcontrollers in system, an approach previously only cost justified on larger CPUs. Atmel's advanced process technology allows cost effective integration of debug logic on 8-bit microcontrollers with memory sizes as small as 1K," said Jim Panfil, Director of Microcontroller products at Atmel.

"The JTAGICE mkII is an updated version of the existing JTAGICE, adding debugWIRE support and USB 1.1 communication to the system. The popularity of the JTAGICE contributed to Atmel's shipment of development tools. We shipped over 12,000 development boards and emulators in Q4-2004, more than any other semiconductor manufacturer," he added.

The JTAGICE mkII and the AVR Studio® user interface give the user complete control of the internal resources of the microcontroller, helping to reduce development time by making debugging easier. The JTAGICE mkII performs real time emulation of the microcontroller while it is running in a target system and provides the exact electrical and timing characteristics of the microcontroller in the system. This capability is not available on a traditional in-circuit emulator, where the characteristics of the emulator probe will differ from the characteristics of the real device. By using the real device as part of its own debug platform, this problem is removed. The JTAGICE mkII provides emulation capability at a fraction of the cost of traditional emulators.

The on-chip debug interface allows high-speed communication with the target device, eliminating the bottleneck associated with other on-chip debug methods. The JTAG ICE mkII communicates with the on-chip debug block and can execute code and monitor results in the AVR microcontroller. The emulation interface is independent of clock frequency, which will result in faster communication and debugging when the device is clocked at any frequency between 32 kHz to 24 MHz.

The megaAVR JTAG interface is an IEEE 1149.1 compliant four wire test access port that provides a standard way to implement boundary scan and on-chip debug. Atmel has extended this capability to include full in-system programming and on-chip debug support. Cost is reduced by off loading expensive SRAM and emulation circuits from the in-circuit emulator to using existing resources on the chip. Debug features include the ability to set four hardware and an unlimited number of software breakpoints. Two of the hardware breakpoints can be placed in the data memory providing the capability to break when a specific RAM address is accessed.

DebugWIRE enables on chip debug of AVR microcontrollers in small pin count packages, using only a single wire for the debug interface. This is a feature usually available only on larger devices. The debugWIRE uses the Reset line for electrical connection; hence the system designer does not have to sacrifice I/O capabilities to take full advantage of the on-chip-debug system.

The (AT JTAGICE MK 11) JTAGICE mkII is available today from all of Atmel's franchised distributors at a suggested resale price of $299.

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. Information on Atmel's AVR microcontroller families can be retrieved at:

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

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