AVR32 is dead. Long live what?

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Hi guys,

 

I was sorry to see Atmel's end of life statement for AVR32 UC3 chips today. What could possibly be the best way to extend the life of working UC3 code?

 

In an ideal world there is a family of chips which

- Have same or greater performance

- Have similar IO or API

- Is available in a non-BGA package

- Will be available for many more years

 

In my perticular case the AT32UC3A3256 works as an audio USB interface. It uses I2S input and output and some DMA based buffering. Other than that it is fairly straight forward.

 

Best regards,

 

Borge

 

 

 

 

 

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Have you been living under a rock? Have you not noticed what's happening in the 32 bit world? Cortex is King, long live Cortex.

 

Clearly even Atmel think this which is why in the last few years about 45 of the last 50 chips they have released have been ARM Cortex models. There's a pretty strong chance that one of the things that motivated Microchip to buy Atmel is that they don't have Cortex and Atmel do (in spades).

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Yes, I've been living under a rock. Mine is called volume manufacturing. I have shipped almost 1k units with AVR32 chips in a project which started out as a rather geeky thing and developed into a nice, open source hardware product.

 

While the new chips are great, I have stuck to the old ones because of the significant hassle of porting the CPU in an ongoing volume product. This is a hassle I'll have to face now, and I wish to make the job as manageable as possible. Hence the initial search for a Cortex which hopefully lends it self well to porting of AVR32 code. The code is all C. Minor asm parts are easily worked around. My biggest fear is that a s***load of IO code has to be rewritten.

 

 

Cheers,

Børge

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borge.strand wrote:

I was sorry to see Atmel's end of life statement for AVR32 UC3 chips today.

 

Where did you see this?  I just looked at Atmel's website and didn't see anything about it.

Letting the smoke out since 1978

 

 

 

 

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I just got this file in an email today.

 

Børge

 

Attachment(s): 

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Isn't it that the question is not so much about which CPU core to adopt but a question of manufacturer specifics?

 

It seems to me the hard decision is to pick a make/model with the most understandable/reasonable/usable peripherals. As I understand it, this is where the actual variation is between different Cortex'es. Or did I misuderstand it, and e.g. all Cortex timers are alike?

 

If you code in e.g. C then any differences in CPU core is nicely hidden by the compiler. The differences in peripherals will hit you head on.

Happy 75th anniversary to one of the best movies ever made! Rick Blane [Bogart]: "Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine."

 

"Some questions have no answers."[C Baird] "There comes a point where the spoon-feeding has to stop and the independent thinking has to start." [C Lawson] "There are always ways to disagree, without being disagreeable."[E Weddington] "Words represent concepts. Use the wrong words, communicate the wrong concept." [J Morin] "Persistence only goes so far if you set yourself up for failure." [Kartman]

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borge.strand wrote:
Atmel's end of life statement for AVR32 UC3 chips today

Source?

Happy 75th anniversary to one of the best movies ever made! Rick Blane [Bogart]: "Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine."

 

"Some questions have no answers."[C Baird] "There comes a point where the spoon-feeding has to stop and the independent thinking has to start." [C Lawson] "There are always ways to disagree, without being disagreeable."[E Weddington] "Words represent concepts. Use the wrong words, communicate the wrong concept." [J Morin] "Persistence only goes so far if you set yourself up for failure." [Kartman]

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It's the change of peripherals I'm worried about. Hence the question if anything else on the market is comparable to the UC3A3 in terms of IO. The source is solid.

 

Børge

 

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There's already a thread on here somewhere (gchapman?) with a link to a document on the Atmel site (perhaps 2 weeks ago?) about UC3 being declared "legacy". It's not a dream. It is happening. The big question in my mind is why it took so long. I can only assume Atmel had some big (10m .. 100m?) customer using UC3 who has finally made the switch to Cortex so the UC3 is no longer economically viable.

 

I guess this is where ASF (assuming there is anyone who actually uses it) comes into play. It tried to give a generic API across UC3, ARM and to a certain extent Xmega. Presumably the idea is that if you used UC3 you should fairly easily transition to Atmel Cortex parts using a very familiar API.

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That's what I was hoping to use. So at least I'd have to port the project to a Cortex with the same hardware capabilities. I believe the I2S IO is among the trickier ones.

 

 

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borge.strand wrote:

I believe the I2S IO is among the trickier ones.

 

Did you use the Product Search tab for "Smart ARM Based CPUs"  at www.atmel.com?

There are ATSAM3, ATSAM4, and ATSAMG parts that have the I2S I/O.

 

 

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http://www.avrfreaks.net/forum/uc3-legacy

SAM G was mentioned above; I2S and digital mic interface and several codecs can run on Cortex-M.

http://www.atmel.com/products/microcontrollers/arm/sam-g.aspx

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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borge.strand wrote:
In my perticular case the AT32UC3A3256 works as an audio USB interface. It uses I2S input and output and some DMA based buffering. Other than that it is fairly straight forward.
With DMA, reads like there's some computation on the audio data, or, there's a fit or form constraint (as small as possible, ...)

There are USB-to-I2S bridges; for those can use your preferred MCU for data that's not via the hardware codec.

Silicon Labs

Silicon Labs

USB to I2S Digital Audio Bridge

http://www.silabs.com/products/interface/usbtouart/Pages/usb-to-i2s-digital-audio-bridge.aspx

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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I plan to use it as an USB-I2S bridge. There is no need for built-in DAC and ADC except for rare debug cases.

 

Børge

 

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clawson wrote:
Cortex is King, long live Cortex.
When one thinks MIPS is down for the count ... "It's alive!" wink


Imagination Technologies

MIPS Soft Audio Suite

https://imgtec.com/tools/mips-tools/soft-audio-suite/

Though over-the-top for this thread's application, it's a very good value :

Seeed

Wiki

LinkIt Smart 7688

http://www.seeedstudio.com/wiki/LinkIt_Smart_7688

...

MIPS24KEc

...

I2S

...

Better fit are MCU with I2S.

Via https://community.imgtec.com/platforms/

https://www.olimex.com/Products/PIC/Development/PIC32-HMZ144/open-source-hardware

https://olimex.wordpress.com/2016/02/12/first-pic32-emz64-boards-for-embedded-world-are-now-testing/

http://chipkit.net/wpcproduct/pic32-device-chipkit-bootloader/

http://www.microchip.com/Developmenttools/ProductDetails.aspx?PartNO=DM320011 (Audio Development Board for PIC32 MCUs)

 

Edit : PIC32MZ2048EFH064

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

Last Edited: Tue. Feb 23, 2016 - 09:17 PM
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Thanks for the tips!

 

Going for MIPS would be fun! At least porting my small chunks of UC3A asm code would be easy since I did some MIPS asm back in the days.

 

I2S is a b***h to hard-code. And my hunch is that hard-I2S doesn't rhyme well with volume and long-term availability. So ideally I'd like to use a generic MCU with an I2S friendly serial interface. For some reason I never clicked with PIC. Now that a change is coming it's hard to avoid ARM these days.

 

 

 

Børge

 

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borge.strand wrote:
Going for MIPS would be fun!
You clearly love flogging those dead horses!

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MIPS is the only asm I can code after downing i a six-pack or two :-)

ARM it is.

 

 

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borge.strand wrote:

It's the change of peripherals I'm worried about. Hence the question if anything else on the market is comparable to the UC3A3 in terms of IO. The source is solid.

 

I'd search first in Atmel Cortex, maybe step up a core.

Then check Microchip MIPS, since you have experience there already.

 

In the general marketplace, Infineon appear to have good Serial support, and Nuvoton have a number of Cortex parts with i2s, as they also have an Audio focus.

To me, new Nuvoton M451/2/3 series looks good, M4 core, so includes FPU, and has CAN and USB for broad market acceptance.

Last Edited: Tue. Feb 23, 2016 - 10:37 PM
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Thanks!

 

Is there an Atmel spec that lists the peripherals of different MCUs? I thought I had read somewhere that there exists an MCU based on some ARM core but with the same peripherals as the AVR32. Or I could have dreamt that.

 

Børge

 

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Try the web selector (but seems to lack i2s) and the

http://www.atmel.com/Images/Atme...

has i2s in two formats, to complicate searching.,

 

It seems ATSAME70Q19 is close, if I filter on i2s and HiSpeed USB, then package.

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borge.strand wrote:

I just got this file in an email today.

 

Børge

 

Ah, I see.  Atmel have only EOLed the audio specific UC3s.  These comprise a very small handful of the UC3 portfolio.  So AVR32 isn't dead, yet.

Letting the smoke out since 1978

 

 

 

 

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digitalDan wrote:

Ah, I see.  Atmel have only EOLed the audio specific UC3s.  These comprise a very small handful of the UC3 portfolio.  So AVR32 isn't dead, yet.

 

I found this

Atmel

Selected Atmel AVR UC3 32-bit microcontrollers exist in an Audio version and can be recognized by the AU letters before the dash in their part numbers. They allow the execution of Atmel licensed Audio firmware IPs"

 

So whatever is the Audio firmware IPs, will need to be replaced for ATSAME70Q19 etc

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Dan and Who,

 

thank you for the added precision level! The part I use is the AT32UC3A3256-ALUT without AU in the name. The mail I received from Atmel (might be confidential so I'm not quoting it here) was not sufficiently precise and looked like it affected other parts than the AUs. I have asked them for a formal clarification.

 

Regardless of this, I wouldn't start any new projects on AVR32.

 

 

Børge

 

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SAM E - could not find anything audio in ASF for it but did for the SAM V71 (a hardware codec driver).

There's a SAM V71 Xplained.

http://asf.atmel.com/docs/latest/search.html?device=samv71

http://www.atmel.com/tools/ATSAMV71-XULT.aspx

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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MCU in an automotive catalog might have a longer lifetime; automotive first and second parties do not like to re-qualify an assembly.

AVR32 UC3C is in there and, for a while, was one of the few 5V I/O 32-bit MCU.

IIRC Atmel has stated the SAMA5 series has a 12 year life cycle; industrial, not automotive.

http://www.atmel.com/products/automotive/automotive_microcontrollers/default.aspx

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

Last Edited: Wed. Feb 24, 2016 - 12:50 PM
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AVR32 is alive and kicking.

 

Clarification, Product End-of-Life (EOL) Notification was specific to Audio ASSP specific UC3 devices.

 

As you can see on public site EOL PCN notice.  It only includes a very small number of UC3 devices.

http://www.atmel.com/images/we160405%20-%20eol%20of%20audio%20assp%20devices.pdf

 

Currently Microchip has no plans to End of Life AVR32 devices, support will continue for existing AVR32 devices..

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fyi, Atmel PCN recently transitioned to Microchip PCN.

http://www.microchip.com/pcn

 

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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clawson wrote:
Cortex is King, long live Cortex.

Electronic Design

Electronic Design

Imagination Runs Out of Ballast To Throw Overboard

James Morra 1

Jun 22, 2017

http://www.electronicdesign.com/embedded-revolution/imagination-runs-out-ballast-throw-overboard

...

The lock-stock-and-barrel sale would include its graphics business, which it originally planned to protect after cutting off its MIPS and Ensigma units.

...

Imagination said in the regulatory filing that it is already "engaged in preliminary discussions with potential bidders." The company said that the sale of its MIPS and Ensigma units is going "well." There is no guarantee a deal for the entire business will happen, Imagination said .

 

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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clawson wrote:
Cortex is King, long live Cortex

Here!Here! 

"When all else fails, read the directions"