New very cheap 32-bit SoC from Atmel

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A anonymous poster on Slashdot says:

"Atmel is sampling the first in a new line of 32-bit system-on-chip processors that could spell the death of the venerable 8-bit microcontroller market by offering 32-bit performance at 8-bit pricing. Priced as low as $3 each, the AT91SAM7 chips with ARM7TDMI RISC CPU cores and built-in RAM/flash memory may even be able to run a form of Linux called uClinux. The death of the 8-bit uC market has long been predicted -- sounds like the end is nigh!"
http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=04/10/08/1734250&tid=137&tid=1

The link to this article just about covers it:

http://www.linuxdevices.com/news/NS8553053411.html

While I think that the original poster is premature in forecasting the end of 8-bit uCs, this is nevertheless an interesting move from Atmel. Pity they don't come in DIP form for us hobbyists with more thumbs than fingers...

Sean.

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Unless someone plans on offering a 32bit core in an 8 pin device, the 8 bit market will never die. There will always be applications where an 8 bit micro is the best choice.

Writing code is like having sex.... make one little mistake, and you're supporting it for life.

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I'll probably pay a little more attention once I actually get a device into my grubby paws. The same with the Tiny2313, Mega88, Mega168, Mega3250, and several other Atmel "Available Now" products.

Lee

You can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig.

I've never met a pig I didn't like, as long as you have some salt and pepper.

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I'd like to see some of the smaller packages with larger memory. For instance an ATMEGA32 in a 20pin DIP.

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If we are wishing....mega4 in a 12 or 14 pin DIP.

[edit] or a SOIC

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MLF please

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I'll pay more attention when the SOC development tools don't explode after a few months and then cost thousands (per year) to get working again. :evil:

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You can read about these new Atmel AT91SAM7S ARMs in this official Atmel Microcontroller Presentation made with Microsoft Power Point :
http://www.atmel.com/seminar/mcu...

You can also download IAR C source code etc. for AT91SAM7S64 here:
ftp://at91supp:support@81.80.104...
And here:
ftp://at91supp:support@81.80.104...

You can also read about AT91SAM7S in Atmel's AT91 ARM product selection guide:
http://www.atmel.com/dyn/resourc...

Another discussion about AT91ARM7S, it's even commented by an Atmel employee:
http://sysadminforums.com/showth...

You can find more info if you search Google for "AT91SAM7S64" or "SAM7S64".

It looks like they are going to compete with other ARM7 devices such as the popular and cheap Philips LPC2000 ARM7 family.

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I dont know the exact numbers but i would bet that there are millions of 8051 style processors used every year in low end equipment. A bit like video VHS that was suppose to die some time ago but still lingers becasue of its market size. Intel 8008 was released in 1976 if i remember and the 8051 was developed around 1979. With in excess of 25 years and still going strong i think they will still be around for some time to come.

Lachlan

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Quote:

I'll pay more attention when the SOC development tools don't explode after a few months and then cost thousands (per year) to get working again.

Jeeze common - if you post that you've got to post the whole story!

-Colin

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all these 32bit devices have 1,8 ,2,5 or 3,3 V power, interfacing with 5v peripheria needs voltage converter chips. i belive , simple devices with 5v power will have 8bit engine for at least some next years. and if all peripheria will work at 2,5 or 3,3V , there would be very cheap 8bit controllers in 0,18um technology.
here is answer, why we already 2 years are waiting for mega256 - making this flash in 0,35um techology is "wasting" silicon and m256 has to have the same price as arm7tdi with 64kb ram and 1Mb flash.

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raivo66 wrote:
all these 32bit devices have 1,8 ,2,5 or 3,3 V power, interfacing with 5v peripheria needs voltage converter chips. i belive , simple devices with 5v power will have 8bit engine for at least some next years.

No, many of these ARM7 chips has 5V tolerant inputs, so you don't need any voltage converters eventhough you are running the ARM I/O voltage supply at 3.3 V.
And the gauranteed ouput logic levels for 3.3V logic is the same as for 5V logic, so you can also connect the 3.3V outputs directly to 5V peripheals.

But of course you need 3 voltage regulators instead of just one.
1.8 V for the ARM core, 3.3 V for the ARM I/O ports and 5 V for your peripheals.
If you use a nomal 5V microcontroller, you only need one voltgae regulator.

But you don't need any voltage translators to connect 5V peripheals to ARM7, both inputs and outputs can be connected directly.

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Quote:
if you post that you've got to post the whole story

Sorry, I thought it was well known. Buy the System Designer development kit for something like $100 and you get a 4 month tools license. Extending this license beyond 4 months costs big bucks.

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Hi,

Ooh, yes I see what you are saying. Though this was something that involved the physical hardware, not the retarted licensing.

As a note though it is actually much cheaper to just buy the dev-kit again for $99 to get another 4-month license, that is what a lot of people do. And if you sell the hardware too on the Trading Post you could probably get it for even cheaper!

-Colin

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maybe some arm7 really have 5v tolerant IO's , my experience is limited with OKI ML67L devices only, there is no way to directly connect 5v devices, Fujitsu thermal printer in my case.

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raivo66 wrote:
maybe some arm7 really have 5v tolerant IO's , my experience is limited with OKI ML67L devices only, there is no way to directly connect 5v devices, Fujitsu thermal printer in my case.

Try to check out Philips LPC2000 family for example. These are some of the most popular and cheapest ARM7 at the moment, they have 5 volt tolerant inputs.
http://www.semiconductors.philip...

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sellis wrote:
A anonymous poster on Slashdot says:
"... The death of the 8-bit uC market has long been predicted -- sounds like the end is nigh!"...

Um...8 bit micros have been kicking around for 30 years...somehow I don't believe that this device family is going to be the executioner of 8 bits.

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cschalick wrote:
sellis wrote:
A anonymous poster on Slashdot says:
"... The death of the 8-bit uC market has long been predicted -- sounds like the end is nigh!"...

Um...8 bit micros have been kicking around for 30 years...somehow I don't believe that this device family is going to be the executioner of 8 bits.


It might execute the big 8-bit MCUs like ATmega128 and ATmega256, but not the tiny 6-20 pin 8-bit MCUs.

Small 44pin-64pin Flash ARM7 MCUs like Philips LPC2000 are not much more expensive than ATmega128 and AT90S128CAN.
So I can see an argument of using ARM7 instead of ATmega128/256, but small 6-20 pin 8 bit MCUs will not die for the next 30 years.
There's even a lot of 4 bit MCUs in the market.

But the cheap and low pin-count 32-bit MCUs will definately take some of the top end of the 8/16-bit market, but not the low end.
Nobody needs to run a 32-bit RTOS with a billion clor LCD on a electric tootbrush - well maybe somday, who knows lol.

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Atmel press release today:

Product News
October 19, 2004

Atmel Introduces World's First Sub $3 ARM7 Flash Microcontroller

Targeted at 8-bit designs with in-system programmable Flash, single supply operation, BOD, POR, RC Oscillator, HW security bit and USB device

http://atmel.com/dyn/corporate/v...

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AT91SAM7S64-IAR, Evaluation kit:
http://www.mscbp.hu/download/ARM...

MSC AT91 Device Selector Guide:
http://www.mscbp.hu/download/ARM...

MSC Excel AT91 Device Selector sheet:
http://www.mscbp.hu/download/ARM...