Anybody know what the big Atmel Xmega announcement is?

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They probably realised that what THEY think is a "popular feature" is something that no one cares about ... :mrgreen: we'll see.

John Samperi

Ampertronics Pty. Ltd.

https://www.ampertronics.com.au

* Electronic Design * Custom Products * Contract Assembly

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It's a vaporannouncement?

I wonder if someone jumped the gun in announcing the announcement.

Atmel's press release page shows "integrating LCD controller into popular AVR XMEGA Family" on the 21st. Is that a "popular feature"?! (if so, maybe AVRFreaks is the wrong audience).

Nigel Batten
www.batsocks.co.uk

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I believe it's the new XMEGA B series, which has been in development for quite a while. Yes it has an integrated LCD controller which not all the hobbyists will care about (but large manufacturers of thermostat controls and so forth will) but the headliner is the *lack* of capabilities; they're essentially ATXTINY. Hopefully the prices will reflect that.

- Dean :twisted:

Make Atmel Studio better with my free extensions. Open source and feedback welcome!

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So an Xmega169?? Will we now get X-Butterflies to play with?

John Samperi

Ampertronics Pty. Ltd.

https://www.ampertronics.com.au

* Electronic Design * Custom Products * Contract Assembly

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It is also first XMEGA in TQFP-100 package (lots of GPIOs) with USB and fixed ADCs.

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Yes, but a bunch of those pins are dedicated to LCD segment control so I'm not sure you actually get more GPIO than with smaller devices.

Smiley

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abcminiuser was right. This went out on PR Newswire at 8:00 pm ET: http://tinyurl.com/3tkut8o. Prelim datasheet here: http://www.atmel.com/dyn/resources/prod_documents/doc8330.pdf?doc_id=13522&family_id=607

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So it was the end of the world after all....
http://www.atmel.com/dyn/corpora...

John Samperi

Ampertronics Pty. Ltd.

https://www.ampertronics.com.au

* Electronic Design * Custom Products * Contract Assembly

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Now I'm neither in the industrial production or having any experience on the mega169, but since I recently received a minor quantity of some 4cm tall 5digits LCDs this Xmega B-series suits my current need perfect.
I'm working on a micro amp meter, which just uses the internal ADC of an Xmega. It should give a resolution about 25micro amps between 0-5A. But since the LCD has 40 segments it's quite a few I/Os being used.
With the new B-series drivers for the LCD are ready to be used. It even has a true USB for logging purpose instead of using additional level converters and USB/serial converters.

If you want to read more on my progress more can be read on here: http://nerdclub.dk/2011/10/micro-ampere-meter/ <-- It's in danish but google translate does a good job.

For version 2 I've just purchased the Butterfly successor: XMEGA-B1 Xplained

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Quote:

For version 2 I've just purchased the Butterfly successor: XMEGA-B1 Xplained

It does indeed look like "Butterfly 2" and the USB is nice:

http://www.atmel.com/dyn/product...

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Can any one confirmed the ADC bug fixes?!?! Atmel did not mention them on the product release.

Also, where can I get a schematic/reference design for these XMEGA-B1 Xplained boards?

Thanks guys

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Hi Mario.

My experience with schematics is that Atmel will give it away as soon as someone is asking for it.
But with such a new board I'll guess an update for AVR Studio 5 together with ASF will be release within few days.
If not I'll get a board within 5-7 days which is not supported with drivers :-)

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Quote:

My experience with schematics is that Atmel will give it away as soon as someone is asking for it.

Unless you own an STK600 ;-)

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Thanks simon

I just hope they fixed the ADC bug fixes on this one.

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Me to, since I need an precise ADC on each bit.

Anyway. I've wrote Atmel support, and post whatever answer I'll get.

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I ended up ordering the board before they're gone. $48 total after $20 shipping -ouch!

I checked the errata section and did not notice anything relating to ADC. It's fairly recent (10/11/11), so I'm assuming ADC bugs are squatted.

I'm not sure what Dean meant with his comment about these parts being essentially "ATXTINY."

After reading the datasheet the only thing lacking was a dedicated DAC. These parts do have less timers, usarts, SPI, and I2C's. Otherwise, they include the standard features of other xmegas plus the USB and fixed ADC.

Why are people saying that "LCD" feature are not popular with hobbiest?

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Quote:

I'm not sure what Dean meant with his comment about these parts being essentially "ATXTINY."

Did you not read the other thread (from about here onwards):

https://www.avrfreaks.net/index.p...

Quote:
Why are people saying that "LCD" feature are not popular with hobbiest?

It's a segmented glass controller. When's the last time (in 5 years say?) that a hoobyist ever bothered with segmented glass when they can just use an HD44780 type character display or a KS0108/T6963 GLCD? I suppose the segment controller is fine if you want to make a 3.5 digit DVM or something? But most people want to write "Hello World" as a bare minimum.

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haha 20$ shipping. You must be close to the shipping central!
I ordered this + 2 other xplain boards and they wanted 33$ shipping.
With a 99$ voucher and a own payment on 13$ the shipping cost was fairly large percentage of the total amount.

And regarding the LCD controller I totally agree with Clawson.
I too would not have had any interest in this uC if I didn't had a lot LCDs laying around waiting to be used. I would prefer the T6963C LCDs since they can do both graphics and text

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clawson wrote:
Quote:

I'm not sure what Dean meant with his comment about these parts being essentially "ATXTINY."

Did you not read the other thread (from about here onwards):

https://www.avrfreaks.net/index.p...

Quote:
Why are people saying that "LCD" feature are not popular with hobbiest?

It's a segmented glass controller. When's the last time (in 5 years say?) that a hoobyist ever bothered with segmented glass when they can just use an HD44780 type character display or a KS0108/T6963 GLCD? I suppose the segment controller is fine if you want to make a 3.5 digit DVM or something? But most people want to write "Hello World" as a bare minimum.

Ok, basically half DMA channels (2 vs 4), but the controller on these newer xmegas seems to be improved. Also half the event channels (4 vs 8) with no improvements (exception of USB triggers). It seems like it is indeed missing EBI (external bus interface), but to be honest, most people don't used it anyways - GPIOs are the preferred method to interface with srams, flash etc.

But you're right about the integrated LCD controller, why create such a mediocre controller?!? Even the AVR butterfly has a better controller. Why not upgrade instead of downgrade? It seems like Atmel should have integrated the controller from the butterfly and not do a segmented controller.

Oh well, at least I can still use 16 of those LCD pins for GPIO -wait the XmegaB1 Xplained doesn't bring out port g or port m (nooo!).

So is life

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Just FYI, lots of Butterflies still available from DigiKey, Mouser, and elsewhere - with reasonable shipping charges - and with a $5 USB to RS232 converter they also work with USB. I imagine once the Xplained board gets out to the distributors the shipping charges will fall.

Smiley

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Does anyone know where I can buy xmega chips with USB on it?

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smileymicros wrote:
Just FYI, lots of Butterflies still available from DigiKey, Mouser, and elsewhere - with reasonable shipping charges - and with a $5 USB to RS232 converter they also work with USB. I imagine once the Xplained board gets out to the distributors the shipping charges will fall.

Smiley

I think most of us who have overlooked the butterfly processor are more interested in the xmega specific features like event system, higher processing speed, 12 bit ADC, and DMA controller.

Did I mention the event system? Using it you can cascade two 16 bit timers into 32 bits! how cool is that? So much can be done with the event system once properly understood.

I think most of us who will be getting these boards will be getting them because we want a ( hopefully ) mature product.

It's going to be my first xmega experience and looking forward to it.

too bad for the segmented LCD controller. It sucks!

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Quote:
It's a segmented glass controller. When's the last time (in 5 years say?) that a hoobyist ever bothered with segmented glass when they can just use an HD44780 type character display or a KS0108/T6963 GLCD?

They are used even today and will be used in the future for their very low current consumption and when the amount of information displayed is not high. For example when the power supply is a battery: clocks, metering, medical equipment ..

Quote:
I would prefer the T6963C LCDs since they can do both graphics and text

You could prefer even an HD color display. Any extra IC you add, will increase the overall power consumption.
Think about a clock, you have to update the LCD once in one second or minute. So you go to sleep, and keep running the LCD and RTC. With an external controller, you have to communicate with it at least.

Quote:
But you're right about the integrated LCD controller, why create such a mediocre controller?!? Even the AVR butterfly has a better controller. Why not upgrade instead of downgrade? It seems like Atmel should have integrated the controller from the butterfly and not do a segmented controller.

Did you read the datasheet ?

George.

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Quote:

Does anyone know where I can buy xmega chips with USB on it?

$10 at Gabotronics (he bought all the available stock!)

http://www.gabotronics.com/micro...

Quote:

Did I mention the event system? Using it you can cascade two 16 bit timers into 32 bits! how cool is that? So much can be done with the event system once properly understood.

Amazing until you consider that $1-$2 Cortex M0 and M3 processors come stuffed full of 32 bit timers.

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MarioRivas wrote:
Also, where can I get a schematic/reference design for these XMEGA-B1 Xplained boards?

Answer from Atmel support:

Quote:
The schematics should be available on the web along with the hardware users guide, but I could not find it either. I've contacted the people responsible to get it published on the web as soon as possible. Sorry for the inconvenience.

There will be an update to AVR Studio 5 and ASF in the near future, but we don't have an exact date yet. For the examples, they will be available in ASF 2.8 which is in the process of being released in next week.

You can download the updates for ASF and the device support packages here:
http://www.atmel.com/dyn/products/tools_card.asp?source=cms&tool_id=17212

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Quote:

The schematics should be available on the web along with the hardware users guide, but I could not find it either. I've contacted the people responsible to get it published on the web as soon as possible. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Someone from Atmel posted this:

https://www.avrfreaks.net/index.p...

(not sure why they chose that (the wrong) thread?)

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clawson wrote:
Quote:

Does anyone know where I can buy xmega chips with USB on it?

$10 at Gabotronics (he bought all the available stock!)

Well where did he buy his and does anyone know when there will be more?

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Hi guys, I was looking at the schematic for the XMEGA-B1 reference board (thank you clawson). The board's ADC peripherals use an internal reference voltage, which is promising.

However, the datasheet appears to be incomplete. No recommended design was given for using the xmega128B1 with an external voltage source.

Things I like about the board:

-I appreciate that flash surface mounts were left for AT45DB or AT25DF (notice this chips are 64MB, not 8MB). No sense in adding unneeded costs to the board. Although, it would have been awesome had this been a foot print for SRAM instead of flash (you can never have enough SRAM IMHO).

-Whats the deal with all those missing by pass caps? (C11,C14,C17,C24,C29,C30)

-max GPIO pins current is 20mA, which is better than UC3C (though not as high as 40mA Atmegas)

-PortG and PortM are not thrown out because they're currently used by the pitiful LCD (which I'm going to yank out when my board arrives).

I can't wait to get my board, first thing I'm going to do is get rid of the stock 8Mhz crystal and overclock the cpu. I want to see if I can reach the 64Mhz some of the other board members have accomplished with their newer usb xmegas -although I don't understand how it was possible to scope the internal clock since these parts do not give you the option to throw out the internal clock like the atmegas. I will be happy if I can attain a stable 55Mhz.

Asides from the disappointment of the LCD controller, I will be happy!

Also, GordonFreeman, most suppliers are not going to stock them until mid December. Gabotronics was the early bird of the group. He horded his parts from http://www.arrownac.com/, I believe.

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Quote:

Well where did he buy his and does anyone know when there will be more?

https://www.avrfreaks.net/index.p...

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It's an Xmega, you shouldn't have to change the crystal to overclock it, just change the PLL settings. (though I don't know what the limits are with what you can do there).

Also is that LCD worse than what comes on the Butterfly?

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MarioRivas wrote:
It seems like it is indeed missing EBI (external bus interface), but to be honest, most people don't used it anyways - GPIOs are the preferred method to interface with srams, flash etc.

Speak for yourself. In applications where an external RAM is necessary, I want to be able to treat it as MEMORY. I just want to be able to point a pointer at it and de-reference to my heart's content. I don't want to have to bother with invoking helper routines that manually twiddle GPIO pins high and low each time I attempt to transfer any data back and forth.

And if you're talking about needing very high capacity RAM -- where it would likely be implemented as SDRAM -- I wouldn't even want to start thinking about manually implementing the necessary refresh cycles as a software process twiddling GPIO pins.

The current project-of-the-day on my plate, involving an ATxmega128A1, actually uses 6 of the 8 USARTs, all 4 DMA channels, most (maybe all -- I'd have to check) of the 16-bit timers, 2 separate chip selects on the EBI (one for an SRAM and another for a memory-mapped CPLD), both of the DACs, and at least 5 of the event system channels.

Clearly, these new chips wouldn't have had any impact whatsoever on our part selection decision process for this project. These devises just aren't targeted at this sort of project -- but then again, that's the reason why the XMEGA A series also exists.

That being said, in applications where (for example) the internal RAM is adequate, I would appreciate a chip that omits (for example) the EBI, provided that chip comes with a correspondingly reduced price tag.

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Hi guys, I just downloaded Studio 5 along all updates including the one for the LCD xmegas.

After installing, I went to open an Example Project in the program manager and can't find any example projects for Xmega B1 Xplained board.

Where can I find the projects?

Should I start a new thread for this?

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Quote:

After installing, I went to open an Example Project in the program manager and can't find any example projects for Xmega B1 Xplained board.

If it was only announced on Monday why would an AS5/ASF dating from > 6 months ago know about it? There was a recent update to ASF - maybe that had something added in anticipation but I imagine you'll have to wait for this "real soon now" update to AS5/ASF that has been promised.

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Sorry I misread your message, if you have installed all the updates, then I don't know what you could do...maybe wait 1 or 2 weeks for the next release of ASF / Studio 5 (that is if the rumors are true).

Have a nice day,
Kraal

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These chips seem to have the same USB registers as the other recently released "U" xmegas. The latest updates to AS5 have several usb examples using these newer "U" xmegas, so those examples are useful.

However, ADC registers on the "U" xmegas are very different from the LCD xmegas. I won't be able to use the listed examples and, like clawson said, hopefully atmel will release the xmega128B1 examples soon.

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Probably tomorrow in fact - see post by "sma" in the ASF forum - both standalone ASF and a package to update AS5. No sign of new AS5 just yet though.

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Looks like ASF 2.8.1 has been released. Remember - change "software_download.php" to "software_download_splash.php" when clicking on Registration Only links to bypass the registration.

- Dean :twisted:

Make Atmel Studio better with my free extensions. Open source and feedback welcome!

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Finally, I get those mysterious "Xmega128B1 Xplained" profiles shown in the datasheets.

This upgrade is a must for members using this board.

Also, after playing with AS5, I must say, this gui is nice with very convenient features such as instance look up of keywords from different file sources.

Atmel is indeed raising the bar when it comes to free developer tools.

BTW, it's only slow at start up. Once loaded, the program is quiet fast, except at compile (of course). I'm using Windows 7 in an old single core Celeron @ 2.2Ghz with 2 Gigs ram.

Very nice program indeed and very stable. Time to dump AS4 gentlemen.

Thank you Dean

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abcminiuser wrote:
Looks like ASF 2.8.1 has been released. Remember - change "software_download.php" to "software_download_splash.php" when clicking on Registration Only links to bypass the registration.

- Dean :twisted:

222Mb!!! Cheese and crackers... Well thanks for the registration bypass hint. All that and I only want to see if they have added anymore ATmega functions. Woof.

Smiley

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Quote:
Time to dump AS4 gentlemen.
Why? AS4 does all I need to do and more, I don't need the headaches of learning another package.

hmmm if I retire early enough I never have to dl AS5 of ASF....

John Samperi

Ampertronics Pty. Ltd.

https://www.ampertronics.com.au

* Electronic Design * Custom Products * Contract Assembly

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If you have Greasemonkey or another similar UserScript browser extension installed, this tiny script I wrote:

    // ==UserScript==
    // @name           Atmel Website Registration Redirecter
    // @namespace      atmel.website.redirect
    // @description    Removes mandatory registration requirement for the Atmel.com website.
    // @include        http://www.atmel.com/forms/software_download.asp?*
    // ==/UserScript==
     
    (function() {
     
    window.location.href = window.location.href.replace(/software_download\.asp/, 'software_download_splash\.asp');
     
    })();

Will perform the automatic bypass for you. Much easier than having to fill out bogus data every time.

- Dean :twisted:

Make Atmel Studio better with my free extensions. Open source and feedback welcome!

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You know your bosses won't like you teaching us these tricks? BTW - finally downloaded now taking like forever to install... later.

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Quote:

You know your bosses won't like you teaching us these tricks? BTW - finally downloaded now taking like forever to install... later.

Yup, so I'm doing it now before I'm officially an employee. Frankly I think I'm doing them a favor; those who don't want to register will either be turned away (lost sales) or just put in bogus data (I know I used to do this). With enough people putting in bad data the entire database would be worthless, which means there's no point having it in the first place.

- Dean :twisted:

Make Atmel Studio better with my free extensions. Open source and feedback welcome!

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Well I don't really think you have worry when you tell us something on AVRFreaks because it is a sure bet that nobody important in Atmel even realizes the place is still running. I bet one day in the distant future someone will run across a computer in the back of a broom closet and notice that it is plugged in and running. Nobody will know what it is for, so they'll pull the plug and AVRFreaks will go poof.

Oh, and after all that ASF update - nothing for the ATmega. Oh well.

Smiley

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Quote:
AVRFreaks will go poof
...or come out of the broom closet....

John Samperi

Ampertronics Pty. Ltd.

https://www.ampertronics.com.au

* Electronic Design * Custom Products * Contract Assembly

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Quote:

...or come out of the broom closet....

:lol: Priceless!

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Now the new download registration process makes Dean's script useless...I don't see the point in asking such infos if it is not to make it possible for us to re-use them (aka registration on TI)? Well I might not be wise enough...

Have a nice day,
Kraal

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Quote:

Now the new download registration process makes Dean's script useless...

I updated it, don't panic:

http://pastebin.com/8RGCFU5s

- Dean :twisted:

Make Atmel Studio better with my free extensions. Open source and feedback welcome!

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What would we do without you, Dean?

Thanks again and have a nice day !

Have a nice day,
Kraal

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