Under the AVR32 Hood

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Hi Guys,

I took a quick look at the summary datasheet for the AVR32 and it made me wonder what exactly the AVR32 is? Atmel have been using ARM IP for some time now and there are lots of ARM like blocks (AHB matrixes and APB Bridges) that look very familiar. The 16KB I and D caches are also found on ARM processors.

Atmel already have the IP for the ARM920T as used in their AT91RM9200 MCU.

I'm woindering whether the AVR32 is something completely new or whether it is a tweaked ARM core with some extra hardware for DSP functions and a revised interrupt controller and instruction pipeline? The Intel XScale processors started out as ARM processors didn't they?

Tim

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The XScale are ARM compatible, with some additional instructions, IIRC. The AVR32 don't seem to be ARM compatible at the instruction set level.

Atmel seem to be distinguishing these from the AT91 series as being lower power.

Sean.

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The AVR32 is a completely new processor. The instruction set has been designed from ground up to be compact and fast. This can be clearly seen in the EEMBC benchmark for mpeg decoding :)

Also, the AVR32 features mixed length instructions, i.e. compact modes for the most commonly used instructions and extended modes advanced instructions yielding faster code. The guys at Atmel have, IMHO (or not so humble :)), made a great work!

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I've been looking at the AVR32 from a viewpoint of "what can I do with this?"

My first answer was that it allows me to build a complete desktop, on the power level of an !486 on a single board.

Q: When does Linux get ported?
A: That depends on when GCC starts cross-compiling to the AVR32.

Q: When is a GCC port expected?
A: That depends on when the boards are ready.

Q: When will the development boards be ready?

I'll have to see what the development kits look like before I can see how it fits with my current development attempts.

Andy Out!

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Anonymous wrote:
I've been looking at the AVR32 from a viewpoint of "what can I do with this?"

Q: When does Linux get ported?

Q: When is a GCC port expected?

Andy Out!

At the ESC in San Jose, earlier this month they said that the GCC and Linux for AVR-32 ports are done.

-julieP

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See the ESC thread for more info, including summary of avr32 stuff at the atmel booth. I'm looking forward to those two inexpensive AVR32 boards, which they speculated would be available in July. Even though they seemed to be a bit shy of expansion ports ... just one connector, not much in the way of gpios.

The thing that's shared with the AT91 parts (ARM) is lots of I/O modules ... lots of Linux drivers are already written.

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As you can see in the BoomBox thread there is a very versatile "PCI like" connector that you can use for your expansion needs :)