Why AVR32?

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Have been spent some time thinking of why they call this device an AVR at first. I mean, its not an AVR as we have learned to know wath AVR stands for. AVR32 has mor in common with an ARM device or DSP than it has with the beloved AVR 8bit CPU. AVR32 is also far more specialized than an AVR8, and even more specialized than most ARM devices, including Atmels own. Making it less usable for most of us

For me the name AVR32 only seems to confuse the users and it force peoples familiar with the old AVR8 to beleive it is a new AVR8 generation using a 32bit wide bus instead of 8 bit bus (taht would indeed realy be something), and this is offcourse wrong. This could also been seen from the pre AVR32 release periode, where many where waiting for an AVR8 uppgrade.

After learning to know AVR32 a bit, I see that ARM would be a better choice, atleast for me and I beleive for most of us, instead of learning AVR32. Then I also would have more brands than Atmel to chooce from, and offcourse more example codes to learn from.

Most of all , offcourse, I would like to see the real AVR core to be 16bit or even 32 bit.

Thats my opinion. Any other?

Regards
Vidar (Z)

----------------------------------------------------------

"The fool wonders, the wise man asks"

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Well it seems the AVR range really captured the market. Maybe this is just what they see for this AP7000 and friends. Maybe they are the next generation of AVR success.

Sounds completel marketing spin to me to be honest but that is what comes to mind.

AVR32 does look good. I like the LCD controller built in. The development looks good and well....we shall have to see how mature the code base gets for them...

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From a fairly authoritative (:)) article written on wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AVR32, the reasoning behind the name is a marketing spin, as Trevor suggested:

Quote:
Any resemblance to the 8-bit AVR is only with respect to the design center (both architectures originated out of Atmel Norway, Trondheim) and some of the debug-tools.
.

The debug tool(s) in question is at the moment the JTAGICEmkII.

Take a look at the architecture manual (referenced in the wiki-page) to see other variants of the architecture (like the AVR32A), which would more resemble the AVR8 µC with respect to applied use (industrial microcontrollers), albeit not ISA-compliance (or any other compliance for that matter).

Does it matter? If Atmel is your supplier of micros and they get their act together and supply common work-environments, I know you can twist a few Atmel sales-guys' arms (no pun) and get good deals on AVR8+AVR32+Flash (if you want that) projects.

From a software-developer's point of view (my view :), it doesn't matter _too_ much as both micros are supported by GCC and IAR (just to keep the number of development environments down on my laptop) and have nice debug tools (JTAGICEmkII looks and behaves nice :).


From a hardware-engineer's point of view (not me), I don't see the big issues, as 32- and 8-bit micros are _not_ solving the same problems (ie: they do not have the same target markets), so choosing a 32-bit companion-MCU for the AVR8 would boil down to your functional requirements, price and risk (support, availability, development tools, et.al)

I would, on the other hand, like to see things like CPU-boards with MCU+SDRAM+Flash at a low-cost from Atmel or any other decent supplier to get new designs kick-started. According to multiple FAEs, such boards are even used in product where the volume is above 100k, and they still use the CPU-boards. The primary reasons are reduced complexity in the daughter-board (2-4 layer vs 8-layer CPU-board), more second-source options and cost.

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Well, AVR32 does definitely have a future, and it is an interesting device and I will not forget it if I should bump into a project needing its features, but with only one device on market pr. today, (yes there will be others but I think the first one gives an example of what to expect), and also its packed in a multi ball package, then we atleast cant say it wil not continue the success story of AVR8 but it will have to create its own success story, in its narrowed market. However, I have been talking to my Atmel distributor today and he will send me a roadmap and some other stuff related to AVR32, maybe theres someting it it for me too? But as it is pr. today a SAM7 device would be a better and more linear uppgrade if I where to move from AVR8 to a new, higher, platform, but still a real AVR8 uppgrade into 16 (32bit sounds overkill) would be a better choice.

Also, main difference btw. AVR32A and AVR32B arhc. is the dedicated regsiters used to hold status reg. and return addresses when interrupts occoures, and hardware shadowing of registers as used by the B version. The A version does not have these features but it will free the R8-R12 registers when an int. occoures by pushing them on stack so that they can freely be used throughout the interrupt. Except for these differenties (±) i belive A and B is quite identical and thus I personally dont feel that having two architectures to chooce from gives me any new arguments. Also, why should I pay for an Java accelerator?

Regards
Vidar (Z)

----------------------------------------------------------

"The fool wonders, the wise man asks"