Microcontrollers boast extensive connectivity interface options

August 03, 2017 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
The 32-bit SAM D5x and SAM E5x microcontroller (MCU) families from Microchip Technology offer extensive connectivity interfaces, powerful performance and robust hardware-based security for a wide variety of applications.

The microcontrollers combine the performance of an ARM® Cortex®-M4 processor with an FPU. This combination offloads the CPU, increasing system efficiency and enabling process-intensive applications on a low-power platform. Running at up to 120 MHz, the D5x and E5x MCUs feature up to 1 MB of dual-panel Flash with Error Correction Code (ECC), easily enabling live updates with no interruption to the running system. Additionally, these families are available with up to 256 KB of SRAM with ECC, vital to mission-critical applications such as medical devices or server systems.

These latest MCUs have multiple interfaces providing design flexibility for even the most demanding connectivity needs. Both families include a Quad Serial Peripheral Interface (QSPI) with an Execute in Place (XIP) feature. This allows the system to use high-performance serial Flash memories, which are both small and inexpensive compared to traditional pin parallel Flash, for external memory needs. The SAM D5/E5 devices also feature a Secure Digital Host Controller (SDHC) for data logging, a Peripheral Touch Controller (PTC) for capacitive touch capabilities and best-in-class active power performance (65 μA/MHz) for applications requiring power efficiency. Additionally, the SAM E5 family includes two CAN-FD ports and a 10/100Mbps Ethernet Media Access Controller (MAC) with IEEE 1588 support, making it well suited for industrial automation, connected home and other Internet of Things (IoT) applications.

Both the SAM D5x and E5x families contain comprehensive cryptographic hardware and software support, enabling developers to incorporate security measures at a design's inception. Hardware-based security features include a Public Key Cryptographic Controller (PUKCC) supporting Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) and RSA schemes as well as an Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) cipher and Secure Hash Algorithms (SHA).