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Atmel Unveils 32-bit MCU/DSP Core

Atmel announced it's AVR 32, a new 32-bit embedded CPU architecture with DSP extensions that is expected to extend the battery life of portable, hand-held multimedia products such as portable video players, MP3 players and mobile phones.

Early benchmarks of the AVR32, conducted by the electronics' industry benchmarking organization, EEMBC (the Embedded Microprocessor Benchmark Consortium), gauge the core's performance per clock cycle at three times that of other processors. This faster throughput means that applications can be executed with fewer clocks, reducing power consumption and increasing the battery life of the end-product. Code size benchmarks also indicate results with up to 50% reduction compared to other processors.

For example, running at just 100 MHz, the AVR32 core can do all the processing required to decode quarter-VGA MPEG4 movies the same format used with various hand-held video players including the iPod while other processors are required to operate as fast as 266 MHz. For the end-user, this means a longer battery-life.

By increasing the AVR32's clock frequency to 400 MHz or more the computational capability of the architecture can also be used to handle more tasks and remove additional processors or hardware accelerators thus reducing cost while improving system integration and reliability.

Atmel plans to announce a family of AVR32-based processors in the Spring of 2006.

Source: Atmel

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