September 28, 2011 -- Atmel Corp. today announced availability of a new ultra-low-power AVR microcontroller (MCU) with AES-128 immobilizer protocol stack. The Atmel ATA5790N includes LF immobilizer functionality and a 3D LF receiver in a single 5x7-mm package. When combined with the companion device ATA5830 RF transmitter, the Atmel ATA5790N is ideal for high-volume uni- and bi-directional car key fobs for passive entry and passive start systems.
The AVR microcontroller provides 16kBytes of Flash and 2kBytes of EEPROM. Within the 16-kByte Flash, 14kBytes is available for the application software, while 2kBytes is available for the immobilizer functionality. The core is surrounded by specific hardware accelerators which allows for an implementation of any immobilizer protocol in the software without the typical current consumption impact.
The Atmel ATA5790N features low current consumption, with a listening mode of less than 4.5µA. Lower current consumption can extend the battery life significantly for car key fobs. The 3D LF RSSI measurement with maximum sensitivity allows for a quick and accurate key fob localization.
The built-in AES-128 cryptographic engine, along with the Atmel protocol stack, provides maximum security protection with fast authentication time which is critical to immobilizer systems. As an open-source solution, AES-128 encryption is far more secure than other proprietary solutions since peer reviewing increases fault detection.
In addition, the Atmel AES-128 immobilizer protocol stack is the first open-source stack to allow interoperability between different semiconductor vendors. With current conventional solutions, the necessary communication protocol layers are closed-source or patented, which prevents car manufacturers from adopting multi-vendor sourcing strategies. This conventional method also leads to lock-in situations that are counter-productive when quality problems arise.
The ATA5790N is a new member of Atmel's family of transmitter, receiver and transceiver devices for car-access applications. This lets designers create complete system solutions with devices that provide a perfect combination. The same software and tools can be used, thus increasing the ease-of-use and reducing the overall time-to-market.
Pricing and Availability
Samples of the ATA5790N are now available in 5x7-mm QFN38 packages. Pricing starts at $1.80 for 10,000-piece quantities. To simplify and accelerate product development, the device hosts the application code in Flash and is supported by the standard AVR development tool chain (automotive-grade C compiler and AVR Studio IDE). In addition, a remote keyless-entry development kit (ATAPMxxxx) with several daughter boards provides complete reference designs for both hardware and software.
Go to the Atmel Corp. website to find additional information.