PTC Embedded Microcontroller For Automotive Infotainment


Experience enhanced capacitive touch based automotive infotainment applications with the new peripheral touch controller (PTC) embedded MCU is now available across the globe. According to the press release, Atmel announced the launch of its new SMART MCU SAM DA1 based on ARM Cortex-M0+ is the first series of automotive qualified MCUs.

Capacitive sensing is a technology, based on capacitive coupling that takes human body capacitance as input. Capacitive touch sensing has been traditionally used as a design differentiating technology to enable superior aesthetic designs for automotive infotainment applications. With devices maturing to the point of integrating automotive specific functions, engineers are developing newer applications that exploit capacitive sensing technology which go beyond infotainment applications to simplify and improve user interfaces through the vehicle. Combined with proximity sensing and automotive-specific features such as standard networking protocol support (including LIN and CAN), capacitive touch sensing is becoming a mainstay technology in automotive designs.

According to the media release, Atmel SMART SAM DA1 ARM Cortex-M0+ embeds PTC offers high performance and low power capacitive touch support in compact QFN 5x5mm package with wettable flanks for automated optical inspection. Adding further the release mentions, “By eliminating external components and offering more robust features, devices in the SAM DA1 series come with 32 to 64 pins, up to 64KB of Flash, 8KB of SRAM and 2KB read-while-write flash. It is also automotive grade qualified according to AEC Q-100 Grade 2 (-40°C to +105°C).” Atmel provides ATSAMDA1-XPRO development kit along with the MCU in order to accelerate design and development process, mentions the release.

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Key Features of Atmel’s SAM DA1 Series as listed below:

  • Atmel |SMART ARM Cortex-M0+-based processor
  • 45 DMIPS
  • Vcc 2.7 to 3.63V
  • 16kB to 64kB Flash; 32 to 64 pins
  • Up to six SERCOM (Serial Communication Interface), USB, I2S
  • Peripheral Touch Controller
  • Complex PWM
  • AEC Q100 Grade 2 Qualified



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