Atmel's New Rad-Hard SPARC Processor Improves Speed Versus Power Consumption Ratio by Eight

Ensuring an Upward Compatibility with Existing Applications Built for Previous

SPARC Space Processors

Nov 07, 2005, 00:00 ET from Atmel Corporation

    NANTES, France, Nov. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Atmel(R) Corporation (Nasdaq:  
 ATML), a global leader in the development and fabrication of advanced
 semiconductor solutions, announced today the availability of the AT697, a new
 generation of radiation hardened 32-bit SPARC(R) processor (V8) for the space
 industry. Compared to the former SPARC processors, the AT697 improves the
 speed versus power consumption ratio by eight, providing the spacecraft
 computers with an increased calculation capacity in a three-time smaller
 package. The AT697 is also software compatible with the previous Atmel SPARC
 processors -- including the SPARC V7 TSC695F -- which are today widely used in
 flight as the central component of the spacecraft computers. This allows
 engineers to re-use any software application that has been developed with
 Atmel's previous SPARC processors, with the benefit of the AT697 higher
     The AT697 processor implements the LEON2 FT (fault tolerant) VHDL model
 owned by ESA, the European Space Agency. It is produced on Atmel's 0.18 um
 CMOS process in Atmel's France manufacturing site. It includes a SPARC V8
 Integer Unit, a Floating Point Unit, separate instruction and data caches, a
 PCI interface and a flexible memory controller that can interface with SRAM,
     To smooth the engineers' task, the design is fully static and highly
 testable thanks to a boundary scan through a JTAG interface. And a dedicated
 Debug Support Unit will ease the software debugging.
     The AT697 operates with 1.8-Volt and 3.3-Volt power supplies for the core
 and the I/O buffers, respectively. It delivers 86 MIPs (Dhrystone 2.1) and 23
 MFlops (Whetstone) at 100 MHz. The ratio between performance and power
 consumption reaches a value as high as 150 MIPs/W, the power consumption being
 7 mW/MHz.
     To prevent erroneous operations resulting from Single Event Upset and
 Single Event Transient errors, it implements a set of protection features
 including Triple Modular Redundancy, error correction and detection (EDAC) or
 parity checks on internal memories and EDAC on external memories. The first
 version of this processor has been tested successfully against total dose up
 to 100 krads and its single event latch-up threshold is higher than 70
     "The new AT697 processor strengthens our leadership as a supplier of
 radiation hardened ICs for on-board computing system for the space industry,"
 said Nicolas Renaud, Aerospace Microprocessor Marketing Engineer.  "It
 enriches the existing Atmel SPARC processor product line and expands the
 current success of the TSC695F SPARC processor. Atmel is the only supplier to
 offer such a broad range of radiation hardened products, which includes
 microcontrollers, SPARC-based microprocessors, memories (SRAMs, EEPROMs ... ),
 DSPs, re-programmable FPGAs and ASICs. The AT697 is planned to fly on the
 Proba 2 ESA project at the very beginning of 2007, showing the market demand
 and the confidence placed in Atmel products and technologies for space," he
     The AT697 processor is available as a standalone component in a ceramic
 hermetic MCGA 349-pin package. This package is space qualified and brings a
 significant advantage in term of size, weight and thermal resistivity compared
 to the existing quad flat pack solution.
     The AT697 samples are available now. The current version of the processor
 (AT697E) will be delivered tested to military quality flow (QML-Q) for some
 ESA projects by the end of 2005. At the end of 2006, the AT697 processor
 flight models will be delivered tested to either QML Q & V or ESCC quality
 flows. This second version of the AT697 processor will have improved radiation
 capabilities, up to 300 krads.
     Atmel's Compact PCI evaluation board (AT697-EVA) and development kit
 (AT697-DKIT) allow evaluating and developing software. The evaluation board
 includes an AT697 processor sample and the BCC and RCC compilation chains. The
 development kit integrates the GRMON debug monitor. A software simulator
 called TSIM is also available from the Swedish company Gaisler Research
     This AT697 processor has been developed with the support of the European
 Space Agency (ESA).
     BCC: Bare-C cross compiler
     JTAG: Joint Test Action Group
     MCGA: Multi-layer solder Column Grid Array
     PCI: Peripheral Component Interconnect
     RCC: RTEMS(TM) cross compiler
     VHDL: Very high speed integrated circuit High level Description Language
     About Atmel
     Atmel is a worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of
 microcontrollers, advanced logic, mixed-signal, nonvolatile memory and radio
 frequency (RF) components.  Leveraging one of the industry's broadest
 intellectual property (IP) technology portfolios, Atmel is able to provide the
 electronics industry with complete system solutions.  Focused on consumer,
 industrial, security, communications, computing and automotive markets, Atmel
 ICs can be found Everywhere You Are(R).
     NOTE:  Atmel(R), logo and combinations thereof, Everywhere You Are(R) and
 others, are the registered trademarks or trademarks of Atmel Corporation or
 its subsidiaries. Other terms and product names may be trademarks of others.
     Atmel's AT697 product information may be retrieved at
     Press Contacts:
     Philippe Faure, Marketing Communications Manager - Microcontrollers
     Tel: +33 2 40 18 18 87, Email:
     Clive Over, Director of Press Relations - USA and Asia,
     Tel: (+1) 408 451 2855, Email:
     Veronique Sablereau, Corporate Communications Manager - Europe
     Tel: +33 1 30 60 70 68, Fax: + 49 71 31 67 24 23

SOURCE Atmel Corporation