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Find the right performance, low-power options and advanced security capabilities for your application with Microchip’s 32-bit microprocessors which offer a broad set of peripherals and interfaces to enhance your design. Effortlessly move through the hardware development process by using the available development boards, MPLAB® X Integrated Development Environment (IDE) and third-party tools and support. Rapidly develop your software with our mainlined Linux®, RTOSes and MPLAB Harmony v3 peripheral libraries and device drivers.

Moving from MCU to MPU

Microchip’s microprocessors (MPUs) are a natural extension of our 32-bit microcontroller portfolio and may be a fit for you if you fall into any of the following categories:

  • Have you outgrown the capabilities of a microcontroller?
  • Do you have the need for large external memory?
  • Do you want to a use Linux operating system (OS) which also includes the middleware and drivers you need free of charge?

Transitioning to a microprocessor can be greatly simplified by using a MPU-based System-On-Module (SOM) or System-in-Package (SiP) solution. These offerings take away the complexity of high-speed PCB design and provide a robust and reliable power management implementation.

All of Microchip’s Linux development code is mainlined in the Linux communities providing you full access to source code and long-term support. This also opens the door to the world’s largest developer community providing access to a plethora of qualified software engineers who can assist with your projects.

Linux Simplifies Your Software Implementation

The Internet of Things (IoT) implies connectivity, and network connectivity requires protocol stacks, security layers and potentially even a web browser to exchange and forward information and communicate data. While implementing this connectivity in your design may seem challenging, you can use the software that is available in the Linux platform without any additional licensing fees. The Linux OS comes with the largest selection of device drivers, which gives you the freedom to choose from many peripheral devices and suppliers. One other big advantage of using the Linux OS is the abundance of qualified engineers or consultants that can help ensure your design’s success. 

Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs) and interactive touchscreen displays provide intuitive user experiences. Our Ensemble Graphics Toolkit (EGT) is a free and open-source C++ suite of software and tools that makes it easy to develop a cost-effective and low-power modern GUI. EGT is optimized for use with our 32-bit MPUs running the Linux OS.

Linux Logo EnsembleGraphicsToolkit-v2-256x811
Use the MPLAB® Development Ecosystem and Software Packages to Get Your Design Running

MPLAB X Integrated Development Environment (IDE) is an expandable, highly configurable software program that incorporates powerful tools to help you discover, configure, develop, debug and qualify embedded designs for our MCUs and MPUs. MPLAB X IDE works seamlessly with the MPLAB development ecosystem of software and tools, many of which are completely free. You don’t necessarily need an operating system to operate an MPU. If you are running a single-threaded application and want to maximize data processing, you may want to use bare metal.

Our software packages (Softpacks) and MPLAB Harmony v3 provide peripheral libraries and drivers to help facilitate your software development. MPLAB Harmony v3 includes the MPLAB Harmony Configurator (MHC) tool, an easy-to-use tool with a GUI that simplifies device setup, library selection, configuration and application development. The Operating System Abstraction Layer (OSAL) allows you to add an RTOS, such as FreeRTOS, if your project requirements change after initial board bring up.

Connectivity and Brand Protection Mandate Security

If you connect your system to a network or you want to protect your brand, you must integrate security. Being able to trust your data, ensuring reliable system operation, anti-cloning, data protection and many others are all critical reasons to implement security. Microchip can help you secure your design with options from basic security implementations all the way up to a segmented processing element known as a secure enclave. Whether you need cloud provisioning, secured communication, certificate management, system resilience, data authentication, secure boot or secrets storage, we make finding and implementing the right security measures easy.

  • Secure storage – Arm® TrustZone® secure cryptography, storage of keys, certificates and in-system data
  • Secure communications – Authenticated device pairing and IoT cloud communications (OpenSSL, TLS, MQTT)
  • Secure firmware update – Remotely upgrade MPU firmware safely and securely
  • Trusted boot – Root of trust verified initial startup code, Linux and other embedded software
  • Firmware protection – Encryption of embedded firmware and execution of authenticated firmware
  • Trusted device ID – Unique device certificate tied to root of trust for strong identity authentication

Using Sequitur Lab’s EmSpark™ Security Suite, you can implement a secure enclave on the SAMA5D2 and SAMA5D4 microprocessors. It takes care of the most common security and resilience challenges in MPU design, allowing you to concentrate on your end application rather than low-level security code.

Use a SiP or SOM to Simplify Your Hardware Design
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Microchip’s System On Module (SOM) and System in Package (SiP) options ease the design of a microprocessor-based system and can be used for industrial-grade designs. They ensure signal integrity for high-speed interfaces to DDR memory and, in the case of the SOM, the Ethernet Physical layer (PHY) while complying with Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) standards. You can solder the SOM on a motherboard and take it to production or use it as a reference design for your custom hardware, along with the free schematics, Gerber files and complete bill of materials, all available online. Our Linux development code will immediately run on the SOM, allowing you to get to production release even faster.

ATSAMA5D27-SOM1 Chip Photo
Select an Arm® Core-Based MPU for Your Design

Microchip’s embedded microprocessors are based on the ARM9 and Cortex®-A5 CPUs from Arm®. They support multiple memory types, including DDR2, DDR3, LPDDR2, LPDDR3 and QSPI and eMMC Flash. You have your choice of memory technologies to meet your design’s needs. A rich set of peripherals provides solutions amongst user interfaces including audio playback and touch, local interconnect and networking, OS timers, security and storage. The product selector allows you to filter for the peripherals your design requires.

Microchip can support your application needs for designs of control panels/HMI, secure IoT gateways, connectivity, barcode scanners, printers and Point-of-Sale (POS) terminal applications. With its low-power features and small package options, the SAMA5 series is also ideal for wearables and other battery-operated systems. We help you with a wide range of third-party offerings, development kits and software support for an even easier design experience.