Atmosic Rolls Out New Multiprotocol, Energy-Harvesting SoC

January 09, 2024 by Jake Hertz

With a new SoC announced today at CES, the company's BLE portfolio now offers 802.15.4 support for Thread and Matter.

We're back again with more CES 2024 news, this time with new SoC from Atmosic.

With the number of IoT deployments expected to reach into the billions by 2030, concerns are mounting over the sustainability of such devices. These electronics necessitate billions of batteries, which could potentially cause a significant environmental impact if not disposed of appropriately.

To address this problem, at CES Atmosic today released the ATM34/e, a new high-performance SoC with multiprotocol support and integrated energy-harvesting features. 


The Atmosic ATM34

The Atmosic ATM34. 


Compute and Connectivity: Dual Focuses of the ATM34/e SoC

From a compute and connectivity standpoint, the Atmosic ATM34/e series is engineered to meet the increasing computational demands of IoT devices while maintaining robust connectivity. 

To this end, the series features an Arm Cortex M33F processor with a digital signal processor (DSP) extension, enabling efficient data processing essential for complex tasks such as voice recognition and sensor data analysis. With clock speeds up to 64 MHz, these processors can deliver the necessary performance for a wide range of IoT applications, from simple tracking devices to more demanding smart home automation systems.

The ATM34/e series supports Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and the 802.15.4 wireless standard, both of which are critical for smart home connectivity protocols like Zigbee and Thread. This dual wireless capability ensures that devices using the ATM34/e chip can integrate into existing smart ecosystems and are future-proofed for emerging standards. The integrated +10 dBm power amplifier for the radio further enhances the chip's range and signal strength, improving the reliability of connections even in challenging environments.

The chip’s advanced connectivity is also complemented by a suite of peripherals designed for versatile I/O operations. These include multiple UART, SPI, and I2C interfaces, allowing for simultaneous connections with various sensors and actuators. With up to 31 general-purpose input/output (GPIO) pins and a range of PWM channels, the ATM34/e series can manage multiple tasks—supporting complex IoT systems that need to monitor and control several devices.


Internal block diagram of the ATM34/e

Internal block diagram of the ATM34/e. 


Atmosic addressed security with dedicated hardware cryptographic engines for AES, SHA-256, RSA-2048, and ECC, ensuring that data transmitted and received by devices powered by the ATM34/e is protected against cyber threats. These features, alongside secure boot and debug capabilities, make the ATM34/e series potentially useful for applications where data integrity and device authenticity are critical.


Power Management and Energy Harvesting

Power management is another central design focus of the Atmosic ATM34/e SoC.

The series employs a power management unit (PMU) that can operate across a wide voltage range of 1.1 to 4.2 V. Along with integrated LDOs, the SoC can adapt to various power sources and conditions, optimizing energy usage for battery-powered devices.

Atmosic claims its SoCs consume up to 50% less active energy than similar market offerings. This is primarily due to its radio design, which reportedly operates under 1 mA in receive mode. Additionally, the series' power amplifier can be tuned from -20 dBm to +10 dBm, extending the battery life of devices or, in some scenarios, allowing battery-free operation by relying solely on energy harvesting.

The SoC can harvest energy from RF, light, thermal, and motion sources. This is complemented by dedicated RF wake and wakeup timers, which allow the device to remain in a low-power state until needed, significantly reducing idle power consumption. With support for both RF wake (WURX) and external energy harvesters, the ATM34/e series ensures that IoT devices can have extended, or in some cases, indefinite operational periods without manual intervention or external power sources.


Availability and Packaging

The new SoC will be available in two package options—a 5×5 40-pin QFN and a 7×7 56-pin QFN—both of which maintain pin-to-pin compatibility with the company's earlier ATM33/e series Bluetooth SoCs. Samples of the SoC will be available in the first quarter of 2024.

Atmosic will be exhibiting at CES this week at Tech West, Venetian/Palazzo Hospitalty Suites—booth 267



All images used courtesy of Atmosic