Microchip and Google speed prototyping for IoT devices
October 17, 2018
Arizona electronics company Microchip Technology has announced an IoT rapid development board as part of an expanded partnership with Google Cloud, letting designers prototype connected devices within minutes.
The board combines an AVR microcontroller (MCU), a Crypto Authentication secure element IC and a certified wifi network controller to connect embedded applications. Once connected, Google Cloud IoT Core makes it easy to collect, process and analyse data to inform decisions at scale.
Creating cloud-connected applications traditionally can require significant time and resources for embedded designers to develop necessary expertise in communications protocols, security and hardware compatibility. Developers often overcome these problems with large software frameworks and a real-time operating system, which results in increased development time, effort, cost and security vulnerabilities.
The AVR-IoT WG development board gives developers the ability to add Google Cloud connectivity to new and existing projects with a single click using a free online portal. Once connected, developers can use Microchip's rapid development tools, MPLab Code Configurator (MCC) and Atmel Start, to develop and debug in the cloud. The board combines smart, connected and secure devices so designers can connect IoT designs to the cloud.
The AT Mega4808 8bit MCU brings the processing power and simplicity of the AVR architecture with added sensing and robust actuation features. With the latest core independent peripherals that decrease power consumption, it is said to provide better performance in real-time sensing and control applications.
The ATECC608A Crypto Authentication device provides a trusted and protected identity for each device that can be securely authenticated. The devices come pre-registered on Google Cloud IoT Core and are ready for use with zero touch provisioning.
The ATWINC1510 is an industrial-grade, certified IEEE 802.11 b/g/n IoT network controller that provides an easy connection to an MCU of choice via a flexible SPI interface. The module relieves designers from needing expertise in networking protocols.
"Designing secure, cloud-connected systems does not have to be an exhaustive process, and our expanded offerings with Google Cloud provide a simplified development process to bring IoT designs to market quickly," said Steve Drehobl, vice president of Microchip's 8bit MCU business unit. "Because the board is supported by both MCC and Atmel Start, designers can accelerate development using their preferred tool."
Among the benefits of connecting devices to Google Cloud IoT Core's infrastructure are the data and analytics that help designers make better, smarter products. As part of the infrastructure, embedded designs can better take advantage of, and respond to, rapidly changing conditions across many sensor nodes.
"Microchip's solutions enable Google Cloud IoT customers to build or migrate their applications with speed and scale, without compromising on security," said Antony Passemard, head of product management for Google Cloud IoT. "Combined with Google Cloud Platform's network infrastructure and Google's IoT services, the simplicity of the board makes powerful analytics tools and unique machine learning capabilities accessible to anyone."
As announced earlier, AVR devices are supported in the MPLab X integrated development environment, giving designers the option to choose between MCC or Atmel Start when developing with the AVR-IoT development board. The board is compatible with more than 450 MikroElektronika Click boards that expand sensors and actuator options. Developers who purchase the kit will have access to an online portal for immediate visualisation of their sensors' data being published.
The development board is available in volume production now.