The ATMEGA128-16AU is a high-performance 8-bit AVR Atmel microcontroller. It is a low-power device manufactured by Microchip Technology Incorporated. It is based on RISC. Using a single clock cycle to enforce instructions, the ATMEGA128 is essential for ensuring the balance of power between processing speed and power consumption. The microcontroller accomplishes throughputs or yields approaching 1MIPS per MHZ. 

What is a Microcontroller?

Also known by the abbreviation µC (the word “micro” is replaced by mu, a Greek letter), a microcontroller is an IC or integrated circuit device that controls significant functions of electronic systems, such as home appliances, office machines, and gadgets. Its essential components are microprocessor unit or MPU, peripherals, and memory. Microcontrollers allow certain applications to become highly functional and responsive. 

Consumer electronics, wearables, state-of-the art aerospace and military systems, industrial devices, and medical equipment are just some of the products that benefit from microcontrollers. All devices, gadgets, and appliances that display, store, or measure information has a microcontroller chip embedded in it.

A microcontroller is usually low-power. Compared to a desktop computer, which has to be plugged in the whole time it is used and consumes more or less 50 watts (W), a microcontroller normally consumes 50 milliwatts (mW), as it is battery-operated. ATMEGA128 is a low-power microcontroller that ensures high-performance courtesy of the Atmel AVR. 

Microcontrollers may be classified into various types according to word lengths: 4-bit, 8-bit, 64-bit, and 128-bit. ATMEGA128-16AU is an 8-bit microcontroller. It is intended to perform arithmetic and logic operations. 

ATMEGA128-16AU Characteristics

Here are some of ATMEGA128-16AU’s unique characteristics:

  • It is based on the enhanced RISC architecture. RISC stands for Reduced Instruction Set Computers. It is what makes ATMEGA128 time-efficient as it shortens the clock cycle for every instruction. This results to a reduction in operation time.
  • ATMEGA128-16AU has a rich instruction set that integrates well with 32 registers, which are connected to the ALU or arithmetic logic unit. This contributes to time-efficiency because of its two registers-single instruction-one clock cycle functionality. ATMEGA128-16AU is, therefore, code efficient. It is even significantly faster than some CISC (complex instruction set computer) microcontrollers. 
  • It is manufactured using a high-density non-volatile memory technology that was developed by Atmel. 
  • ATMEGA128-16AU comes with a complete suite of support programs and tools ensuring proper and efficient system development. It is supported by macro assemblers, C compilers, evaluation kits, in-circuit emulators, and program simulators or debuggers. 

ATMEGA128-16AU Features

The following are the top features of Microchip’s ATMEGA128-16AU:

  • Low-power, high-performance 8-bit microcontroller Atmel AVR 
  • Non-volatile and high-endurance memory technology:
    • Self-programmable, in-system flash program memory (128K bytes)
    • Internal SRAM (4K bytes)
    • EEPROM (4K bytes)
    • 20 years data retention at 85°C and 100 years data retention at 25°C
    • Write/erase cycles of 10,000 Flash/100,000 electrically erasable programmable read-only memory
    • On-chip boot program in-system programming
    • Up to 64Kbytes optional external storage
    • Discretionary boot code section
    • Serial Peripheral Interface in-system programming  
    • Locked programming for security
    • Independent lock bits
  • Advanced RISC architecture
    • 32 x 8 working registers + peripheral control registers
    • 133 instructions
    • Fully static operation
    • Approximately 16MIPS output at 16MHz
    • On-chip 2-cycle multiplier
  • Library support through QTouch by Atmel
    • Capacitive wheels, sliders, and touch  
    • Maximum of 64 sense channels
  • Peripherals
    • Two expanded 16-bit timer/counter with separate compare and capture mode, and prescaler
    • Two 8-bit timer/counters with discrete compare mode and prescalers
    • Two PWM channels (8-bit)
    •  Modulator for comparing outpu
    • Concurrent counter with detached oscillator
    • 10-bit ADC with 8 channels
    • 7 differential channels
    • 8 single-ended channels6 P
    • WM channels with tailored two-16 bits resolution
    • Differential channels equipped with 200x, 10x, or 1x programmable gain
    • Two-wire byte-oriented serial interface
    • 2 Programmable Serial Universal Synchronous Asynchronous Receiver Transmitter
    • A watchdog timer that’s programmable and has an on-chip oscillator
    • Analog comparator (on-chip)
    • Master/slave SPI serial interface
  • JTAG (IEEE std. 1149.1 compliant) interface
    • Comprehensive on-chip debug support
    •  Boundary-scan abilities based on JTAG standard
    • Fuses, flash, lock bits, and EEPROM programming using the JTAG Interface
Author: Sherly Mendoza
Published: March 29, 2021