The idea of developing a new progressive RISK-nucleus originated in the Norwegian city of Trondheim (Trondheim) in the bright minds of two students, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). Called inventors Alf Bogen (Alf-Egil Bogen) and Vegard Vollen (Vegard Wollen). Located in a charming environment of a mixture of university buildings, computer centers and cafes borough Bakklandet, future director of Atmel Norway created an architecture that has become one of the most successful in the global market microcontrollers.
In 1995, Bogen and Vollen decided to offer US-based Atmel, known at the time his “know-how” of manufacturing chips with Filash-memory, releasing a new 8-bit RISC-microcontroller and provide it with Flash-memory programming on a chip. The idea was so impressed the leadership of Atmel Corp., It was decided to immediately invest the project.
In 1996, a research center founded by Atmel in Trondheim. It should say that 150,000th Trondheim efforts of the University every year produces up to 20 new companies specializing in market sectors ranging from automation to data transmission and processing. In late 1996, was released prototype chip AT90S1200, and in the second half of 1997 Atmel Corporation began commercial production of a new family of microcontrollers, their advertising and technical support.
The new kernel has been patented and named AVR, which after several years became interpreted in various ways. Someone claims that this is none other than A dvanced V irtual R ISC, others believe that there were some here without A Egil Bogen LF V egard Wollan R ISC. Patent holders in this process are: Wollan, Vegard (NO); Bogen, Alf-Egil (NO); Myklebust, Gaute (NO); Bryant, John, D. (US).
Interestingly, the command system and the internal structure of chips developed jointly with the AVR by IAR Systems – manufacturer of compilers, programming languages C / C + +, which provided the unique characteristics of the microcontroller. As a result, the AVR has become possible to achieve high code density using high-level languages, almost no loss in performance when compared to programs written in low level assembly language.
Furthermore, the use of advanced technology in AVR pipelining reduced the cycle ‘Picks – version “command. For example, microcontrollers x51 short command is executed for 12 cycles of the generator. In the PIC-controllers firm Microchip, where the pipeline has already been implemented, the command is executed for a short period of four clock frequency. In the AVR microcontroller team short of the overall flow was performed for only one period of clock signal. Such a construction of the crystal provided a significant increase in productivity, which in the limit can reach 1MIPS at 1MHz. This is, in many cases at a given performance can reduce the clock frequency, and hence the power consumption of the device. AVR-microcontroller provides more opportunities to optimize performance / power consumption, which was especially important in the development of battery-powered applications.
Of course, the new microcontrollers from Atmel has been met with great interest. Their sales grew steadily, the team AVR, consisting in 1997 of no more than 10 people, now over a hundred employees only in Norway, without regard to technical experts in the AVR two specialized centers in France and Finland.
Today, Atmel manufactures two families of microcontrollers with the kernel AVR: Tiny and Mega. Microcontrollers Classic, the first of the families of AVR, gradually replaced by more modern models. In 2003, Atmel Corp. solemnly celebrated the big event – the number of chips produced from the core of AVR over 500 million pieces!