I'm working on a device utilizing Atmel's AT32UC3C microcontroller. The datasheet and design checklist documents provided by example schematics utilizing some type of RF/EMI inductor to isolate the digital and analog source circuits. However, they don't provide any indication as to what to use.

Atmel's recommended power supply schematic: Atmel Datasheet power schematic

How do I calculate/figure out what inductor to use?

I'm utilizing the ADC on the chip and want to sample at the maximum 2MSPS (ADC clock frequency 2MHz) and want to operate the digital end at the maximum spec frequency of 66MHz. I plan on having the device USB powered and operating at 5V.


1 Answer 1


You want to filter two kinds of noise: low-frequency noise, like some remaining 100 Hz ripple, and the 66 MHz from the digital part of the controller. For the low frequency an inductor is impractically large, and a resistor is more appropriate, so that you get an RC low-pass filter. Unfortunately the datasheet doesn't say how much current VDDANA needs, but that won't be much, let's guesstimate that at 100 µA. Then a 100 Ω series resistor will only drop 10 mV, which is acceptable. Combined with a 47 µF capacitor this gives a low-pass filter with a cutoff frequency of 33 Hz. The attenuation at 100 Hz will not yet be very high, but the power supply should already have filtered most of the ripple anyway.

For the HF noise there are special EMI filter in the form of ferrite beads. They have a very low DC resistance, usually less than 1 Ω, and a peak impedance which is often specified at 100 MHz. The Murata BLM21AG102SH1, for instance, has an impedance of 1000 Ω at 100 MHz and and a DC resistance of 0.28 Ω:

enter image description here

The graph shows 850 Ω at 70 MHz. Due to the low DC resistance it's no problem to place it in series with the resistor we already had for the low frequencies.

So the BLM21 ferrite in series with a 100 Ω resistor and a 47 µF capacitor should filter both low-frequency and high-frequency noise. It's wise to place a 100 nF capacitor parallel to the electrolytic, close to pins 17 and 18 (GNDANA and VDDANA).

  • \$\begingroup\$ How did you determine that 850Ω @70MHz is acceptable? How low is acceptable? \$\endgroup\$ Aug 9, 2012 at 20:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ The impedance of the 100 nF cap at 70 MHz is 0.02 \$\Omega\$, so with the 850 \$\Omega;\$ it divides the input noise roughly by 40000. So 40 mV noise will be reduced to 1 \$\mu\$V, which is extremely low. A 12-bit ADC at 5 V reference voltage has a resolution of 1 mV, and expect some counts of noise. So 40 mV noise would be reduced to 1/1000 of that. That's "acceptable" ;-). \$\endgroup\$
    – stevenvh
    Aug 10, 2012 at 6:31

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