welcome to the February 2004 edition of MicroController Pros Corporation's Embedded News Digest, your source for microcontroller and embedded system news.
February's Embedded World 2004 in Nuremberg, Germany resulted in a slew of new product announcements. We have captured the highlights for you in this newsletter.
This month's issue:
Last month we reported on ARM announing to acquire Triscend Corporation, a company specializing in configurable system-on-chip (CSoC) devices and customizable microcontrollers (MCUs).
ARM now announced that the acquisition will not proceed, as Triscend has received a competing offer for the business and, after due consideration, ARM has decided not to make a counter offer and the agreement has been terminated by mutual consent.
On a more positive note, the following companies have acquired new licenses from ARM: Samsung, Bejing Labs and Oki Electric. CSR (Cambridge Silicon Radio) has announced to us the ARM9E core in its next generation of wireless devices.
ARM launched the ARM® L210TM Level 2 cache controller. When combined with an ARM processor, the ARM L210 controller has the potential to increase performance by between 25 to 75 percent, thereby extending battery life and reducing memory cost.
Motorola was the lead partner in the definition of the L210 controller and is the first ARM Partner to license it. The ARM L210 controller will be incorporated into Motorola’s Mobile Extreme Convergence (MXC) architecture for 2.5G, 2.75G and 3G mobile handsets and a new category of portable multimedia devices. MXC incorporates an ARM1136JF-S™ core together with the ARM L210 Level 2 cache controller.
The L210 cache controller reduces the external memory bandwidth requirement of very high-performance CPUs like the ARM1136JF-S core, by requiring fewer CPU memory accesses to go to off-chip memory. It uses a unified instruction and data cache, supporting level two cache sizes from 128k to 2MB. The L210 controller is compatible with the ARM1136JF-S core, the ARM1136J-S™ core, the ARM1026EJ-S™ core, and the ARM926EJ-S core.
Atmel announced three new members of the megaAVR Flash Microcontroller Family. The mega48, mega88 and mega168, with 4/8/16kbytes of FLASH program memory, 256/512/512 bytes EEPROM, and 256/1k/1k of RAM memory respectively.
On-chip features include: two 8-bit timers, one 16-bit timer, real-time counter with separate oscillator, six PWM channels, 6/8 channel 10-bit A/D, USART, SPI and 2-wire interfaces, watchdog, analog comparator and wake-up/interrupt on pin change on all I/O pins.
The new devices also feature power-on reset and programmable brown-out detection, an internal calibrated oscillator and five power save modes. Typical power consumption at 1MHz, 1.8V is less than 250 uA, at 32kHz less than 15 uA.
The chips come in 28-pin PDIP, 32-pin TQFP and 32-pin MLF packages. Operating voltage is 1.8V-5.5V for the "V" version of the chips and 2.7V-5.5V for the standard version. The "V" version is rated for clock frequencies up to 6MHz at 1.8V Vcc and up to 12MHz for voltages > 2.7V. The standard version is rated up to 12MHz at 2.7V and up to 24MHz for voltages > 4.5V.
The 10k unit price is $1.50 for mega48, $1.80 for mega88 and $2.10 for mega168.
Cirrus Logic announced 10 new ARM9-based embedded processors — the EP9301, EP9303, EP9304, EP9305, EP9306, EP9307, EP9309, EP9310, EP9311 and EP9315.
EP9301: The EP9301 is an entry-level ARM9-based solution. Key features include CPU speeds of up to 166 MHz, external bus speed of 66 MHz, integration of a 1/10/100 Base-T Ethernet media access controller (MAC) and two USB 2.0 host ports.
EP9315: At the high-end, the EP9315 features CPU speeds of up to 200 MHz, a 100 MHz bus speed and integrates an Ethernet MAC, PCMCIA support, two-channel IDE and three USB 2.0 hosts. The EP9315 also supports an 18-bit display, touchscreen and keypad, and it adds a separate graphics accelerator to speed up basic graphic functions such as block copies. The EP9315 supports multiple audio solutions, up to six channels I˛S 24-bit audio, and can encode and decode industry-standard audio algorithms such as AAC, MP3 and Windows Media Audio.
Cirrus ARM9 based processors feature two Cirrus proprietary technologies, the MaverickKey digital rights management tool and MaverickCrunch math coprocessor. MaverickKey technology provides OEMs with the means to assign specific hardware IDs for digital rights-management implementation within the application. MaverickKey technology can also be used by OEMs and design houses to protect against design piracy as products enter into manufacturing. The MaverickCrunch engine is an advanced, mixed-mode math coprocessor that greatly accelerates the single- and double-precision integer and floating-point processing capabilities of the ARM920T processor core. The MaverickCrunch engine is standard on all Cirrus ARM9-based embedded processors except the EP9301.
The EP9301 is available immediately in a 208-pin quad flat package at $8.96 in volumes of 10 thousand. The EP9315 is available immediately in a 352-pin ball grid array package at $24.01. Engineering development kits are also available now for both the EP9301 and EP9315. All other new members of the ARM9-based embedded processor will be offered in a 272-pin thin flat ball grid array (TFBGA) package, and will be sampling to Cirrus customers in the June quarter of calendar year 2004. Pricing for these products ranges from $12 to $17
The new MBH7BTZ03 class 2 Bluetooth module features a small footprint of 10 x 9.5 x 1.9mm. It has a UART hardware interface, a protocol stack including L2CAP, SDP, RFCOMM, and GAP, SPP & DUN profiles to reduce the burden on the host CPU. Users are able to choose between the Host Controller Interface (HCI) and the Serial Port Profile (SPP) interface. As the latter includes the upper level protocol stack for serial communication, this design allows significant savings in software development, reducing time to market and cost. The software interface is a simple text-based command control. Simply add an external antenna and the MBH7BTZ03 can create Bluetooth® wireless technology enabled products.
Fujitsu Microelectronics announces a new 32-bit RISC microcontroller implemented in 0.25µm CMOS technology and operating at 3.3V. With its flexible configuration, supporting 16-bit/32-bit SDRAMs and numerous other memory interfaces.
The MB91302A operates at up to 68MHz and features 4KB data RAM and 4KB of Instruction Cache for fast on-chip processing. Its FR60 core with a 5-stage pipeline, 16-bit fixed-length instruction set, built-in hardware multiplier and barrel shifter was designed specifically for embedded applications.
Serial communication is supported by two I2C interfaces and three USARTs (each with their own baud rate generator). Four independent ICU (Input Capture Unit) channels to detect edges of external signals, three 16-bit reload timers, four PPG timers and 4 channels of a 10-bit A/D converter are other features.
Fujitsu announces a new 16LX microcontroller, the MB90F897, to complement its portfolio of microcontrollers with Controller Area Network (CAN) interface.
Housed in a 48-pin QFP package of a mere 7mm square, this small footprint incorporates the 16LX CPU core and peripherals such as timers, 4ch PWM, 2 UARTs, AD-Converter as well as 64KB of Flash memory and 2KB RAM. Some I/Os feature programmable port levels. In addition to TTL and C-MOS levels, 'automotive levels' (with VIL = 0.5*Vcc), can be selected.
The new dual-operation Flash technology further expands the functionality: It allows fast EEPROM emulation and reliable self-programming because the 64KB Flash macro is divided into two banks. In each Flash memory bank write, read and erase operation can be performed separately.
Infineon introduced the TC1130 microcontroller. Available now, the new 32-bit chip is the first high-volume TriCore derivative capable of running the full-featured Linux operating system for industrial and communications applications.
The new device features a Fast Ethernet (10/100 Mbit per second) controller, four CAN (Controller Area Network) nodes and a USB (Universal Serial Bus) module. Other features of the TC1130 include 144 Kbytes of on-chip RAM memory, a 64-bit high-performance Local Memory Bus (LMB) that provides fast access between caches and external memories, and Infineon’s Flexible Peripherals Interface bus for enhanced on-chip communications. Like all TriCore-based microcontrollers, the TC1130 combines the realtime capability of a microcontroller, the math performance a DSP and the simple programmability of a RISC architecture.
The TC1130, packaged in a 208-pin Plastic Low-profile Ball Grid Array (P-LBGA), is available now. Two versions, at 100 MHz and 150 MHz clock speed are available, and the chip is specified for the ambient temperature range from -40°C to +85°C. In quantities of 10,000 pieces, it is priced at Euro 12.05 per unit.
The two new additions to the Infineon C166 family of 16-bit microcontrollers are the C161S and XC164CM.
The C161S features an 80 nanosecond (ns) instruction cycle time, clock rate of 25 MHz and a 16-priority-level interrupt system. It can address up to 16 Mbytes of memory for program code and data, and is designed with on-board memory of 2 Kbytes Internal RAM. Samples of the C161S, in an 80-in MQFP package, are available now, with typical pricing of Euro 2.40 in quantities of 10,000.
Based on the enhanced version of the widely used C166 architecture, the XC164CM features pipeline extensions and new architectural features to double performance at the same clock speed as earlier generations. Features include high-performance on-chip flash memory, a Multiply and Accumulate (MAC) unit that increases calculation power, advanced interrupt-handling, high-resolution analog to digital conversion (ADC) capabilities, and an on-chip debug system to accelerate product development. The new microcontroller is in a small form factor package to reduce required board space up to 20 percent compared to comparable solutions. Samples of the XC164CM, in a 64-pin TQFP package, are now available, with volume production targeted for Q2 2005 at a typical price of Euro 6.30 in quantities of 10,000.
Philips unveiled nine new members of its popular LPC2000
family of high performance, ARM7-based microcontrollers.
The LPC2119 128K Flash device is available in production quantities. The LPC2210 and LPC2290 devices are also available in production quantities in 144-pin LQFP. Samples are available for the LPC2129, LPC2212/2214, LPC2194 and LPC2292/2294.
Renesas announced the SH7770 SoC (System on Chip) for high-performance car information systems such as next-generation car navigation devices, employing a newly developed SH-4A SuperH™ Family CPU core, and incorporating a new 2D graphics engine developed for map drawing plus a newly developed 3D graphics engine capable of various kinds of drawing processing, together with a GPS baseband processing function and a varied and comprehensive range of on-chip peripheral modules.
The SH-4A is a newly developed CPU core with a maximum operating frequency of 400 MHz, approximately 70% faster than the 240 MHz of the current SH-4 CPU core, and offering high processing performance of 720 MIPS. The cache memory employs a 4-way design that provides a higher hit rate and helps speed up software processing. The instruction set is upward-compatible with that of the SH-4.
The 2D graphics engine offers fast and high-quality implementation of the map drawing operations essential to car navigation systems. A bold-line drawing function makes it easy to draw a line of constant width regardless of direction when drawing roads, while an anti-alias function offers smooth drawing of polygons, oblique lines, etc.
The on-chip 3D graphics engine employs a method that keeps external memory accesses to a minimum, greatly reducing the number of accesses and enabling faster drawing to be achieved. Smooth, high-quality 3D graphic display operations can thus be achieved without the use of external dedicated graphics memory.
The SH7770 has over 50 on-chip peripheral modules, including: Video Input Interface, GPS baseband processing module, USB host, a DMAC with 36 channels, Various sound interfaces (6 channels), CAN, I2C, Serial/parallel interface, 10 (!) UARTS, 9 timers, 3 channel 8-bit D/A converter, 4 channel 10-bit A/D converter, clock pulse generator, PLL and Interrupt Controller.
The chip comes in a 520pin BGA package (33mmx33mm) and costs
8000 Yen in sample quantities.
Sharp announced the availability of its 32–bit System–on–Chip, the LH7A404, in mass production quantities.
The LH7A404 features: an ARM922T core; 16kB cache; memory management unit; 80kB on-chip memory; external memory interface supporting SDRAM, Flash, ROM and SRAM; Programmable color LCD controller with 1,024 x 768 resolution, up to 64K direct colors, 15 gray shades, and support for STN, Color STN, TFT, and AD-TFT; CompactFlash/PC-card interface; MultiMediaCard™ interface with Secure Digital; Smart Card Interface (ISO7816); AC97 Codec interface; Smart battery monitor interface; 3 UARTs, synchronous serial communications interfaces; Programmable vector interrupt controller, Watchdog Timer, three counters/timers, real-time clock; External DMA Channels; 10 Channel, 10-bit A/D with Touch Screen Controller; Device & Host Full Speed USB2.0; Low-power modes including Active, Standby, and Stop.
The device comes in a 324-Ball CABGA package.
The new ST7MC devices feature ST's on-chip motor control
peripheral, the MTC, which consists mainly of a three-phase Pulse Width
Modulator multiplexed on six high-sink outputs, with a highly flexible Back EMF
(BEMF) zero-crossing detector and co-processor unit for the sensorless control
of permanent magnet Brushless Direct Current (BLDC) motors. ST's patented 'three
resistors' sensorless control method - in conjunction with on-chip comparators,
op-amp - provides low system cost and high system integration for BLDC motor
TI announced the MSP430F1610, F1611 and F1612 with 32/48/55 Kbytes of FLASH and 5/10/5 Kbytes of RAM, respectively.
Features include a 200ksps multi-channel 12-bit analog-to-digital converter (ADC), two 12-bit digital to analog converters (DAC), two serial ports, an I2C peripheral, hardware multiplier, 10 pulse width modulation channels and in-system programmable Flash combined with an autonomous three-channel direct memory access controller (DMA).
A flexible clock system with five low-power modes enables unmatched ultra-low-power performance. The MSP430F161x family features a typical standby current consumption of just 1.9uA with a real-time-clock function active.
For high-performance applications, an integrated digitally controlled oscillator or external high-speed crystal can be used to clock the system at just 280uA per MIPS (million instructions per second). Fast instruction execution, coupled with the MSP430´s CPU start-up from standby of less than six microseconds, results in total power consumption up to 10 times lower than competitive devices.
The MSP430F1610/F1611/F1612 1kU price is $8.25/$8.65/$8.95, respectively.
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