April 2004 Embedded News Digest

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Dear Reader,

welcome to the April 2004 edition of  MicroController Pros Corporation's Embedded News Digest, your source for microcontroller and embedded system news.


ARM: JTAG debugger/programmer  and Prototype Board for Philips LPC21 ARM based micros

Atmel AVR: JTAG in-circuit debugger/programmer ; STK500 compatible ISP programmer ; ATMega128 Development Board  with RS232, 16x2 LCD, Relay & Buzzer
MPLAB ICD2 compatible In-Circuit Debugger & Programmer; 28 pin PIC Development Board  with RS232, 16x1 LCD, Relay & Buzzer

Fujitsu: In-System Debugger and Starter Kits for FR and 16LX Series

TI: MSP430 JTAG In-Circuit debugger/programmer; MPS430F449 Development Board with large LCD and RS232

Universal Programmers: 5 new universal chip programmers for various microcontroller architectures, EEPROMs, EPROMs, Flash and PLDs, starting at $249

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This month's issue:

Atmel Introduces 1.4GHz PowerPC in MIL Temp Range

Atmel 500 Million Units of AVR Microcontroller Shipped

Free 8-bit Embedded Resource Catalog from Extension Media

Intel: New XScale Family for Mobile Devices

Microchip: New PIC Device Programmer

Microchip's Annual Summer Technical Exchange Review in July

Motorola Semiconductor becomes Freescale Semiconductor

NEC: New 8-bit Flash Microcontroller Family

Renesas: New SuperH 32-bit Core with 3x Performance Increase

Silicon Laboratories (Cygnal): 8051 micro with 24-bit A/D

STMicroelectronics Launches 32-bit ARM Based Microcontrollers

Texas Instruments: New DSPs and Performance Value Vectors

TI: New MSP430 with Three OpAmps, 12-bit A/D and LCD controller

Toshiba: New 8-bit Flash Micro with Dual UART, Dual SPI and I2C

Toshiba: New MIPS based 32-bit Microcontroller Family

ZiLog: IrDA Software Development Kit for eZ80Acclaim Micros

Atmel Introduces 1.4GHz PowerPC in MIL Temp Range

Atmel announced the availability of the PC7447A microprocessor, the extended-reliability version of the MPC7447A from Freescale Semiconductor, a wholly owned subsidiary of Motorola Inc.  Manufactured on Freescale Semiconductor's 130 nm silicon-on-insulator CMOS process technology, the PC7447A microprocessor can operate at up to 1420 MHz in a military  temperature range of -55 degree Celsius to +125 degree Celsius. A low-power version of the PC7447A is also available at 1167 MHz with a power dissipation of 9.2 watts and less than 6 watts when the processor runs at 600 MHz.

The PC7447A features a 512-Kbyte on-chip secondary level (L2) cache memory, full symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) support, a 64-bit bus interface and AltiVec(TM) vector processing technology. The PC7447A microprocessor is available for both industrial and military temperature ranges in a 360-ball Hi-TCE Ceramic Ball Grid Array package.

The PC7447A microprocessor is now available for sampling, and full production is scheduled for September 2004.

Atmel 500 Million Units of AVR Microcontroller Shipped

Atmel announced that it has shipped its 500 Millionth AVR Flash Microcontroller. Atmel introduced the AVR 8-bit Microcontroller Architecture in 1997. According to Atmel, over the past six years, the AVR has become the industry's largest selling 8-bit Flash Microcontroller with a market share of now over 30 percent.

Please note the creative marketing at work: it's not the largest selling 8-bit microcontroller, but the largest selling 8-bit Flash Microcontroller. Atmel does not have a 30% market share of the 8-bit microcontroller market, but of the 8-bit Flash microcontroller market.

Just for comparison: Microchip announced the shipment of the 3 billionth PIC microcontroller (since 1989) on Feb 26th 2004, of which 2 billion where shipped between 1999 and 2004, but that number includes also a large percentage of OTP (non-Flash) microcontrollers.

Free 8-bit Embedded Resource Catalog from Extension Media

Extension Media offers free copies of its 8-bit Embedded Resource Catalog to US and Canadian customers. International customers can receive copies via a paid subscription. Goto: http://www.extensionmedia.com/win/ to register.

Intel: New XScale Family for Mobile Devices

Intel announced a new family of processors based on Intel XScale® technology that can handle multiple forms of wireless broadband access with enough computing power to provide cell phones with full motion video conferencing capabilities and PDAs with DVD-quality video playback.

The new PXA27x family of processors, adds a number of new technologies to address the needs of cell phone and PDA users. It is the first product to integrate the Intel Wireless MMX™ technology, providing additional performance for 3-D games and advanced video while improving battery-life. The new chip also utilizes Wireless Intel SpeedStep® technology, enabling significant power savings by intelligently managing voltage and frequency changes similar to the technology used in the company's notebook processors.

Intel has integrated  security features to provide services such as trusted boot, secure storage of private information and cryptographic keys, and support for common security protocols. The incorporated Intel Quick Capture technology supports cameras with up to 4 megapixels resolution.

The  PXA27x processor family will be offered with clock speeds running from 312 up to 624 MHz, and with as much as 64 megabytes of Flash memory.

The Intel 2700G multimedia accelerator, designed to complement the Intel PXA27x, delivers DVD-quality video playback on VGA displays and supports a wide range of video formats such as MPEG-2, MPEG-4 and Windows Media Video9.

The Intel PXA27x processor family is available today in sample quantities, with volume production this quarter. The Intel PXA270 processor at 312 MHz has a suggested list price of $32 (USD) in 10,000 unit quantities. The Intel 2700G Multimedia Accelerator has a suggested list price of $17 (USD) in 10,000 unit quantities.

Microchip: New PIC Device Programmer

Microchip announced the MPLAB® PM3 Device Programmer, which supports all of Microchip's PIC microcontrollers and dsPIC® digital signal controllers. 

The programmer can be used with personal computers via a USB or serial interface, in safe mode for secure data, or as a stand-alone unit. It includes a 128x64-pixel LCD screen to display  menus, programming statistics and status information. In addition, the MPLAB PM3 offers a Secure Digital/Multimedia Card (SD/MMC) slot for easy and secure data storage and transfer when programming Microchip devices.

MPLAB PM3 can fully program a PIC18F8720 8-bit Flash MCU, which has 128 Kbytes of program memory, in about 20 seconds. The programmer also features 2 MB of internal memory in stand-alone mode.

The MPLAB PM3 Universal Device Programmer comes complete with power supply, and serial and USB cables, and is available now for $895.

For a programmer with very similar features, which for an additional $100 supports about 13000 more devices (including Microchip's serial EEPROM devices, other microcontollers, standalone FLASH and PLDs), check out the  SuperPro3000U Universal Programmer.

Microchip's Annual Summer Technical Exchange Review in July

Microchip is accepting registrations for its eighth annual Microchip's Annual Summer Technical Exchange Review (MASTERs) conference at the Westin Kierland Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona , July 21 – 24.

65 classes are being offered – 41 of which are new. The new classes are expected to give attendees an opportunity to learn about Microchip's latest product offerings and upcoming roadmaps. In addition to lecture-based classes, there are 30 hands-on workshops that enable attendees to practice what they have learned. Since the course materials are geared to varying skill levels, a rating system has been added to the registration form. Classes are rated from “1” to “4.” A designation of “1” requires only basic understanding of the topic, whereas a “4” is appropriate for engineers with more experience and/or knowledge in the concepts and basics of the technology being discussed in that class.

Entry to the MASTERs conference courses, a CD-ROM with all class material, and three-night accommodations with meal and evening entertainment are included in the Conference cost of $995 USD. All potential attendees must register by June 23. More information regarding the MASTERs Conference can be found online at: www.microchip.com/masters

Motorola Semiconductor becomes Freescale Semiconductor

Just in case you missed it (as we refer to Freescale for the first time in this newsletter): Motorola Semiconductor is no more, since February 13th 2004 the former semiconductor division is called Freescale Semiconductor,  a wholly owned subsidiary of Motorola Inc. Motorola plans to "separate" from Freescale "later this year".

NEC: New 8-bit Flash Microcontroller Family

NEC has also arrived in the modern FLASH age with its latest Kx1+ series. Contrary to prior NEC FLASH micros the new Kx1+ series uses the SST SuperFlash technology that allows single voltage operation, in-system program updates and usage of the FLASH program memory for non-volatile user data storage.

See our article: The evolution of FLASH microcontrollers: FLASH Is Not Equal FLASH, for more information on this topic.

The 78K0/Kx1+ Series shares the same peripheral set as the older 78K0/Kx1 Family and increases clock speed by 60% to 16MHz.

Renesas: New SuperH 32-bit Core with 3x Performance Increase

Renesas announced the development of a 32-bit RISC CPU core, called the SH-2A. The SH-2A is the successor of the SuperH™ RISC microprocessor SH-2  core, and offers a major increase in performance together with improved program code efficiency.

The current SH-2 has a processing performance of 104 MIPS at the maximum operating frequency of 80 MHz, while the SH-2A achieves processing performance of 360 MIPS at 200 MHz - an approximately 3.5-fold improvement. Processing performance per 1 MHz unit frequency has been improved approximately 1.4-fold, from 1.3 MIPS to 1.8 MIPS, through the use of a superscalar architecture. In other words, an approximately 40% improvement in performance is achieved at the same operating frequency, and a lower operating frequency is required to achieve the same performance, enabling system power consumption to be reduced.

The instruction set of the SH-2A is upward-compatible with that of the SH-2. New 32-bit instructions and addressing modes have been added to the previous 16-bit instructions, and a total of 112 instructions are now supported, including 21 FPU (floating-point processing unit) related instructions.

Silicon Laboratories (Cygnal): 8051 micro with 24-bit A/D

Silicon Laboratories announced the C8051F350, which integrates an eight-channel, 24-bit analog-to-digital converter (ADC) with a high-speed (50MIPS) 8051-compatible CPU.

The ADC has programmable conversion rates up to 1,000 conversions per second. Other features include: Dual 8-bit digital-to-analog converters (DACs), an on-board temperature sensor and 17 flexible digital I/O pins that are 5 V compatible. On-board serial communication peripherals include UART, SPI and SMBus serial ports. The device also incorporates a precision internal oscillator eliminating the need for an external crystal or resonator.

Silicon Laboratories offers the C8051F350 packaged in a 32-pin LQFP or a 28-pin MLP (5x5 millimeter). Pricing begins at $4.38 in quantities of 10,000.

STMicroelectronics Launches 32-bit ARM Based Microcontrollers

Welcome to the club - STM announced its launch of a range of 16-bit/32-bit microcontrollers based on the ARM7™ Thumb® core family from ARM.

STMicroelectronics is introducing two new ARM core -based product families: The STR710 series is based on the ARM7TDMI® core and includes embedded flash and low pin-count packages. The STR720 series is based on the ARM720T™ core with cache, MMU, and an SDRAM interface.

The STR71xF series features:  ARM7TDMI core with 32-bit and Thumb16-bit instruction sets, 3-stage pipeline, 32-bit ALU, and extensive debug facilities; 16k to 64kbytes SRAM;
128kbytes to 256kbytes of Flash memory with fast random access time: Up to 48MHz and 0 wait states with acceleration. Up to 30MHz and 0 wait states without acceleration, and with no penalty on context switch and branching; Up to 10 communication interfaces including I2C, SPI, UART, CAN, and USB, HDLC, MMC, and Smart Card interface; 4 Timers, Real Time Clock, and Watchdog Timer; 4 low-power modes; Embedded regulator allowing a single 3.3V power supply; 12-bit ADC; Up to 48 I/Os; JTAG Debug Interface; Industrial temperature range of -40°C to +85°C; TQFP64 package or a TQFP144 package with external memory support.

The STR72x series features:66MHz ARM720T core with cache, 32-bit ALU, and Memory Management Unit (MMU); 16kbytes high-speed internal SRAM; SDRAM interface and External Memory Interface (EMI); 6 communication interfaces including SPI, UART, CAN, and USB; 4 low-power modes; 14-bit ADC; Up to 35 I/Os; JTAG Debug Interface and ETM trace; Industrial temperature range of -40°C to +85°C; PQFP208 package or larger BGA package with ETM support.

 STM is sampling the two product families now. Volume production is planned for the fourth quarter of 2004. The  STR710Z2 Flash micro with 256kbyte Flash/64kbyte SRAM in TQFP144 in 10,000 units is offered for $7.80.The STR720RB processor in PQFP208 package in 10,000 units is offered for $7.70.

Texas Instruments: New DSPs and Performance Value Vectors

What is your micro's Performance Value Vector? TI is starting to express the price/performance ratio of its DSPs in MMACs/$ ( Million Multiply – Accumulates per dollar).

The new C6410 DSP, priced at $17.95, offers a  price/performance ratio of 89 MMACs/$, while the new C6413, priced at $28.95, offers 69 MMACS/$ at a clock rate of 500 MHz. With that the TMS320C6410 DSP provides a more than 6X performance per dollar improvement over high-end C64x devices developed in 2002.

The TMS320C6410 runs at 400 MHz and has 160 Kbytes total memory, the 500 MHz TMS320C6413 has 288 Kbytes total memory. Both are packaged in a 23 mm x 23 mm flip-chip BGA package (288 pins, 4 rows, 1.0 mm BGA pitch). Samples are available now with full production slated for September 2004.

TI: New MSP430 with Three OpAmps, 12-bit A/D and LCD controller

The new MSP430FG43x family offers up to nine timer channels, a 200ksps high performance 12-bit analog to digital converter, dual 12-bit digital to analog converters, three configurable precision operational amplifiers, one universal synchronous/asynchronous communication interface (USART), 48 I/O pins and a 128-segment liquid crystal display driver.

Memory configurations of up to 60KB of Flash and 2KB of RAM.  A zero-power brown-out reset function, supply voltage supervisor and fail-safe clock system are provided to ensure the robustness of an application. An integrated direct memory access (DMA) controller increases the signal processing capabilities of the MSP430FG43x family by an order of magnitude when compared to competitive MCUs.

The expanded DMA, with triggers from all peripherals, accelerates mixed-signal processing by providing data transfer without CPU interaction. DMA transfer triggers can be completely transparent to the CPU, allowing precise transfer control timing between memory and internal and external peripherals without CPU intervention.

The MSP430FG43x family is available now from TI and its authorized distributors in an 80-pin QFP package, priced as follows: MSP430FG437 (32k Flash, 1k RAM): $6.50, MSP430FG438 (48k Flash, 2k RAM): $7.35, MSP430FG439 (60k Flash, 2k RAM):$7.95

Toshiba: New 8-bit Flash Micro with Dual UART, Dual SPI and I2C

The new 64-pin TMP86FS49 incorporates the TLCS-870/C 8-bit CPU core in combination with 60 kilobytes (KB) of embedded flash memory, a 16 channel 10-bit analog-to-digital (A/D) converter, two channels of UART, two channels of synchronous serial I/O, one channel of I2C bus an numerous timers. Available packages are 64-pn QFP, 64-pin LQFP and 64-pin SDIP.

The current sample price is $6.78 per piece in 1,000-piece quantities. Sample shipments are scheduled to begin in August 2004 with volume production planned to start in October 2004.

Toshiba: New MIPS based 32-bit Microcontroller Family

Based on the MIPS® R3000A architecture of MIPS Technologies, Inc., the new TX19A70 family features a newly developed 32-bit RISC TX19A core and includes both the 32-bit MIPS32® instruction-set architecture (ISA) for speed and the MIPS16e™ Application-Specific Extensions (ASE), an instruction set with high-code-efficiency which contains instructions added by Toshiba. Most instructions can be executed in a single cycle of 17.8 nanoseconds. Each execution unit (32-bit ALU, 32-bit MAC, 32-bit Shift) can execute an instruction in a single cycle.

The family has been optimized for motor control applications, featuring a built-in 2-channel, 3-phase PWM output with a dead timer for motor control. A 16-bit up/down counter can generate a PWM carrier frequency with a minimum resolution of 35.7ns. An EMG signal input makes emergency output shutdown possible. A 1-channel encoder counter that enables easy detection of the motor position

The family also integrates two 10-bit sequential conversion type A/D converters with a conversion time of 2.36 microseconds. The A/D converters can synchronize with the PWM or a timer and can start A/D conversion at any location in the PWM output. Other features include 2 UARTs and 1 synchronous serial/Uart (switchable) channel. By multiplying the frequency of an external 7MHz oscillator by a factor of 8 (=56 MHz), 1-cycle instructions can be executed in 17.8ns

Samples of the 256Kbyte Flash/10Kbytes RAM memory versions, TMP19A70FYFG and TMP19A70FYUG, are scheduled to be available in June 2004; sample pricing is planned to be $18.15 each in 100-piece quantities. ROM code acceptance for the mask ROM versions, TMP19A70CYFG and TMP19A70CYUG, is scheduled to start in July 2004

ZiLog: IrDA Software Development Kit for eZ80Acclaim Micros

announced the availability of ZirDA, an IrDA software development kit & protocol stack for  its eZ80Acclaim!(TM) microcontrollers. 

ZirDA implements all mandatory IrDA protocols, such as IAS, TinyTP, IrLMP, IrLAP and Framer. Additional applications protocols, including IrCOMM (for emulating a serial port) and IrOBEX (for exchanging data objects between two IrDA devices) are included. The protocol layers are independent of each other, offering the flexibility to select only the layers that are required. Communication between the layers is enabled by ZABS, ZiLOG's propriety abstraction interface technology, which makes the ZirDA stack easily portable to any other OS kernel. ZABS provides services such as state machine, memory management, message management, and entity management.

 ZirDA is supplied as a standard release package with C object library module that includes the necessary source files and application examples. A package with full source code is also available.

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Microcontroller Development Tools featured at the MicroControllerShop include: Emulators, EPROM programmers, FLASH programmers, microcontroller C- compilers, assemblers, emulator accessories, pin adapters, pin converters, microcontroller starter kits and embedded evaluation boards for various microcontroller architectures and manufacturers.

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