December 2004 Embedded News Digest

Embedded News Digest
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We wish you a successful and prosperous New Year!
Welcome to the December 2004 edition of MicroController Pros Corporation's Embedded News Digest, your source for microcontroller and embedded system news. Due to the holiday season we decided to sent this issue early January.

This month's issue:

Freescale Coldfire Flash Programming Software by Crossware

Microchip Technology: Four New 8-bit CAN Microcontrollers
Microchip Technology: Two New 16-bit CAN Digital Signal Controllers

MicroControllerShop: Embedded Tools from 31 different Embedded Tool Vendors
Micro Digital: USB Host Stack for Embedded Systems
Texas Instruments: Code Composer Essentials IDE for MSP430
ZiLOG: Low-Memory Versions of Z8 Encore! 8-bit Microcontrollers

ZigBee Alliance Finalizes Specification

Freescale Coldfire Flash Programming Software by Crossware

Crossware has released flash programming software that can be used to program Freescale ColdFire® boards using its FireFly USB BDM (background debug mode) interface. This can save developers considerable amounts of time as FireFly can program flash more than 8 times faster than via a parallel port interface. The flash software - available free of charge to users of Crossware's FireFly interface - will simultaneously control up to 127 USB ports each connected to a separate ColdFire board. A single click of the mouse will program the selected software file into any or all of the connected boards.

The Crossware software can automatically generate a configuration script - required so that the target board can be correctly set up for flash programming - by examining the program that is to be downloaded. This feature eliminates the need to for the script to be created manually.

Multiple program formats are supported including Motorola 'S' records, IEEE 695 and ELF. The software can be used with programs generated by any ColdFire tool chain as well as those generated with the Crossware ColdFire Development Suite.

The FireFly in-circuit debugger and programmer features a USB controller and requires no external crystal. The miniature debugger plugs directly into the target board minimizing signal delays and ensuring compatibility with the new generation of ColdFire chips running at up to 200 MHz.

The FireFly USB BDM interface is also driven by a new version of Crossware's source level debugging software, which integrates seamlessly with the rest of its ColdFire Development Suite.

The Firefly in-circuit debugger and programmer with Flash programming software, as well as Crossware's Codlefire Development Suite are available at the MicroControllerShop.

Microchip Technology Introduces Four New 8-bit CAN Microcontrollers

Microchip Technology Inc. has introduced four new 8-bit CAN Flash PIC® microcontrollers, including the smallest CAN microcontroller yet: a 28-pin, 6x6 mm QFN package.

Each chip in the series features an onboard ECAN module, which provides reliable CAN communication and enhanced support for the higher level protocols such as J1939, CANopen and DeviceNet™. In addition, the integrated nanoWatt Technology low-power modes and multiple oscillator sources enable strict control of power and speed.

The PIC18F2580 / PIC18F2480 feature 32 / 16 Kbytes of enhanced Flash memory, 1.5 / 0.7 Kbytes of RAM, 25 I/O pins, and are available in 28-pin SDIP, SOIC and QFN packages.

The PIC18F4580 and PIC18F4480 have the same memory configurations but feature 36 I/O pins and are available in 40-pin PDIP or 44-pin TQFP and QFN packages.

Each chip in the series operates at up to 40 MHz; features two analog comparators; has a 10-bit A/D with up to 11 channels; has two Capture/Compare/PWM modules (one Enhanced); has an EUSART for RS232, RS485 and LIN interfaces; operates between 2.0 and 5.5 volts in temperatures from -40 to +125 degrees C; and has enhanced in-circuit debugging (ICD) capabilities with up to three hardware breakpoints.

Volume production is planned for January. Pricing information has not been announced.

Microchip Technology Introduces Two New 16-bit dsPIC CAN Digital Signal Controllers

Microchip Technology Inc. has begun volume production of two 16-bit dsPIC Digital Signal Controllers, which integrate microcontroller functionality with DSP capabilities. The dsPIC30F4011 and dsPIC30F4012 operate at 5V and feature 48 Kbytes of self-programming Flash memory, CAN capability with extended temperature range, and performance of 20 or 30 MIPS. Other features include 2 Kbytes SRAM, 1 Kbyte EEPROM data memory, six output motor control PWMs, a 10-bit A/D converter with nine channels at 500K samples per second, and five 16-bit timers. Interface support includes SPI, I2C and two UARTs.

The dsPIC30F4011 is available in 40-pin PDIP and 44-pin QFN or TQFP packages at $7.46 each in quantities of 10,000. The dsPIC30F4012 is available in 28-pin SDIP or SOIC packages at $6.60 each in quantities ot 10,000.

MicroControllerShop: Embedded Tools from 31 different Embedded Tool Vendors

MicroController Pros Corporation announced that its MicroControllerShop added 3 new embedded tool vendors to its portfolio, bringing the total to 31 vendors that sell their products online via the MicroControllerShop.

Asix s.r.o of the Czech Republic specializes in emulators, development boards and programmers for the Microchip PIC microcontroller family. Its latest product, the Presto programmer, is an universal programmer that connects to a PC's USB port and supports programming of Microchip PIC;  Atmel AVR and 8051 microcontrollers; serial EEPROMs (SPI, Microwire and I2C); serial data FLASH; CPLD; and FPGA devices.

Axiom Manufacturing designs and manufactures a wide range of development boards and starter kits for Freescale' s embedded PowerPC, Coldfire, HCS12, HC11 and HCS08 microcontroller families.

Softbaugh Inc. is a leading manufacturer of In-circuit debuggers, programmers and development boards for Texas Instrument's MSP430 microcontroller family.

Micro Digital Introduces USB Host Stack for Embedded Systems

Micro Digital Inc. has introduced a low-cost USB host stack for use with ARM, ColdFire, PowerPC, x86, and other processors. The new stack is called smxUSB™.

smxUSB was designed from the ground up for embedded systems. It complies with the USB v1.1 Specification and with the OHCI 1.0a and UHCI 1.1 specifications. smxUSB supports all four USB data transfers and low- and full-speed operation. Class drivers are available for mass storage drives, mice, keyboards, printers, and hubs. Root hub and cascading hub support for up to 127 devices are also provided.

The USB stack is written in ANSI C, and can be ported to any hardware platform. It is optimized for SMX®, but can be ported to other RTOSs as well. smxUSB is modularized so that only what is needed is linked into the final application. Typical code footprint for CISC processors is less than 50KB, and RAM size is 16KB for the core, mass storage class driver, and OHCI driver. Other class drivers take even less RAM.

smxUSB has been integrated with smxFile and is offered as a USB Disk Driver option in object code form. Typical transfer rates via smxFile are 645 KB/sec read and 425 KB/sec write, assuming an OHCI controller and full-speed mode.

Available now at $10,000 for an smxUSB royalty-free, one-product license, with full source code. Includes all drivers except mass storage, which is $2000 extra. The smxFile USB Disk Driver is sold in object code form for $5000 for a royalty-free, one-product license.

TI Introduces Code Composer Essentials IDE for MSP430 MCUs

Based on the Eclipse open-source platform, CCEssentials allows designers and third parties to easily integrate updates and plug-ins to provide a highly customized and flexible IDE. The CCEssentials IDE features an intuitive interface, one-click debug option, and TI compiler and code generation technology that allows users to start programming almost immediately.

The Eclipse platform provides customizable tools and a plug-in based framework for designers and third parties that simplifies the creation and integration of software tools from various sources. Designers have the option of using a different host OS, debugger, or compiler based on their preference.

CCEssentials IDE for MSP430 microcontrollers will be available for free and includes an 8 Kbyte C complier and unlimited assembler. CCEssentials Pro IDE features unlimited C and assembly code space for $499. Both CCEssentials and CCEssentials Pro IDE will be available for download at or from authorized TI distributors beginning January 2005. Beta versions are available immediately at

ZiLOG Introduces Low-Memory Versions of Z8 Encore! 8-bit Microcontrollers

ZiLOG, Inc. has extended its Z8 Encore! Flash microcontroller family with the introduction of 1 Kbyte and 4 Kbyte devices. These new devices include ZiLOG's register-to-register based architecture, an on-chip internal oscillator, and up to 1KB RAM. In addition, they support an optional 8-channel 10-bit A/D converter, a new single-pin debugger and programming interface, and a full-duplex UART that provides serial communications and IrDA encoding and decoding capabilities. The 4K Series also has a 2.7 to 3.6 operating voltage (with 5 volt tolerant I/Os) in both a standard (0 to 70 degrees C) and extended (-40 to 105 degrees C) temperature range.

The 1 Kbyte device comes in a 20-pin SOIC package at $0.85 each in quantities of 10,000. The 4 Kbyte device comes in a 28-pin SOIC package at $1.00 each in quantities of 10,000. PDIP and SSOP packages are expected to be available also.

ZigBee Alliance Finalizes Specification

The ZigBee Alliance has ratified the first ZigBee™ specification making the development and deployment of wireless networks a reality  that are extremely power efficient and cost effective. Targeted applications are low data rate monitoring, control and sensing.  The delivery of the specification is the culmination of two years of worldwide development and interoperability testing by the more than 100 member companies within the ZigBee Alliance.

ZigBee technology is designed to address the unique needs of low cost, low-power, wireless sensor networks for remote monitoring, home control, and building automation network applications in the industrial and consumer markets. To learn more about ZigBee, visit the Alliance Web site at

About MicroController Pros Corporation

MicroController Pros Corporation (µCPros) is an authorized distributor for many microcontroller tool vendors, which enables us to offer you a large selection of Microcontroller Development Tools for almost any major microcontroller architecture.

Our MicroControllerShop ( puts convenient and secure online shopping, feature- and price-comparison on your computer's desktop. 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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