June/July 2005 Embedded News Digest

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Dear Reader,
welcome to the July/June 2005 edition of MicroController Pros Corporation's Embedded News Digest, your source for microcontroller and embedded system news.

  • New product additions at the MicroControllerShop:

    ARM: New development board for the Philips LPC2000 family. Exchangeable daughterboard's allow you to work with LPC2129, LPC2132 or LPC2292. ARM-JTAG debugger and software included.

    Chip-Programmers: uCPros is now also official distributor for Needhams chip programmers, increasing the number of universal programmers to chose from to 13 different models for every need and budget.

    Microchip: New PIC Training & Development Board with USB interface. The ideal companion board for our PIC CD-ROM based self-study programming courses in C, Assembler and flowchart programming.

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This month's issue:

ARM Demonstrates First ARM11 MPCore Processor
Microchip Offers Smaller Package Options for Popular PIC Microcontrollers
Microchip Adds Analog Peripherals to Baseline PIC Microcontroller Architecture

Microchip Announces PIC Microcontroller for PKE and Other Wireless Authentication Applications
Microchip Expands Small PIC Microcontroller Line with 20-Pin Family and More Capabilities
Microchip Doubles Performance of World's Smallest Microcontroller
Micronas Expands 32-Bit Microcontroller Line for Automotive Applications
Renesas Announces Two New H8SX 32-bit CISC Flash Microcontrollers
Sensory Debuts Ultra-Compact Voice Recognition Module
Silicon Laboratories Introduces Embedded Modem Development Kit
STMicroelectronics Unveils First in Family of Configurable System-on-Chip ICs

ARM Demonstrates First ARM11 MPCore Processor

ARM recently demonstrated the first test chip of its ARM11 MPCore synthesizable processor, which produced performance equivalent to a 1.2 GHz ARM11 family processor with power consumption of approximately 600 mW while delivering 1440 DMIPS of aggregate performance.

The test chip, which comprises four processors running with cache coherence, was constructed using a generic 130 nm technology with no process optimizations for performance or power, and achieved this high performance and scalability with existing applications developed for non-multiprocessing system technology. It features a full Linux SMP OS port and applications, and shows an automatic balancing of application loads among processors with overall reduction of consumed energy.

ARM11 MPCore processors will implement the standard ARM11 microarchitecture, and have the ability to be configured to contain between one and four processors delivering up to an aggregate 2600 Dhrystone MIPS of performance. They will provide enhanced memory throughput of 1.3Gbytes/sec from a single CPU, making them a solution that delivers greater performance at lower frequencies than comparable single-processor designs, while maintaining full compatibility with existing EDA tools and flows.

The ARM11 MPCore test chip demonstration platform is available now to ARM Partners for evaluation and solution development.

Microchip Offers Smaller Package Options for Popular PIC Microcontrollers

Microchip Technology has announced that new 4x4 mm QFN package options will be available soon for the most popular 8-, 14- and 20-pin Mid-Range (x14 Architecture) PIC microcontrollers. These QFN packages are 50 to 70 percent smaller than SOIC or SSOP packages, allowing engineers the ability to squeeze their applications into considerably smaller spaces.

Initially, a total of 14 PIC microcontrollers will be offered in the new 8-, 14- and 20-pin 4x4 mm QFN package options. The exact part list has not yet been announced.

Microchip Adds Analog Peripherals to Baseline PIC Microcontroller Architecture

Microchip Technology announced the first two Baseline 8-bit Flash PIC microcontrollers with up to two comparators and an 8-bit analog-to-digital converter (ADC) in 8- and 14-pin packages.

Through the integration of analog functionality, combined with a faster internal oscillator (8 MHz), the PIC12F510 (8-pin) and PIC16F506 (14-pin) provide a cost-effective option for many design engineers to replace discrete components with digital intelligence and reprogrammability.

Other significant features of the PIC12F510 and PIC16F506 include 1024 instructions of Flash program memory, 38 to 67 bytes of data RAM, 8-bit timer, Watchdog timer, and In-Circuit Serial Programming support.

Both devices are available today for sampling, with volume production planned for late 2005. The PIC12F510 will come in 8-pin PDIP, MSOP and SOIC packages at $0.81 each in 10,000-unit quantities. The PIC16F506 will come in 14-pin PDIP, SOIC and TSSOP packages at $0.90 each in 10,000-unit quantities.

Microchip Announces PIC Microcontroller for PKE and Other Wireless Authentication Applications

Microchip has announced the PIC16F639 Flash, 8-bit PIC microcontroller with a 3-channel, transponder analog front end and an integrated KEELOQ cryptographic peripheral. The combination of this new transponder analog front end, KEELOQ peripheral and low power consumption provides a total solution for passive-keyless-entry (PKE) and other wireless authentication applications.

The three-channel transponder analog front end provides bi-directional LF communication, commonly used in PKE and RFID applications. KEELOQ technology is based on a proprietary, non-linear encryption algorithm that creates a unique transmission on every use, rendering code capture and resend schemes useless.

Additional key features of the PIC16F639 microcontroller include a precision 8 MHz internal oscillator with software clock switching, up to 3.5 Kbytes of Flash program memory, 128 bytes of RAM, 256 bytes of EEPROM, two analog comparators, one 8-bit timer, one 16-bit timer, and an Enhanced Watchdog Timer.

The LF analog front end features include three channels for omni-directional 125 kHz wireless communication, 3 mV input sensitivity, programmable antenna tuning, and batteryless operation.

The PIC16F639 is available today for sampling in a 20-pin SSOP package, and volume production is expected later this year. In 10,000-unit quantities, the PIC16F639 is $2.18 each.

Microchip Expands Small PIC Microcontroller Line with 20-Pin Family and More Capabilities

Microchip's new PIC16F685, PIC16F687, PIC16F689 and PIC16F690 20-pin microcontrollers offer a cost-effective and code-compatible migration path from existing 8- and 14-pin package options, while including a richer set of peripherals.

These enhancements include a new comparator module with more internal and external connections, and an analog-to-digital converter (ADC) with up to 12 channels. Additionally, the onboard I2C synchronous serial port has address masking to support multiple addresses. The enhanced capture/compare/PWM module incorporates PWM steering, allowing output to multiple pins under software control -– a feature that provides greater layout flexibility for motor control and power supply applications. Another significant feature is the software-enabled Brownout Reset, which enables designers to significantly reduce standby current consumption in sleep.

Additional key features include the capability to support the PMBus protocol, an 8 MHz software-selectable internal oscillator, a LIN-capable EUSART, two comparators with set-reset latch mode, and a 12-channel, 10-bit ADC.

All four PIC microcontrollers are available now for sampling and volume production in 20-pin PDIP, SOIC, SSOP and QFN packages. Prices start at $1.78 each in 10,000-unit quantities.

Microchip Doubles Performance of World's Smallest Microcontroller

Microchip announced two new members of the world's smallest microcontroller family -- the PIC10F220 and PIC10F222 -- combining the new option of an on-board 8-bit ADC with an 8-bit Flash PIC microcontroller in a 6-pin SOT-23 package.

PIC10F series microcontrollers are about the size of a surface-mount transistor, executing 2 million instructions per second. Standard features of the PIC10F microcontroller family include a precision internal oscillator operating at up to 8 MHz with 33 instructions and two stack levels, 1.125 ms DRT, 256 to 512 instructions of Flash program memory, 16 to 23 bytes of data RAM, one 8-bit timer and one watchdog timer, and In-Circuit Serial Programming capability.

The PIC10F220 and PIC10F222 are offered in 6-pin SOT-23 packages. Limited sampling is available today, and volume production for both microcontrollers is expected by Q4 2005. In 10,000-unit quantities, the PIC10F220 is $0.65 each and the PIC10F222 is $0.74 each.

Micronas Expands 32-Bit MCU Line for Automotive Applications

Micronas has expanded its CDC 32xxG family of controllers with the CDC 3217G and CDC 3257G MCUs. Both chips feature the Device Lock Module, which prevents unauthorized Flash access. Like all members of the family, the new chips integrate the 32-bit ARM7TDMI RISC processor core.

The CDC 3217G expands the high end of the family, with 1 MB of Flash and 32 KB of RAM on chip, plus four CAN Bus controllers. The CDC 3257G extends 32-bit power to lower-cost applications, with 256 KB of Flash, 12 KB of RAM, and two CAN Bus controllers. Both chips include a wide range of other peripherals, including multifunction ports, a special function ROM and a sound generator. Additionally, there are two UARTs, two SPI, two I2C and up to 102 pins of general purpose I/O.

The CAN Bus controllers in each MCU support all 32 message objects with 512 bytes of dedicated RAM each, and are compliant to the Bosch V2.0B specifications. In an automotive application, the existence of four CAN Bus controllers on chip enables the dashboard controller to work as a gateway controller. Gateways typically process data to and from the engine controller, the radio/multimedia unit and the ABS module. Both devices feature a dedicated module to display information on an LCD panel up to 192 segments (48 x 4) without any additional hardware. The chips operate from a single 5V power supply and can work down to 3.5V, fulfilling the special requirements of automotive manufacturers. They are specified for a temperature range between -40° and +105° C.

The entire Micronas family of automotive microcontrollers features LEAP technology - the Low Emissions Automotive Processor. This technology reduces EMI, resulting in substantial cost savings in the finished design.

Both devices are offered in a 128-pin PQFP and are sampling now. The CDC 3257G is ramping to production now; the CDC 3217G will ramp up later this year.

Renesas Announces Two New H8SX 32-bit CISC Flash Microcontrollers

Renesas Technology Corp. has announced the H8SX/1544F and H8SX/1543F 32-bit CISC microcontrollers with a 40 MHz maximum operating frequency, embedded with a CAN controller and 512 or 384 Kbytes Flash memory.

The Flash memory in these new microcontrollers features single-cycle access, and they achieve a processing performance of 40 MIPS. Their CPU core instruction set is upward-compatible with the current H8S family of 16-bit microcontrollers, allowing existing programs to be run with an approximate 20 percent increase in ROM code efficiency.

The H8SX/1544F and H8SX/1543F include peripheral functions suited for automotive control systems. The enhanced 2-channel CAN 2.0B compliant controller has functional improvements such as filtering functions. Other peripheral functions include a Serial Communication Interface, Synchronous Serial Communication Unit (SSU), a 16-bit general-purpose timer, an external bus extension function allowing high-speed access to an external device, a stepping motor timer and driver capable of driving up to six stepping motors, a 4-channel sound generator module, a 4-channel DMA controller, 2-channel I2C bus interface, six 16-bit general-purpose timer channels, and twelve 16-bit PWM timer channels.

As well as the reduced amount of Flash memory, the H8SX/1543F has 16 Kbytes of RAM compared to 24 Kbytes on the H8SX/1544F.

Sample shipments of the 144-pin LQFP H8SX/1544F have begun in Japan, priced at „1700.

Sensory Debuts Ultra-Compact Voice Recognition Module

Sensory has released the VR Stamp module, providing easy integration of voice recognition into consumer, industrial, automotive and medical electronics. The VR Stamp module includes a fully functional system based on Sensory's new RSC-4128 mixed signal processor, a powerful 8-bit microcontroller inside a voice recognition system on chip (including 16-bit ADC, DAC, digital filtering, RAM, ROM, output amplification, timers, comparators and more). In addition, flash memory, serial EEPROM, main clock and real-time clock crystals, along with power noise management components, are all packed into a standard 40-pin DIP footprint.

The VR Stamp can act as a speech recognition slave, or be the primary host controller of the end product along with providing the speech recognition features. Sensory's FluentChip software is included and provides high-accuracy speech recognition, speaker verification, speech compression and output, music synthesis, as well as diagnostic and utility programs. The VR Stamp modules sell for under $30 in volume, and can handle multi-level menus of speech recognition command sets and speech synthesis prompts.

Silicon Laboratories Introduces Embedded Modem Development Kit

Silicon Laboratories has announced the availability of an Embedded Modem Development Kit that simplifies the development of embedded modem applications. The development kit provides all of the hardware and software to create an application with embedded modem connectivity. It is based on the C8051F120 8-bit, 100 MIPS microcontroller, and the Si2457 ISOmodem two-chip 56 Kbps globally programmable embedded modem.

The C8051F120 includes a 12-bit analog-to-digital converter, two 12-bit digital-to-analog converters, 128 kB Flash, an internal voltage reference and programmable throughput up to 100 ksps. The Si2457 ISOmodem product is complete with a UART interface, integrated ROM, RAM, digital signal processor and AT command support. The integration and mixed-signal performance offered by the C8051F120 and ISOmodem together make the Embedded Modem Development Kit ideal for designs such as remote management and monitoring applications, vending service calls, dynamic inventory management, security systems and redundant connectivity data paths.

Equipped with Silicon Laboratories' TCP/IP Configuration Wizard, the Embedded Modem Development Kit simplifies importing the stack object code by generating the supporting directory structure and framework code as well as a custom library that describes the selected protocol configuration. The kit uses the CMX Micronet protocol stack, and includes Silicon Laboratories' own IDE, allowing the designer to expedite embedded modem designs by illustrating each of the steps to create an application.

The Embedded Modem Development Kit includes a C8051F120-TB, an AB3 Modem Adapter board and an Si2457FT18-EVB modem board. It is available now from Silicon Laboratories for $199.

STMicroelectronics Unveils First in Family of Configurable System-on-Chip ICs

STMicroelectronics has completed successful fabrication of the first of a family of configurable System-on-Chip ICs that addresses a variety of applications, including digital engines for printers, scanners and other embedded control applications.

Based upon ST's Structured Processor Enhanced Architecture (SPEAr), the device integrates an ARM core with a full set of Intellectual Property blocks and a configurable logic block that allows very fast customization of critical functions in a fraction of the time and at a fraction of the cost required by a full custom design approach, but with a comparable level of flexibility and performance.

The family is based on industry-standard ARM cores that maximize the reuse of existing hardware and software blocks. The architecture includes a number of proven IPs for connectivity, memory interfaces, and a high-performance internal bus system. A customizable embedded-logic block allows quick development of optimized solutions for specific markets by allowing customers to add their own proprietary IP to an Application-Specific Standard Product without embarking on a full ASIC design.

The new device includes: an ARM946ES running at 192 MHz with 8-kbyte of data cache, instruction cache, data-TCM and instruction-TCM, respectively; three USB2.0 ports (including both host and device ports); an Ethernet 10/100 MAC; a 16-channel 8-bit A/D converter; an I2C interface; three UARTs; memory interfaces; and 400-kgate equivalent programmable logic.

Samples of this first member of the family are already available, with pricing in the range of $13 in volume quantities. Full evaluation boards will be shipping in September. A special dual-mode development environment has been implemented to allow ST customers to develop their solution with an external FPGA, and then verify the solution and map it into the configurable logic inside the chip, both quickly and easily. Additionally, to provide more flexibility in the development, ST will also provide a simplified version with the programmable logic completely removed for any device in the family.

About MicroController Pros Corporation

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