November 2005 Embedded News Digest

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

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This month's issue:

Atmel Announces AT91SAM9261 Smart ARM Microcontroller
Freescale Introduces MCF532x and MCF537x ColdFire MCU Families
Hi-Tech Software Introduces New PICC Compiler
Keil Introduces New Versions of 8051 Development Tools
Microchip Announces 1 Mbit I2C Serial EEPROM Family
Renesas Announces SH7211 SuperH Microcontroller
Renesas Announces 36 New R8C/Tiny Microcontrollers
ZiLOG Announces ZLP12840 Family of Crimzon IR MCUs

Atmel Announces AT91SAM9261 Smart ARM Microcontroller

Atmel Corporation has announced the AT91SAM9261 Smart ARM Microcontroller, a new ultra-low-power, deterministic MCU based on the ARM926EJ-S processor.

Targeted at low-power, high-throughput wireless handheld applications, the AT91SAM9261 consumes only 2.5 ”A in standby mode. Operating at 500 Hz it draws 400 ”A. In industrial temperature range, its current consumption at 200 MIPS with all peripherals turned on is just 65 mA. The AT91SAM9261's throughput and its extended instruction set with DSP extensions allow complex DSP functions, such as biometrics, voice recognition, software modems, or encryption/decryption algorithms like RSA, to be executed very quickly in burst mode, so the system can be shut down much of the time.

Data throughput is significantly increased by the parallelism provided by the multi-layer bus matrix. The bus matrix connects five Advanced High-Performance Bus (AHB) masters (processor instruction and data buses, Peripheral DMA Controller, and two dedicated DMAs for the USB Host and LCD Controller) to the on-chip peripherals and internal or external memories. Atmel has extended the peripheral DMA controller used on its ARM7-based MCUs to include 19 PDC channels on the AT91SAM9261. The PDC off-loads data transfer operations between the peripheral and memories from the CPU, dramatically increasing data rates and freeing the ARM9 CPU for compute-intensive tasks.

The AT91SAM9261 has 16 KBytes of data cache, 16 KBytes of instruction/write buffer cache, 160 KBytes of 200 MHz single-cycle access SRAM, and 2 KBytes of internal DPRAM dedicated to the USB Device. Atmel has exploited the ARM926EJ-S's Tightly Coupled Memory (TCM) architecture that allows traditional (non-cache) SRAM to be connected directly to the ARM processor with no latency. Separate, transparent, easy-to-use instruction and data caches support WinCE and Linux operating systems, while the TCM SRAM blocks are ideally suited for deterministic real-time operating systems. The on-chip 160 KBytes of SRAM can be partitioned in multiples of 16-KByte blocks as Instruction TCM, Data TCM, or a buffer for the on-chip peripherals. It gives the programmer maximum flexibility to optimize system performance and power consumption.

The AT91SAM9261's on-chip LCD controller supports black-and-white and up to 16 million colors, driving active TFT and passive STN LCD displays with a resolution of up to 2048 x 2048. The on-chip 160 KBytes of SRAM can be configured as a frame buffer, thereby eliminating the need for an external frame buffer and increasing the battery life.

Atmel has enhanced the ARM9 interrupt control scheme with an 8-level priority, individually maskable, vectored interrupt controller that can handle up to 32 internal or external interrupt sources.

AT91SAM9261 peripherals include periodic interval timer, watchdog timer, real-time timer, three 32-bit parallel I/O controllers, SD- and MMC-compliant interface, three synchronous serial controllers, three USARTS, one debug UART, two master/slave Serial Peripheral Interfaces (SPI), a three-channel 16-bit timer/counter, Two-Wire Interface (TWI) and IEEE 1149.1 JTAG Boundary SCAN on all digital pins.

The AT91SAM9261 is available now in a 217-ball LFBGA RoHS-compliant package and is priced at sub-$10 in high volume.

Freescale Introduces MCF532x and MCF537x ColdFire MCU Families

Freescale has introduced the MCF532x and MCF537x families. These are the first 32-bit ColdFire devices to feature an on-chip USB 2.0 host module and a USB 2.0 on-the-go module. Both families are based on the V3 ColdFire core, which delivers performance up to 211 MIPS at 240 MHz. In addition, the MCF532x features an on-chip SVGA LCD controller.

Both families include USB on-the-go, which allows two USB devices to communicate with each other without the need for a host interface. This allows the USB controller to perform a dual role that acts as either the USB host or device.

These devices feature an integrated CAN module and an integrated Fast Ethernet Controller. The MCF532x and MCF537x families also feature an on-chip hardware encryption accelerator that supports leading encryption algorithms and protocols for secure connectivity while maintaining system performance. Both device families feature four different low-power management modes that optimize power consumption without sacrificing system performance.

Samples of the MCF532x family are available today, and samples of the MCF537x family are expected to be available in January 2006. Production quantities for the MCF532x and MCF537x families are anticipated in the second quarter of 2006. Suggested resale pricing in 10,000-piece quantities starts at $10.00 (USD) for the MCF532x and $11.00 for the MCF537x devices.

Hi-Tech Software Introduces New PICC Compiler

Hi-Tech Software has released a new version of their PICC C compiler for Microchip PIC10/12/14/16/17 microcontrollers. The Hi-TIDE Integrated Development Environment is just one of several new features introduced starting with Version 9.50.

Other new features include an EEPROM qualifier, support for languages other than English, support for multiple installations, and numerous functionality improvements.

A version for Mac OS X is now available also.

Keil Introduces New Versions of 8051 Development Tools

Keil has announced availability of its new ”Vision3 development environment and C51 Version 8 optimizing compiler for classic and extended 8051 microcontroller (MCU) development. Together, these products provide developers with a feature-rich, integrated development environment optimized for a wide range of 8051 MCU variants.

The new ”Vision3 development environment integrates the latest C51 Version 8 compiler and features source code outlining, function navigator, template editing and incremental search. It also incorporates a configuration wizard, which speeds the generation of start-up code and configuration files. The built-in microcontroller simulator can model supported MCU devices, including the instruction set, on-chip peripherals and external signals used to stimulate it. Application behavior can be visualized using the ”Vision3 logic analyzer, showing the changing state of MCU pins and peripherals alongside program variables. This latest edition of ”Vision3 ships with support for several new 8051 MCU variants released in the past nine months including the Analog Devices ADuC83x and ADuC84x, and the Infineon XC866.

Keil's 8051 development tools are available from the MicroControllerShop in three packages:

Microchip Announces 1 Mbit I2C Serial EEPROM Family

Microchip has announced the 24XX1025 I2C serial EEPROM family of devices with 1 Mbit of memory –- the highest memory density available for I2C serial EEPROMs. They feature 1 MHz of bus speed and 200 years of data retention.

The 24XX1025 I2C serial EEPROM devices provide an easy upgrade path from lower-density I2C devices. The family's page size, pinout, and signal & command structure are a natural extension of, or identical to, Microchip's 512 Kbit serial EEPROMs already in production. The 24XX1025 EEPROMs feature page and byte write, write protection of the entire array, 1.8 V to 5.5 V operation, and cascading ability. In addition, they allow up to 1 million erase/write cycles.

The 24LC1025, 24FC1025, and 24AA1025 I2C serial EEPROMs are available in 8-pin PDIP and SOIC (207 mil) packages. Sampling and volume production for is available today.

Renesas Announces SH7211 SuperH Microcontroller

Renesas has announced the SH7211F single-chip microcontroller with on-chip Flash memory, featuring a high-performance SH-2A CPU core with excellent real-time control capability and an operating speed of 320 MIPS at 160 MHz, as an addition to the 32-bit RISC microcontroller SuperH Family. Sample shipments will begin in January 2006 in Japan.

In addition to high-speed operation with large-capacity on-chip Flash memory, the SH7211F features a comprehensive set of peripheral functions, such as 12-bit A/D converters and a multifunction timer unit.

The SH7211F incorporates 512 KBytes of Flash memory. Through the use of proprietary Renesas Flash memory technology and new circuit techniques for the Flash memory cache circuitry, the SH7211F achieves virtually the same memory performance when single-cycle access is performed at 160 MHz.

The SH-2A CPU core employs a superscalar architecture enabling simultaneous execution of two instructions, together with a Harvard architecture, improving performance by a factor of 1.5 or more compared with Renesas Technology's previous SH-2 CPU core at the same frequency. Real-time control performance has also been greatly improved, providing high-quality real-time processing. In addition, ROM code efficiency has been improved by approximately 25% compared with the SH-2, enabling an approximately 25% reduction in program size.

The SH7211F also includes a variety of peripheral functions suited to high-end industrial devices with an emphasis on real-time control capability, such as AC servos and inverters. Functions ideal for motor control use include an MTU2 and MTU2S with 3-phase PWM output capability for inverter device use, eight 12-bit A/D converter channels, and two 8-bit D/A converter channels. Communication functions include an I2C bus interface channel and a 4-channel serial communication interface with 16-stage FIFO. The external data bus can support Flash ROM, SRAM, SDRAM, burst ROM, multiplex I/O, etc., by means of bus state controller settings, enabling various kinds of memory to be connected directly without the use of external parts.

Fifteen register banks specifically for interrupt use are provided in the CPU, and the response cycle until interrupt handling has been reduced from 37 cycles with the SH-2 to 6 cycles with the SH-2A. With a higher operating frequency and shorter response cycle, the program initiation response time with respect to an interrupt signal in SH-2A 160 MHz operation has been cut to approximately 1/12 of the response time in SH-2 80 MHz operation.

The package used is a 144-pin LQFP (20 mm x 20 mm). Sample shipments will begin in January 2006 in Japan, priced at „2300.

Renesas Announces 36 New R8C/Tiny Microcontrollers

Renesas Technology has announced 36 new models to the R8C/Tiny Series of small, low-pin-count, high-performance 16-bit microcontrollers with on-chip Flash memory. The new models are classified into four groups: the 32-pin package R8C/26 and R8C/27 groups, and 20-pin package R8C/28 and R8C/29 groups.

The four new groups feature a 20 MHz maximum operating frequency, and provide a lineup of low-voltage-operation and wide-temperature-range models.

The addition of these four new groups to the product lineup will enable R8C/Tiny Series products to meet specific requirements in an even wider variety of applications such as battery-powered devices, in addition to consumer and industrial devices, automotive equipment, and so forth.

The lineup includes models featuring a reduction in minimum operating voltage to 2.2 V from the 2.7 V of previous R8C/Tiny Series products, and an extended operating voltage range of 2.2 V to 5.5 V. This allows use in applications such as battery-powered devices requiring low power consumption and a low operating voltage.

Despite the low pin count, a LIN automotive network compatible interface is provided using an 8-bit timer channel and a synchronous/UART serial interface channel. Wide-temperature-range models (-40 to 125 șC) are available to meet the requirements of automotive applications. In addition, a watchdog timer, EEPROM and sub-microcontroller that have previously been three separate components can be implemented with a single R8C/Tiny Series chip, making these products ideal for use as automotive body control and high-performance system sub-microcontrollers, monitoring microcontrollers, etc.

The same R8C CPU high-performance 16-bit CPU core is used as in existing R8C/Tiny Series models. This enables most previously developed R8C/Tiny Series software to be used.

All models include on-chip Flash memory offering single-power-supply high-speed programming, high reliability, and on-board programming capability. Flash memory for program storage is available in four capacities of 32, 24, 16, and 8 KBytes for the R8C/26 and R8C/27 groups, and two capacities of 16 and 8 KBytes for the R8C/28 and R8C/29 groups. R8C/27 and R8C/29 group models also include 2 KBytes of Flash memory (as two 1-KByte blocks) that can be used for both program and data storage.

The advanced 16-bit timer features a higher maximum operating speed than in previous R8C/Tiny Series products. A high-precision on-chip oscillator allows generation of a 40 MHz clock that enables high-speed 16-bit timer operation. This results in a doubling of timer counter resolution compared with current maximum 20 MHz timer operation, enabling product control precision to be improved and higher product performance to be achieved.

As with current models, a comprehensive range of on-chip peripheral functions is provided, including a high-precision on-chip oscillator and a voltage detection circuit.

The packages used are a 32-pin LQFP (7 mm x 7 mm) and a 20-pin LSSOP (6.5 mm x 4.4 mm). Sample shipments will begin from December 2005 sequentially in Japan, ranging in price from „180 to „410.

Shipping forms include factory-programmed Flash memory product shipment as well as blank Flash memory product shipment.

ZiLOG Announces ZLP12840 Family of Crimzon IR MCUs

ZiLOG Inc. has announced the release of the ZLP12840 family of 8-bit MCU devices, the latest addition to its Crimzon line of infrared-specific silicon. Unique to the ZLP12840 is its on-chip ability to learn codes from other infrared remote controls via a learning circuit.

The ZLP12840 is a one-time programmable device based on ZiLOG's proprietary Z8 core, and provides a stable base platform that allows rapid development, small-volume production and a migration path to mask ROM for high-volume production of remote controls. Available immediately in 20- and 28-pin SOIC, SSOP and PDIP packages, and with OTP memory choices ranging from 32 KBytes to 128 KBytes, the ZLP12840 devices are fully software-compatible with ZiLOG's existing portfolio of Crimzon ROM-based IR microcontrollers.

Typically to capture the small infrared signal from the photodiode of the remote so that the codes can be integrated, an external signal amplification circuit or comparator was used. What differentiates the ZLP12840 from competing solutions is that the code-learning functionality is integrated on chip. This built-in IR amplifier's well-tuned gain makes the user's programming task much easier with a much wider range (typically up to 8 inches) of capture distance between the original remote and the learning remote. In addition, ZLP12840's patented timers (T8/T16) support all infrared signals in the market and can capture a signal with a carrier frequency of up to 1 MHz and transmit an infrared signal with a carrier frequency of up to 4 MHz.

One important feature of the ZLP12840 is its Stop Mode Recovery source, which also can be used as an external interrupt source. This means that any change in any logic combination of the 12 input pins can be used to wake up the microcontroller from 'STOP' mode or generating an interrupt. Another key feature of the ZLP12840 is increased RAM size, now 1 KByte, which allows significant amounts of code sets to be programmed into the remote with less design time being spent on optimizing the supporting code. In addition, the large range of OTP memory offered allows for a larger universal remote control code database to be built in, allowing the OEM remote control to cover a larger percentage of the market for electrical items such as TVs, DVDs, VCRs, audio equipment, HVAC, lighting and other devices in the home compatible with remote control operation.

Pricing ranges from $US 2.66 to $US 3.54 based on 1,000-unit quantities for 32 KByte to 128 KByte OTP sizes.

About MicroController Pros Corporation

MicroController Pros Corporation (”CPros) 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.

The 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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