May 2006 Embedded News Digest

Embedded News Digest
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Welcome to the May 2006 edition of MicroController Pros Corporation's Embedded News Digest, your source for microcontroller and embedded system news.

  • New product additions at the MicroControllerShop:


    ARM C-Compiler, Simulator, JTAG Debugger Development Bundle


    MSP430F149 Header Board with JTAG

    Test & Measurement:

    16 and 32 channel logic analyzers, 200MHz sampling frequency, up to 1 Mbit/channel memory, code compression feature, I2C protocol analyzer

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This month's issue:

ARM Launches Next-Generation Cortex-R4 Processor
Atmel Introduces AVR 8-bit Flash MCUs for Automotive Applications
Crossware Adds Philips LPC210x Support to ARM Development Suite
Freescale Announces ZigBee Software Stack and Development Kit
Freescale Releases IEEE 802.15.4 Protocol Software for ColdFire MCUs
Freescale Introduces First RS08-Based 8-Bit Microcontroller
Freescale Introduces 32-Bit Flash-Based Microcontroller with FlexRay
Freescale Introduces Quad-Core MSC8144 StarCore DSP
Freescale Doubles Memory Size of S12XE 16-bit MCU Family
Fujitsu Enriches Lineup of 8-bit High-Performance Microcontrollers
Microchip Brings New 16-bit dsPIC to Production
NEC Expands All-Flash MCU Offering with 32-Bit V850 Series
Ramtron Launches Fast and Flexible Versa 8051 MCU
Ramtron Introduces the First FRAM-Enhanced 8051 MCU
Renesas Releases 32-bit SH7397 Microprocessor
Sensory Releases FluentChip 2.0
Semtech Debuts Sensor Data Acquisition SoC with "Zooming" Resolution
ST Brings Ethernet, Large Memory, and ARM9E Core to Low-Cost Embedded Flash MCUs
ZiLOG Adds 12KB Flash to Z8 Encore! XP Family

ARM Launches Next-Generation Cortex-R4 Processor

ARM has announced the new Cortex-R4 processor, targeted at mobile phones, hard-disk drives, printers and automotive designs. The Cortex-R4 processor enables configurability during synthesis to optimize the processor for different embedded applications through the memory protection unit, caches and tightly coupled memory (TCM). It does this without compromising the underlying ARM instruction set compatibility, maximizing the reuse of existing software investments by application developers and third parties.

For 3G smartphone designs, the boost in performance from the Thumb-2 instruction set allows the Cortex-R4 processor to be used in place of the two separate processors that traditionally would be used in 3G baseband modems. This saves cost and complexity while still running all of the same code.

For automotive applications, the Cortex-R4 processor includes fault tolerance for critical safety applications as well as memory protection that supports the latest version of the OSEK real-time operating system. This is important for building system-on-chip (SoC) devices for engine-management systems that have to run in real time with a wide range of peripherals.

The Cortex-R4 processor features an advanced microarchitecture with dual instruction issue capability to deliver more than 600 Dhrystone MIPS in a performance-optimized 90nm implementation, based upon the ARM Artisan Advantage library. The processor also provides key savings in cost and power consumption for system developers, occupying less than 1mm and consuming less than 0.27mW/MHz in an area-optimized 90nm implementation.

ARM has already secured three lead licensees for the Cortex-R4 including Broadcom, and the processor has received support from major EDA, RTOS and tools vendors.

ARM has developed a full range of supporting technology around the new processor to reduce design time. This complete system solution includes development and debug tools, modeling technology and physical cell libraries. The Cortex-R4 processor is supported by the ARM RealView DEVELOP family of software development tools, the RealView CREATE family of ESL tools and models, and CoreSight debug and trace technology for developing embedded systems quickly.

The AMBA Designer design automation tool provides a design flow for advanced AMBA interconnect sub-systems, further reducing implementation costs and time to market. Additionally, the AMBA 3 AXI protocol-compliant ARM PrimeCell peripherals, including the AMBA 3 AXI Interconnect (PL301), Configurable Dynamic Memory Controller (PL340), Static Memory Controller Family (PL350) and L2 Cache (L220), further improve the performance of the processor.

The Cortex-R4 processor runs the ARMv7 ISA, making it fully backward compatible with existing ARM code that powers billions of systems around the world, and is optimized for the Thumb-2 instruction set. This allows numerous benefits including lower clock speed that brings power-saving advantages, higher performance which offers feature-rich additions to mobile phones and automotive designs, and more complex algorithms for high-performance digital imaging and hard-disk drive systems.

Using the Thumb-2 instruction set, together with the ARM RealView Development Suite, allows on-chip memory sizes to be reduced by up to 30 percent, saving significant cost in the system. In addition, it can produce a 40-percent performance improvement over the previous Thumb instruction set running on an ARM946E-S processor. As memory is an increasingly large proportion of a chip, this provides a significant saving in area and cost to chip makers using the processor for SoC devices.

Atmel Introduces AVR 8-bit Flash MCUs for Automotive Applications

Atmel Corporation has announced four new AEC Q100-qualified AVR Flash microcontrollers dedicated to the automotive segment. Taking advantage of the success of its AVR 8-bit microcontrollers in commercial and industrial market segments, and its expertise in the automotive field, Atmel is migrating its AVR devices to bring performance and cost-effective automotive solutions for sensor and actuator control and in-vehicle networking with CAN and LIN.

To serve the various automotive constraints, the ATmega48, ATmega88, ATmega168 and the AT90CAN128 have been developed and manufactured according to the international standard ISO-TS-16949. They are available in three different automotive temperature ranges (-40 degrees C to +85 degrees C, +105 degrees C and +125 degrees C), and are perfectly suited for power train, body, chassis, safety and security applications.

The ATmega48, ATmega88, ATmega168 and the AT90CAN128 are the first automotive-qualified AVRs to be mass-produced. The ATmega48/88/168 support a 4-, 8-, and 16-KByte Flash memory, respectively. The AT90CAN128 integrates, in a single chip, a V2.0A/V2.0B CAN controller and a 128-KByte Flash program memory.

The ATmega48/88/168 are available in 32-pin TQFP and QFN packages, while the AT90CAN128 is available in 64-pin TQFP and QFN packages. The 10k unit price (in -40 degrees C to +125 degrees C temperature range) is $1.21 for ATmega48, $1.69 for ATmega88, and $2.06 for ATmega168 and $8.00 for AT90CAN128. The AVR full suite of low-cost development tools also supports the automotive AVR microcontrollers for a fast, simple and successful development process.

Crossware Adds Philips LPC210x Support to ARM Development Suite

Crossware has enhanced its ARM Development Suite by adding support for the Philips LPC210X ARM-based microprocessors.

The Philips LPC210X chips, based upon the ARM7TDMI-S processor core, feature a wide range of on-chip peripherals including multiple timers, UARTs, SPI, I2C and an ADC for the more recently announced chips.

The Crossware enhancements allow developers to rapidly exploit the advanced features of these chips by providing a combination of wizards, simulation, debugging, compiler extensions and pre-configuration. This simplifies the otherwise complex task of setting up an ARM chip, and helps accelerate the development process and significantly reduces new product time to market.

Crossware's comprehensive set of Code Creation Wizards are provided for all on-chip peripherals and are able to generate configuration code, interrupt routines and, for the UART, complete I/O handlers. The simulator simulates the ARM core itself as well as many of the LPC210X on-chip peripherals including the vectored interrupt controller (VIC). This allows a developer to use the simulator to immediately test the code created using the wizards. The simulator also can be extended using the Virtual Workshop Interface that Crossware originally introduced for its 8051 microcontroller, thereby allowing developers to construct a simulation of their complete target system.

Crossware has developed its jPOD USB JTAG interface to facilitate on-chip debugging. This connects to the standard ARM 20-pin JTAG connector allowing the Crossware source level debugger to drive the on-chip ARM embedded in-circuit emulator (EmbeddedICE) logic.

With its advanced C compiler, libraries, wizards, simulator and debugger, the Crossware ARM Development Suite provides a complete and extremely user friendly development environment for the ARM family of microprocessor cores. It can be purchased from the MicroControllerShop.

Freescale Announces ZigBee Software Stack and Development Kit

Freescale Semiconductor has announced its BeeKit wireless connectivity tool kit. BeeKit provides an easy-to-use interface and framework for developers to configure parameters for their point-to-point, 802.15.4 and ZigBee applications.

BeeKit includes Freescale's BeeStack, a compliant ZigBee protocol stack, and a developer configuration tool that supports Freescale's platforms compliant with the ZigBee specification and based on the HCS08 MCU. The code base also includes pre-configured ZigBee application samples and templates.

Freescale's BeeStack will be fully compliant with the ZigBee Alliance's next-generation home control protocol stack that includes the Home Automation profile. Other planned updates include support for 802.15.4 MAC, 802.15.4-based applications and Simple MAC (SMAC) based applications.

The BeeKit is expected to be available in the third quarter of 2006. Pricing for both the kit and stack is estimated to start at $995 per license seat.

Freescale Releases IEEE 802.15.4 Protocol Software for ColdFire MCUs

With the release of Media Access Controller (MAC) software that supports the IEEE 802.15.4 protocol on the low-power 32-bit ColdFire architecture, Freescale Semiconductor is creating the broadest portfolio of 802.15.4-enabled solutions in the marketplace.

According to In-Stat, 802.15.4 chipset sales will surpass 150 million units in 2008. Typical applications include home and building automation, industrial monitoring and control, and wireless sensor networks. Designers have struggled to create reliable and secure wireless communication links simply and cost-effectively. Freescale now offers the necessary components for wireless design -- microcontroller, RF and software stack -- in 8- and 32-bit chipsets.

The 802.15.4 software is now available for the MCF5282, MCF5213 and MCF5223x processor families. This complementary embedded software library and the required RF transceivers are available on the Freescale Web site:

Freescale Introduces First RS08-Based 8-Bit Microcontroller

Freescale is offering an ultra-low-end, sub-50-cent 8-bit device small enough to fit in the head of an electric toothbrush.

The first product to be built on the recently announced RS08 core, a simplified version of Freescale's high-performance, low-power HCS08 architecture, the MC9RS08KA family is designed for applications with extreme space and price constraints. It is ideal for traditional electro-mechanical designs and portable applications ranging from motor control to use-and-toss health care products.

By providing up to 2 KBytes Flash and 63 Bytes RAM, Freescale's KA family offers more functionality and application options than ultra-low-end, 6-pin devices available in the market today. Additionally, the KA family includes reprogrammable Flash across voltage ranges and performs up to 10 MHz at 1.8 volts. The product features a voltage regulator that minimizes voltage variation to logic and keeps voltage supply (Vdd) lower, reducing overall power consumption.

The KA family comes in 6-pin DFN, 8-pin PDIP, and 8-pin NB-SOIC packages, and is supported by the same Freescale development tools that allow designers and programmers using other Freescale 8-bit products to work efficiently and economically. CodeWarrior Development Studio for HC(S)08/RS08 Microcontrollers v5.1 is designed to accelerate application development with a built-in project wizard that helps create working projects in as few as seven clicks.

The MC9RS08KA is available in production samples now. Suggested resale pricing for 10,000-piece quantities starts at 43 cents (USD).

Freescale Introduces 32-Bit Flash-Based Microcontroller with FlexRay

Freescale introduced the industry's first 32-bit microcontroller based on the PowerPC core with embedded Flash and integrated FlexRay protocol.

The MPC5567 enables fault-tolerant communication at high bandwidth rates of 10Mbit/sec, reducing system cost by integrating maximum functionality on the chip. The MCU is expected to be used in high-end integrated chassis applications, as well as engine management and control for maximum performance and efficiency. The MCU coordinates and controls communication and activities between various systems in the vehicle. For example, the MPC5567's integrated FlexRay functionality is designed to enable the integrated chassis control module to communicate in a quick, deterministic and dependable manner with other electronic modules based on the FlexRay protocol in the car. This helps provide increased performance and safety in braking, stability and suspension systems.

The MPC5567 expands on Freescale's MPC55XX families of MCUs. Pin-compatibility throughout the entire Flash-based family gives engineers the ability to migrate their efforts from one design to another, reducing development costs and improving time to market. The MPC55XX portfolio is expected to proliferate with derivatives that will offer expanded sets of memory, connectivity and performance options.

The MPC5567 is available now in sample quantities.

Freescale Introduces Quad-Core MSC8144 StarCore DSP

Freescale has announced its third-generation multicore DSP based on next-generation SC3400 StarCore technology. The new MSC8144 DSP is engineered to deliver leading-edge performance, reduce system costs and significantly increase channel densities for next-generation wireline and wireless infrastructure applications providing voice, video and data services.

The new MSC8144 takes single-chip DSP integration to a new level of sophistication. Combining four StarCore DSP cores at up to 1GHz each, the MSC8144 delivers performance equivalent to a 4GHz single-core DSP. It integrates the industry's largest embedded memory at 10.5 MBytes in a single package.

The deeper pipeline SC3400 DSP core on which the MSC8144 DSP is based enables higher clock rates and adds new Single Instruction Multiple Data (SIMD) instructions, precise exception and branch prediction. The SC3400 core also supports improved specialized instructions for Viterbi and video algorithms that virtually double the performance of previous-generation StarCore DSPs. Each core is surrounded by a 16KByte instruction cache, 32KByte data cache and an MMU (memory management unit) for memory and task protection.

Since the advanced SC3400 instructions are a superset of the current SC140 instructions, MSC8144 software is fully binary and assembly-code compatible with Freescale's existing portfolio of multi- and single-core DSPs based on StarCore technology. This compatibility enables customers to leverage their software investment.

The OSEck RTOS from Enea also supports the MSC8144, providing a fully pre-emptive, full-featured, compact real-time kernel optimized to provide the high performance and small memory footprint tuned to meet the specific requirements of DSP systems.

Based on Freescale's advanced 90nm silicon-on-insulator technology, the MSC8144 DSP is planned to be available in 1GHz and 800MHz versions in a 783-pin, 29 x 29 mm FC-PBGA package. General sampling is planned for the third quarter of 2006. Suggested resale pricing in 10,000-unit quantities starts at $180 (USD).

Freescale Doubles Memory Size of S12XE 16-bit MCU Family

The new S12XEP100 doubles the memory size at the top of the S12X range to 1MB and significantly increases MCU performance for applications including central body control, instrumentation, door modules and chassis nodes. The advanced 208 MAP BGA package option delivers many more input/output ports than previously available. Other package options include 144, 112 and 80 pins.

The 1MB S12XEP100 device is sampling now and allows up to 100 percent emulation of the whole S12XE family, down to 128K. An array of development tools including evaluation boards and C-compilers is expected to be available later this month.

Fujitsu Enriches Lineup of 8-bit High-Performance Microcontrollers

Fujitsu has announced the launch of its new 8-bit microcontrollers, MB95F146 and MB95F156H, for consumer electronics applications. These microcontrollers are developed to fulfill the increasing demand for high-speed, low-power-consumption 8-bit microcontrollers in the domestic appliance control field.

The new MB95F146, a 32-pin LQFP, can be used to manage the power supply and remote control of digital AV equipment. The MB95F156H, which is a 48-pin or 52-pin LQFP, includes an LCD controller and can be used for portable radio equipment, remote control of hot water units, and other purposes. These microcontrollers can perform count operation to up to one minute, to reduce the power consumption of white goods and digital AV equipment.

These new microcontrollers feature 32 KBytes of Flash, 1 KByte RAM, a 10-bit 8-channel ADC, and 24 or 39 I/O ports.

The common evaluation board and development tool for Fujitsu's F2MC-8FX 8-bit microcontrollers are available already, thus all products in this family can be developed in a single evaluation environment.

Microchip Brings New 16-bit dsPIC to Production

Microchip Technology has announced that it continues the production rollout of its 16-bit product portfolio with a new dsPIC Digital Signal Controller (DSC) that offers designers a performance speed of 30 MIPS, self-programming capabilities via Flash memory, and industrial and extended temperature ranges.

The dsPIC30F6015 incorporates Microchip's Enhanced Flash self-programming capability, which permits a remote upgrade to the Flash program memory, allowing code revisions in end users' applications. Additional key features include 144 KBytes Flash, 8 KBytes SRAM, 4 KBytes EEPROM, 8-output PWM, 11 MSPS 10-bit 16-channel ADC, Quadrature Encoder Interface, five 16-bit timers, eight PWMs, I2C, and two each of CAN, SPI and UART peripherals.

The dsPIC30F6015 is available today in 64-pin TQFP for general sampling and volume production. Pricing starts at $7.98 each in 10,000-unit quantities.

NEC Expands All-Flash MCU Offering with 32-Bit V850 Series

NEC Electronics America is adding 28 new devices to its series of V850 high-performance, 32-bit general-purpose MCUs. Designed to facilitate more efficient application development, the new V850ES/Hx2, V850ES/Jx2 and V850ES/Kx2 series are ideally suited for use in analog systems such as major appliances, security systems, electricity meters, sensors, electronic digital consumer devices, industrial equipment and a variety of other products that require complex, multifunctional, high-speed operation and have a wide range of voltage requirements.

Samples and volume production of the new 32-bit all-Flash MCUs are available now. Pricing varies according to device specifications. For example, the V850ES/KG2 device with 256 KBytes of Flash memory is priced at $7.50 in 1000-lot quantities. Pricing and availability are subject to change.

Ramtron Launches Fast and Flexible Versa 8051 MCU

The VRS51L2070 is the newest series in Ramtron's Versa 8051 MCU family. This fully integrated, high-performance system-on-chip incorporates an advanced 40-MIPS, single-cycle 8051-core, 64KB Flash with In-System/In-Application Programming, 4KB SRAM, a JTAG program/debug interface, digital signal processing (DSP) extensions and a robust digital peripheral set. Operating at 3.3V over the entire industrial temperature range, the VRS51L2070 is ideal for embedded data acquisition, sensor and control applications in the industrial, medical, consumer, instrumentation and automotive markets.

The VRS51L2070 is a 40MHz, Single-Cycle 8051 Processor. Its advanced core can deliver up to 40 MIPS throughput and is instruction-compatible with standard 8051s, for smooth device migration. Its MULT/ACCU/DIV Unit with 32-bit Barrel Shifter is a hardware calculation engine that significantly outperforms 8-bit processors when executing DSP operations (FIR filtering, sensor output linearization, multiple-byte arithmetic operations, etc). It performs 16-bit signed multiplication and 32-bit addition in one cycle (at 40 MHz) and 16-bit signed division in 5 cycles (at 40 MHz). The barrel shifter enables logic/arithmetic shift operations.

The VRS51L2070's internal 40MHz oscillator provides 2% accuracy and cuts system costs by eliminating the need for an external oscillator.

The JTAG interface is included for user-friendly and quick device programming and real-time in-circuit debugging/emulation of the user application without the need for a costly emulator.

The VRS51L2070 incorporates an array of highly configurable digital peripherals that enable full integration and ease the load on the processor. These include dual UARTs with Baud Rate Generator, which operate at up to 1.25 Mbps. Each UART incorporates a dedicated baud-rate generator with 16-bit resolution and 4-bit micro baud rate adjustment. The communication speed on the enhanced SPI can be configured up to 20 Mbps, and transactions are adjustable from 1 to 32 bits. Two pulse width counter modules provide advanced timer control, simplifying event duration measurement.

The VRS51L2070 incorporates eight PWMs with up to 16-bit adjustable resolution. Each PWM includes its own timer, which also can be used as general-purpose timers. Other support peripherals include an I2C interface, three 16-bit general purpose timers/counters with three timer capture inputs, a watchdog timer, and 49 interrupts that share 16 interrupt vectors.

The VRS51L2070 is available in a 64-pin QFP, and currently is sampling at a cost of under $4 in volume.

Ramtron Introduces the First FRAM-Enhanced 8051 MCU

Ramtron has launched the VRS51L3074, the market's first 8051-based microcontroller with nonvolatile FRAM memory. Ramtron has added FRAM into its fast and flexible Versa 8051s for a quick and reliable nonvolatile data storage and processing system that only a FRAM-enhanced MCU can provide.

FRAM simplifies the design cycle by eliminating the code overhead accompanying Flash data storage, and the limited endurance and drawn-out write cycles of Flash/EEPROM. Unlike Flash, FRAM bytes can be modified without first erasing an entire sector, making it easier to use. And unlike Flash/EEPROM, FRAM provides virtually unlimited read/write cycles and fast data writes. The VRS51L3074 combines 8KB of FRAM memory with a fully-integrated, high-performance system-on-chip. Features include an advanced 40-MIPS, single-cycle 8051-core, 64KB Flash with In-System/In-Application Programming, 4KB SRAM, a JTAG program/debug interface, digital signal processing (DSP) extensions and a robust digital peripheral set. Operating at 3.3V over the entire industrial temperature range, the VRS51L3074 offers the ideal embedded data acquisition solution, targeting a wide array of applications from sensors and metering to industrial control, instrumentation and medical devices.

The VRS51L3074 is available in a 64-pin QFP, and currently is sampling at a cost under $5 in volume.

Renesas Releases 32-bit SH7397 Microprocessor

Renesas has announced the SH7397 32-bit microprocessor, incorporating a high-performance SH-4A CPU core and a variety of peripheral functions and interfaces including display, voice, LAN, and memory card functions, for telematics devices and similar in-vehicle information equipment. Sample shipments will begin in August 2006 in Japan.

The SH7397 incorporates a high-performance SH-4A CPU core, and achieves processing performance of 540 MIPS and 2.1 GFLOPS at a maximum operating frequency of 300 MHz, representing an approximately 50% increase in processing performance compared with the 360 MIPS and 1.4 GFLOPS of their previous SH7760 (maximum 200 MHz operation) for telematics applications. The provision of separate 32 KByte 4-way set associative cache memory for instructions and data enables the cache hit rate to be improved, while the inclusion of fast-access 16 KByte RAM helps to speed up software processing. The instruction set is upward-compatible with that of the SH-4, enabling programs written for existing products to be used, and thus making it possible to shorten product development times and further reduce development costs.

The SH7397 has a separate SDRAM bus and uses a dedicated bus configuration allowing connection of faster DDR-SDRAM. This makes it possible to meet the demand for faster external memory accesses associated with higher CPU speeds.

The SH7397 incorporates a variety of peripheral functions designed to reduce product costs. The color LCD controller can be connected to a display LCD panel, and supports 800 x 600 pixel size and approximately 64,000 display colors. In addition, a USB Standard interface supporting Full Speed is provided as a general-purpose serial interface, allowing Host or Function selection.

 A serial sound interface and audio CODEC interface are integrated. A variety of memory card interfaces are included that support a MultiMediaCard, SD memory card and PC card.  The SH7397 also incorporates a de facto in-vehicle LAN standard CAN interface and a gigabit Ethernet controller.

Other  on-chip peripheral functions include serial interfaces such as a serial communication interface and I2C bus interface, a direct memory access controller allowing high-speed data transfer to and from memory, an interrupt controller, and an A/D converter.

Sensory Releases FluentChip 2.0

Sensory has released updates and additions to its FluentChip technology library for the RSC-4x family of mixed-signal processors. FluentChip 2.0 offers speech recognition, speech and music synthesis, as well as general product control features running on a single low-cost IC, and requires as little as 20 KBytes of memory to recognize a word set with extremely high accuracy, speaker independence and reasonable tolerance for ambient noise.

FluentChip 2.0 includes technologies such as T2SI (text-to-speaker-independent -- no training required), SD (speaker dependent -- trained to one voice), and SV (speaker verification - -voice biometric password) speech recognition. It also offers MIDI-like music and speech synthesis capabilities, as well as specialized tools to facilitate fast prototyping and product development for members of the RSC-4x family. Sensory has added new capabilities to FluentChip 2.0, including support for the low-cost RSC-464, 16 kHz SX high-fidelity speech synthesis, variable-rate SXL for manipulation of speech playback speed, better recognition for fast talkers, and enhanced recognition in noisy environments.

Sensory offers a low-cost toolkit, which is available to order from the Sensory website for $199.

Sensory's new low-cost 40-pin DIP footprint VR Stamp module also supports the FluentChip 2.0 technology library. Sensory's VR Stamp Toolkit and mikroElektronika's Easy VR Stamp Development System offer low-cost development platforms to promote rapid deployment of speech technologies into virtually any consumer electronic product imaginable.

Semtech Debuts Sensor Data Acquisition SoC with "Zooming" Resolution

Semtech has announced the SX8801R, an ultra-low-power, high-resolution system-on-chip (SoC) for data acquisition from micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) sensors in battery-powered consumer, medical and industrial systems.

The SX8801R features Semtech's ZoomingADC capability that combines a 16-bit analog/digital converter (ADC) with a 10-bit pre-amplifier to allow the device to "zoom in" or amplify a small portion of the analog signal and apply the full 16-bit ADC to that part of the signal. ZoomingADC compensates for large offsets without saturation or resolution losses, and can be re-focused on different parts of a signal for different applications.

The SX8801R also includes a microprocessor and 22 kBytes of ROM for customer-programmable processing with the output sent to either a serial link or to an LCD. The SX8801R directly reads pressure, temperature, magnetic, chemical or other Wheatstone bridge-based sensors, ranging from 5V to 2 mV. With a reference, the device can also access most voltage-generating sensors.

The low-power SX8801R is designed for battery-operated devices with an input voltage range of between 2.4V and 5.5V. The device has three pre-amplifiers and special logic-block power gating features to allow a designer to specify power consumption for the data acquisition phase in a range between 200A and 800A depending upon the number of pre-amps used. At 2kHz, the ADC function draws only 200A. The microprocessor is also low power, leveraging Semtech's CoolRISC processor technology with a real-time clock at 2A and a power-performance ratio of 300A per MIPS.

The SX8801R is available in a 12 mm x 12 mm lead-free 44-pin LQFP or as a 4.1 mm x 4.6 mm die for sports watches, wrist instruments and other small applications. Pricing for the product will be quoted by the factory since selection of multiple options is required to specify firmware version and packaging. Semtech offers comprehensive design assistance, including field- and factory-based support.

ST Brings Ethernet, Large Memory, and ARM9E Core to Low-Cost Embedded Flash MCUs

The STR910F devices employ an ARM966E-S core that brings substantial benefits compared to ARM7TDMI cores. The ARM966E-S CPU core accesses its instruction and data memories using two separate internal buses, enabling simultaneous access of both code and data. Each of these memories is attached to the core through a highly optimized Tightly-Coupled Memory (TCM) interface for rapid access. The STR910F exploits this architecture by placing high-speed burst Flash memory on the Instruction TCM, and zero-latency SRAM on the Data TCM. The result is 96 MIPS peak code execution at 96 MHz, and extremely efficient data movement between the CPU core and SRAM. In contrast, the ARM7TDMI CPU core shares a single bus for access to its instruction and data memories, making simultaneous access impossible. Additionally, the ARM966E-S core supports single-cycle Digital Signal Processing (DSP) instructions, enabling the STR910F to satisfy both control and signal-processing requirements, giving clear advantages over traditional solutions based on separate DSP and control processors.

The STR910F was given large memories to support the use of RTOS and TCP/IP stacks, in addition to complex control applications. SRAM sizes range up to 96 Kbytes, ideal for larger packet buffers enabling faster serial communications. Uniquely, this SRAM can be protected by a battery or super-capacitor connected to the battery input pin, and optionally the SRAM contents can be destroyed automatically for secure applications in response to a signal on the STR910F's tamper-detection input pin. Flash memory sizes range up to 544 KBytes, and is configured into dual banks of read-while-write memory to support robust In-Application Programming for remote firmware updates, and also for EEPROM emulation. Each of the SRAM and Flash memories may be used for either instructions or data.

Up to nine full-featured Direct Memory Access (DMA) channels allow peripherals on the Advanced High-performance Bus (AHB) and Advanced Peripheral Bus (APB) to act as a master to the SRAM, sharing SRAM access with the CPU through a specially designed arbitrator for extremely streamlined data flow. For example, the Ethernet DMA controller can support the movement of 91 Mbps of raw Ethernet frames between the MAC (Media Access Controller) and the SRAM, with only 10% CPU loading.

STR910F MCU series support a full set of peripherals. They include USB Full Speed, CAN, three UART/IrDA, two SPI, two I2C, eight channel 10-bit ADC, four 16-bit timers, a 3-phase AC motor control unit, complete supervisor functions with Low Voltage Reset and Brown-out Detect, a full-featured real-time clock, an external memory interface, an ETM9 debug and trace interface, and up to 80 5V-tolerant I/O.

Power consumption can be adjusted dynamically, giving the CPU the ability to gate and scale the system and peripheral clocks at any time to balance performance demand and power consumption, including a Sleep mode drawing only 55μA typically. When main power to the device is shut off or is absent because of a fault, the STR910F will switch automatically to the battery supply pin to keep the real-time clock active. The embedded real-time clock has features typically found only on external RTC devices. It has full calendar and alarm functions, will time-stamp an event on the Tamper input pin, and it draws less than 1μA on the battery supply pin across the entire -40 C to +85 C temperature range.

Six part numbers are offered, all in lead-free packages. Devices are packaged as LQFP80 and LQFP128, with the LQFP128 packages offering the Ethernet Media Independent Interface (MII) and the external memory bus interface. SRAM ranges from 64 to 96 KBytes and Flash memory ranges from 288 to 544 KBytes. The core operates at 1.8V +/- 10%, and the I/O ring at 2.7V to 3.6V, over a temperature range of -40 C to +85 C.

STR910F devices are available from May 2006, with 10k pricing for the series starting at US$6.99 (STR910FM32X6).

ZiLOG Adds 12KB Flash to Z8 Encore! XP Family

Available immediately, the Z8 Encore! XP F0830 Series devices are Flash MCUs based on the powerful ZiLOG eZ8 CPU. The family supports up to 12 KBytes of Flash program memory along with 256 Bytes register RAM that is pin-for-pin compatible with other members of the Z8 Encore! XP family, allowing an easy migration path from 1KB up to 12KB.

The F0830 family's value proposition includes a highly integrated peripheral set that brings feature such as a successive approximation register (SAR) 8-channel ADC. Other key features include two 16-bit timer blocks featuring capture, compare and pulse width modulation (PWM) capabilities, meaning accurate digital control of motors and power supplies, further reducing system costs and power consumption, and up to 18 vectored interrupts with programmable priorities, providing increased design flexibility in end applications. An on-chip internal precision oscillator (5.53 MHz/32KHz) performs as a trimmable clock source that requires no external components. In addition, the F0830's single-pin debugger and programming interface simplifies code development, allowing for easy in-circuit programming.

Pricing varies according to order quantity and version of the product. For example, the Z8F0830SH020SG Z8Encore! XP F0830 Series, featuring 8K memory, ADC, NVDS in 20-pin flavor would retail for $1.60 in quantities of 1000 units.

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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Last modified: 12/16/08