June 2006 Embedded News Digest

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

This month's issue:

Atmel Launches First Flash-based ARM9 CPUs
Microchip Announces New 16-bit dsPIC Digital Signal Controllers
Renesas Releases SuperH Microcontrollers with On-Chip USB2.0 Host
TI Introduces Four Low-Cost 32-bit Digital Signal Controllers

Atmel Launches First Flash-based ARM9 CPUs

Atmel Corporation has announced the AT91SAM9260, the first member of a pin-compatible ARM9-based microcontroller family that shares the same programming model as ARM7-based controllers, allowing direct migration between controllers based on different ARM cores. The AT91SAM9260 also supports deterministic, real-time operation, offers supervisory functions, and has third-party RTOS support comparable to those of 8-bit controllers.

Developed for highly-connected image-processing applications such as point-of-sale terminals, Ethernet-based IP cameras, and bar code readers, the AT91SAM9260 integrates a 200 MIPS ARM926EJ-S core with: a camera interface; seven USARTs; 10/100 Ethernet MAC; 12 Mbps USB device and host controller with on-chip transceivers; external bus interface supporting SDRAM, Flash, NAND Flash with built-in ECC, SD, SDIO, and Multimedia Card interface (MMC); three synchronous serial controllers (SSC); 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 internal bus bandwidth of the AT91SAM9260 is maximized by 24 DMA channels and a five-layer high-speed bus matrix. It connects all masters and slaves in the system in a parallel fashion and enables data transfers between peripherals and on- and off-chip memories without any CPU intervention. A programmable arbiter manages the priorities between the bus masters. Highly critical interrupt routines can be locked in the 16 kByte instruction cache, guaranteeing a deterministic response time to interrupts. A system controller provides a full complement of supervisory functions that includes an 8-level priority interrupt controller, RC-oscillator, PLLs, real-time periodic interval and watchdog timers, reset and shutdown controllers, and backup registers. The shutdown controller puts the processor in an ultra-low power mode, typically less than 10 uA.

Atmel's SAM9 microcontrollers are the first ARM9-based microcontrollers with Flash memory integrated on the same chip.
The AT91SAM9260 has third-party RTOS support from Green Hills Software, Mentor Graphics and Micrium. Compiler/debuggers are available from Green Hills Software, ARM, Keil, IAR Systems and any compliant ARM926EJ-S compiler. Windows CE and Linux operating system support is also provided.

The AT91SAM9260 is available now in a 217-ball LFBGA RoHS-compliant package and in a 208-pin Green QFP package, and is priced at or near $6 in quantities of 100,000. Additional members of the SAM9 family will be available in late 2006 and 2007.

Microchip Announces New 16-bit dsPIC Digital Signal Controllers

Microchip Technology has announced a family of 16-bit dsPIC Digital Signal Controllers (DSCs) for common, multi-loop switch-mode power supplies (SMPSs) and other power-conversion applications.

The PWM on the dsPIC30F1010 and dsPIC30F202X devices offers 1 ns duty cycle resolution and seven modes of operation, including standard, complementary, push-pull and variable-phase. The 10-bit A/D converter has up to 12 input channels and samples at up to 2 MSPS. Advanced sampling capabilities include individual triggers for each of four sample and holds, and precise, uniquely timed or simultaneous sampling.

The dsPIC30F1010 devices have 6 Kbytes of Flash and two PWM generators, and the dsPIC30F202X have 12 Kbytes of Flash and four PWM generators. All devices in this family operate between 3.0 and 5.5 volts. Additional features include: Onboard high-speed analog comparators (2 or 4); 30 MIPS performance at 5.0 volts; small footprint QFN package (6 mm x 6 mm); fast, deterministic response; extended temperature operation (-40 to 125 degrees Celsius); and optional PWM dither mode for Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) reduction.

The dsPIC30F1010 and dsPIC30F202X DSCs are supported by the MPLAB Integrated Development Environment (IDE), MPLAB C30 C Compiler, MPLAB SIM 30 Software Simulator, MPLAB ICD 2 In-Circuit Debugger and MPLAB Visual Device Initializer.

The dsPIC30F1010 is available in 28-pin SOIC, SPDIP and QFN packages; the dsPIC30F2020 in 28-pin SOIC, SPDIP and QFN packages; and the dsPIC30F2023 in 44-pin TQFP and QFN packages. These DSCs start at $2.99 each in 10,000-unit quantities. General sampling is expected in July, and volume production is expected in August.

Renesas Releases SuperH Microcontrollers with On-Chip USB2.0 Host

Renesas Technology has announced a total of five SH7263 and SH7203 high-performance microcontroller models with a 200 MHz maximum operating frequency, incorporating a SuperH Family SH2A-FPU CPU core and a Host interface supporting the USB (Universal Serial Bus) standard v2.0 High Speed specification.

The SH7263 and SH7203 incorporate a high-performance SH2A-FPU CPU core with a built-in FPU, and operate at a maximum frequency of 200 MHz. Operation at the maximum operating frequency of 200 MHz provides high-speed processing power of 480 MIPS and 400 MFLOPS, representing an approximately 70% increase in signal processing performance over the current 120 MHz SH7261 incorporating the same SH2A-FPU core.

These microcontrollers also incorporate a variety of interfaces and peripheral functions necessary for configuring a digital audio device, including a Host and Function interface supporting the USB2.0 High Speed specification, and a display controller capable of bit-mapped display on liquid crystal panels up to WVGA size.

Like the current SH7261, the SH7263 also incorporates such functions as an audio CD-ROM decoder, a serial sound interface (SSI) for input and output of digital audio data, a serial communication interface with a 16-stage FIFO, and an I2C bus interface. Also included are a sampling rate converter that converts the audio data sampling frequency, and functions necessary for a digital audio device, which contribute to a significant reduction in system costs.

The SH7263 and SH7203 incorporate an external data bus expandable up to 32 bits, allowing direct connection to Flash ROM, SDRAM, SRAM, and so forth, without the use of external parts.

Other on-chip functions include a 5-channel multifunction timer unit suitable for motor control, capable of 3-phase PWM wave output for AC motor control, as well as an 8-channel 10-bit A/D converter, 2-channel 8-bit D/A converter, 8-channel DMAC, CAN controller, and NAND Flash controller. These varied peripheral functions enable the number of external parts to be reduced, and make it possible to create a high-performance system at lower cost.

The SH7263 includes a model with a combination of an SD memory card interface and an IEBus controller channel for control communications, offering a selection of models suited to various user system specifications.

The package used is a 240-pin QFP. Sample shipments will begin in July 2006 in Japan.

On-chip debugging functions are also provided that enable real-time debugging to be carried out at the maximum operating frequency.

MP3, WMA, AAC, or similar voice compression standard compatible middleware enables a multi-CODEC-capable system to be implemented by software, while software including a CD-ROM ISO9660 file system and HDD FAT32 file system is also available, providing software solutions for digital audio product development.

TI Introduces Four Low-Cost 32-bit Digital Signal Controllers

Texas Instruments has added four new low-cost members to the TMS320F280xx digital signal controller series targeted at motor control, digital power conversion and intelligent sensor control applications. The new TMS320F28015 and F28016 controllers offer 60 MHz of performance starting as low as $3.25 (in 1000-unit quantities), while the new TMS320F2801-60 and F2802-60 controllers also offer 60 MHz of performance and are based on the current TMS320F2801 and F2802 devices. TI is also announcing a new digital power development kit, which consists of a TMS320C2000 Digital Power Supply (DPS) software library and a series of hardware modules from Tier Electronics that provide off-the-shelf platforms that engineers can control with this software library.

TI's F280xx controllers offer a portfolio of 11 pin-for-pin- and software-compatible devices with 32-bit DSP performance combined with the peripheral integration and ease-of-use of an MCU. All F280x-based devices feature a 32-bit wide data path for superior performance and mixed 16/32-bit instruction set for improved code density. These controllers provide complete control system capabilities, from signal input -- through the on-chip, 12-bit ADC, QEP interfaces, and timer capture/compares -- through signal output with up to 10 independent PWM channels. Depending on the device, communication interfaces include CAN, I2C, UART and SPI ports.

All four new F280x devices feature a patent-pending pulse width modulator (PWM) with 150 picosecond (ps) resolution. The high resolution PWM (HRPWM) provides 16 bits of accuracy in a 100 KHz control loop and 12 bits at 1.5 MHz. As a result, power developers will benefit from designs with cleaner power output, higher power density, smaller magnetics and more compact, cooler supplies. These benefits are critical in applications like AC/DC rectifiers that require high tolerances and faster transient response with small ripple amplitude. For motor control applications such white goods and automotive, designers can reduce overall system costs through integration and low device cost, while leveraging the 32-bit performance necessary to implement advanced control techniques like sensor less vector control of three-phase motors. Using processor-intensive sensor less vector control can help developers to reduce the size and cost of a system's motors and power electronics required to meet their needs.

The TMS320F2801-60 and TMS320F3202-60 are available now. The TMS320F28015 and TMS320F28016 are expected in October. All four new controllers are AEC Q100 automotive qualified in 100-pin LQFP packaging.

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