July 2006 Embedded News Digest

Embedded News Digest
Contact Us

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

This month's issue:

Atmel Produces First 150°C qualified 8-bit Flash MCUs
Atmel Introduces Four New Single-Cycle Core 8051 MCUs
Freescale Introduces New Chip Packaging Technology
Freescale Introduces 32-bit Microcontrollers with 8-bit Compatibility
Microchip Offers Advanced IP Security Features on 16-bit PICs
Microchip Introduces Two New 20-pin PICs
Ramtron Launches Design Contest for First FRAM-Enhanced 8051 MCU
STMicroelectronics Announces Four New ST10 MCUs

Atmel Produces First 150°C qualified 8-bit Flash MCUs

Atmel Corporation announced the industry's first 8-bit RISC Flash microcontroller to be qualified for operation up to +150 degrees Celsius (AECQ100 Grade 0).

Already available in -40 to +125 degrees Celsius operating temperature range, the ATmega88 AVR microcontroller is now capable of withstanding automotive temperature extremes, thus allowing designers to distribute intelligence and control functions directly into gearboxes, engine sensors and actuators, transfer cases, turbochargers, and finally simplifying the wiring network.

The ATmega88 device integrates a high number of features, thus significantly reducing complete system chip count. This includes an embedded 8-Kbyte Flash program memory and 512-byte EEPROM, a variable gain amplifier, a 10-bit analog-to-digital converter, a fast analog comparator, and an on-chip calibrated 8 MHz RC oscillator, avoiding the need for an external crystal. Other on-chip features such as a Power-on-Reset, a Brown-out-Detector and a watchdog with dedicated oscillator also contribute to the overall system reliability.

The ATmega88 150-degree compliant samples are available now in 32-pin QFN package. Production will start in Q1 2007. By the end of 2006, the 8-pin ATtiny45 with 4-Kbyte Flash memory will be sampled in -40 to +150 degrees Celsius temperature range also.

Atmel Introduces Four New Single-Cycle Core 8051 MCUs

Atmel Corporation announced the introduction of four new 14-pin and two new 16-pin microcontrollers based on the Atmel 8051 single-cycle core. Atmel's single-cycle core architecture executes each byte fetch in a single clock cycle resulting in 70 percent of all instructions being executed in a single clock cycle. Compared to the traditional 8051 devices, this can either increase performance up to 12 times or reduce power consumption by up to 80 percent.

Low-pincount microcontrollers have emerged as a fundamental building block of many general-purpose applications. The AT89LP213/413, AT89LP214/414 and AT89LP216/416 devices are cost-effective 8-bit microcontrollers ideal for applications requiring not only low pincount, but low power and high performance in a small footprint. These new microcontrollers reduce system cost with a variety of on-chip features, enabling faster time-to-market for products such as white goods, remote controls, smart sensors and disposable electronic products.

The AT89LP214 and AT89LP213 have 2 Kbytes of In-system Programmable Flash whereas the AT89LP414 and AT89LP413 have 4 Kbytes of Flash. The 16-pin versions are the AT89LP216 and AT89LP416, which have 2 and 4 Kbytes of Flash memory respectively. These devices come with a rich feature set which includes on-chip debug, on-chip hardware multiplier, Pulse Width Modulation, analog comparator, internal RC oscillator and 12 general-purpose I/Os for application use.

The devices achieve a 20 MIPS throughput when running at 20 MHz and consume very low power when running at a lower frequency. Typical power consumption in 3.6V active mode at 1 MHz is 1.1 mA and less than 0.45 mA in idle mode. They can operate down to 2V at 10 MHz and 2.4V at 20 MHz.

The AT89LP214 and AT89LP213 are available in 14-pin TSSOP and PDIP packages while the AT89LP216 is available in 16-pin TSS0P, SOIC and PDIP packages. The 10,000-unit price is $0.87 for AT89LP214 and AT89LP213, and $0.91 for AT89LP216. Samples for AT89LP414, AT89LP413 and AT89LP416 will be available in Q4 2006.

Freescale Introduces New Chip Packaging Technology

Freescale Semiconductor has unveiled an innovation that they expect could replace BGA and flip chip as the dominant packaging and assembly approach for advanced, highly integrated semiconductors.

Redistributed Chip Packaging (RCP) technology offers unmatched flexibility and integration density -- characteristics that help deliver 30 percent smaller packaged semiconductor solutions versus traditional BGA technology.

RCP integrates semiconductor packaging as a functional part of the die and system solution. It addresses some of the limitations associated with previous generations of packaging technologies by eliminating wire bonds, package substrates and flip chip bumps. In addition, RCP does not utilize blind vias or require thinned die to achieve thin profiles. These advancements simplify assembly, lower costs, and provide compatibility with advanced wafer manufacturing processes utilizing low-k interlayer dielectrics.

The technology is easily adapted for 3G mobile phones and a broad range of consumer, industrial, transportation and networking devices that can benefit from the consolidation of electronic components into a single, miniaturized system.

RCP's exceptional flexibility makes it a virtually universal package technology that is applicable across a large number of applications and materials. It is compatible with advanced assembly technologies such as System in Package (SiP), Package on Package (PoP), and integrated cavity packages.

Using RCP and PoP technology, Freescale has fabricated a radio-in-package that measures less than 25 x 25 millimeters. The radio-in-package contains all of the electronics required for a 3G mobile phone including memory, power management, baseband, transceiver and RF front-end modules.

Lead-free and RoHS compliant, RCP meets reliability standards for commercial and industrial applications. Development and tests are in progress for automotive applications.

Freescale expects products utilizing RCP technology will be available by 2008. Freescale intends to use RCP initally in its highly integrated wireless product families.

Freescale Introduces 32-bit Microcontrollers with 8-bit Compatibility

Freescale has announced the new ColdFire V1 core, designed to provide 32-bit performance with the ease-of-use of an 8-bit microcontroller at a price point that won't give traditional 8-bit designers sticker shock.

The 68K/ColdFire V1 core will provide the engine for the industry's first 32-bit devices that are compatible with 8-bit -- allowing easy migration between architectures. Products based on the V1 core will use the same peripheral modules and development tools as products based on the S08 architecture, providing upward compatibility and simplifying application design.

Freescale's 68K/ColdFire V1 core and 8-bit S08 architecture will share a common set of tools, starting with the CodeWarrior 6.0 development studio. The CodeWarrior toolset makes programming the 32-bit 68K/ColdFire architecture as simple and straightforward as programming an 8-bit microcontroller.

The full set of ColdFire architecture registers are built into the 68K/ColdFire V1 core, and it supports the same programming model as the 68K/ColdFire V2-V4 cores. The V1 core uses the S08 bus structure, which enables the use of similar peripheral and memory modules. For package pin compatibility, the V1 uses the S08's single-pin background debug mode to create simple interface configuration.

Freescale intends to introduce multiple products based on the 68K/ColdFire V1 core throughout 2007. Freescale anticipates products based on the V1 core will be priced within approximately 20 percent of their 8-bit products with comparable features.

Microchip Offers Advanced IP Security Features on 16-bit PICs

Microchip Technology announced that its dsPIC digital signal controllers and PIC24H microcontrollers are the world's first 16-bit devices with advanced security features that allow multiple parties in a collaborative system design to share the memory, interrupts and peripherals of a single chip without compromising their intellectual property (IP). This memory segmentation reduces system costs for OEMs and their design partners by eliminating the need to store programs on separate chips.

CodeGuard security can eliminate collaboration and security concerns by enabling OEMs to divide and share three segments of on-chip memory with tiered levels of security: the Boot Segment, Secure Segment and General Segment. This segmentation allows design houses or algorithm vendors to protect proprietary software in secure memory segments while permitting a range of applications to access algorithm operation from other segments. Additionally, CodeGuard security, coupled with Microchip’s low-cost encryption software libraries, enables secure field upgrades of product firmware. These secure field updates of firmware can be improved by decrypting the incoming data stream entirely within a secure segment's resources.

Advanced implementation of CodeGuard security is available today, at no additional charge, on all PIC24H MCUs and all dsPIC33 DSCs, as well as the dsPIC30F5011/5013 and dsPIC30F6010A/11A/12A/13A/14A/15.

Microchip Introduces Two New 20-pin PICs

Microchip Technology announced two new 20-pin 8-bit PIC microcontrollers. The PIC16F631 provides a cost-effective entry point for migration from 8- and 14-pin devices, while the PIC16F677 brings affordable hardware I2C & SPI capability to the small Flash microcontroller market.

The new microcontrollers are an extension of the PIC16F685/687/689/690 series, and can be used as drop-in replacements for their more feature-rich counterparts. Both devices employ the following features: nanoWatt Technology for minimum power consumption in battery-powered applications; dual analog comparators with S/R latch mode to eliminate the need for discrete components; and In-Circuit Serial Programming technology for field programmability.

The new PIC16F631/677 microcontrollers possess up to 3.5 Kbytes of Program Flash, up to 128 bytes of RAM, internally generated clock frequencies from 31 kHz to 8 MHz, and up to 18 I/O pins. The PIC16F677 adds a 12-channel, 10-bit A/D Converter, plus SPI and I2C support with Address Mask option. The two new devices are supported by the full suite of Microchip's development tools.

The PIC16F631 and PIC16F677 microcontrollers are now for general sampling and volume production in RoHS-compliant 20-pin PDIP, SOIC, SSOP and QFN packages. Prices start at $0.94 each in 10,000-unit quantities.

Ramtron Launches Design Contest for First FRAM-Enhanced 8051 MCU

Ramtron International Corporation is holding a VRS51L3074 Design Contest, introducing design engineers to the first 8051-based microcontroller with nonvolatile FRAM memory.

The contest runs from July 26, 2006 to November 1, 2006. It will take place in four regions –- the Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific and Japan -- with one grand prize and five runner-up prizes per region, for a total of $20,000 in prizes. Contestants must make submissions to the region of their residence only. Designs will be judged on technical merit, originality, usefulness and design optimization. For complete contest rules and submission forms, please visit http://www.ramtron.com/contest, or email designcontest@ramtron.com.

To participate, contestants must purchase a VersaKit-30xx development system from their local Ramtron distributors at a discounted contest price of $49 instead of $99. Kits will be available to contestants for $49 from July 26, 2006 to September 29, 2006. The VersaKit-30xx facilitates system prototyping and design development with the VRS51L3074 and ships complete with development board, Versa JTAG programming/debugging interface, demo programs, and the software, C compiler, assembler and documentation required to develop with the VRS51L3074 MCU.

STMicroelectronics Announces Four New ST10 MCUs

STMicroelectronics announced four new advanced 16-bit microcontrollers at the top of their ST10 family (ST10F27x). The new MCUs offer up to 832 kBytes of embedded Flash memory and up to 68 kBytes of RAM, plus other enhancements, while maintaining upward hardware and software compatibility with earlier devices, such as the ST10F168 and ST10F269. The family combines embedded Flash and the -40 to +125 degrees C temperature range.

The new ST10F271, ST10F272, ST10F273 and ST10F276 provide a range of Flash memory densities from 128 to 832 kBytes - total linear address space for code and data is 16 MBytes.

The ST10 CPU, with a clock speed of up to 64 MHz, offers single-cycle context switching and an interrupt controller with 16 priorities and 56 sources. The DSP-MAC accelerator provides powerful DSP functions with fast and easy implementation of custom algorithms, and is supported by a comprehensive mathematical library.

The devices operate over the -40 to +125 degrees C temperature range and with a single 5V power supply, providing 5V I/O levels. Internally, an on-chip 1.8V voltage regulator supplies the CPU core and logic. Memory protection guards against software piracy.

On-chip peripherals include an I2C interface,  real-time clock with a 32kHz on-chip oscillator and  24 channels A/D converter. The combination of multiple Input Capture and Compare module, 4-channel PWM unit, 10-bit ADC, Peripheral Event Controller, digital I/Os and dual CAN 2.0B interfaces are a perfect fit for industrial applications such as inverter control.

All the new MCUs are produced in both the LQFP144 20x20mm package and the PQFP144 28x28mm package. The ST10F273 and ST10F276 are in volume production now, while the ST10F271 and ST10F272 are sampling now with volume production planned for Q3 2006. The ST10F27x family is also available and qualified for automotive applications with specific automotive part numbers.

Prices for the LQFP144 devices range from $9.30 (ST10F271, 128KB Flash) to $14.85 (ST10F276, 832KB Flash) in quantities of 10,000; PQFP144 devices are priced at $9.85 (ST10F271) to $15.63 (ST10F276), also in quantities of 10,000.

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.

The MicroControllerShop (http://microcontrollershop.com) 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.

copyright 2006 by
MicroController Pros Corporation
visit our web http://www.ucpros.com


[Home] [Search] [MicroControllerShop] [Publications] [Embedded News Digest] [Resources] [Contents] [Contact Us]

Email us with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright © 2002-2008 MicroController Pros Corporation
Last modified: 12/16/08