Welcome to the August 2006 edition of MicroController
Pros Corporation's Embedded News Digest, your source for microcontroller and
embedded system news.
This month's issue:
Fujitsu Microelectronics America announced that the Tokyo
Institute of Technology (Tokyo-Tech), Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd., and Fujitsu
Limited have jointly developed a new material for a new generation of
non-volatile Ferroelectric Random Access Memory (FeRAM). The material is a
modified composition of Bismuth Ferrite (BiFeO3 or BFO), which enables data
storage capacity up to five times greater than the materials currently used in
New FeRAMs can be produced with Fujitsu's 65nm process
technology using the BFO-based material in a device structure similar to the one
used to build FeRAMs using 180nm technology. FeRAMs using this material can
provide memory cell capacity up to 256Mbits.
The new FeRAMs will deliver the very low power consumption and
high speeds required for new generations of personalized mobile electronic
products such as IC cards, which must be small, easy to use, and provide very
high security. The FeRAM technology is the most suitable non-volatile memory
device for these kinds of devices and applications. Engineering sample shipments
are planned for 2009.
BFO is a ferroelectric material composed of Bismuth, Iron and
Oxygen atoms with a perovskite structure. Lead Zirconate Titanate (PZT or
Pb(Zr,Ti)O3) is used as a ferroelectric material currently, but it has a
lower-charge storage capability, so it also has limited scalability. The
technology limits of PZT are expected to occur at the 130nm node, because as
cell area decreases, higher polarization is required. This limit is expected to
be reached in 2009.
An Mn-doped BFO thin-film capacitor was developed with the
dual functions of decreasing leakage current and 180-220 µC/cm2 of switching
charge, Qsw, which is equivalent to twice the remanent polarization, 2Pr. These
results indicate significant scalability potential for future technology nodes.
FeRAMs built using 65nm technology can be produced using Mn-doped
BFO, with the similar device structure of the FeRAM being produced using 180nm
technology. FeRAMs using this new material will also provide significant
scalability, enabling large memory capacity up to 2014.
Microchip Opens Worldwide Network of 32 Regional Training
Microchip Technology announced a global network of Regional Training Centers (RTCs)
to meet customer demands for more training more often. Engineers seeking to
learn how to design with Microchip's development tools and silicon products now
have access to 32 engineering labs in the Americas, Asia Pacific and Europe
where they can attend hands-on workshops or seminars on a year-round basis.
These RTCs offer a multitude of courses -- covering a wide range of applications
-- that provide expert instruction in a small classroom setting on new design
methodologies, board-level "tips and tricks", and hands-on development tool
projects that can make engineers more productive while increasing their own
Each RTC offers a wide range of course topics for skills levels from beginner to
advanced. For additional information on RTC locations or to register for courses
Miniaturizes the Smallest PIC Microcontrollers
Microchip Technology announced that all members of its 6-pin PIC10F
microcontroller family are now available in ultra-small 2 mm x 3 mm Dual Flat
No-lead (DFN) packages for space-constrained applications. Additionally, three
members of Microchip's 8-pin Baseline PIC microcontroller family are also
available in a 2x3 DFN, providing additional I/O and functionality with the same
This 2x3 DFN packaging requires 30 percent less board space than the current
SOT-23, and provides designers with a reduced height, which is often critical in
handheld electronics. Key features of the 6-pin PIC10F200/202/204/206/220/222
and 8-pin PIC12F508/509/510 microcontrollers include: 8-bit analog-to-digital
converter, comparator(s), internal oscillator operating at up to 8 MHz, 1.125 ms
Device Reset Timer (DRT), 256 to 1K instructions (x12-bit program words) of
Flash program memory, and 16 to 41 bytes of data RAM.
The PIC10F and Baseline PIC microcontroller families are supported by
Microchip's development tools, including the free MPLAB Integrated Development
Environment (IDE) software and all of Microchip's programmers.
In RoHS-compliant 2x3 DFN packages, the PIC10F and Baseline PIC microcontrollers
are available now for general sampling. Volume production is available now for
all six members of the PIC10F family, starting at $0.44 each in 10,000-unit
quantities, while the Baseline PIC12F508/12F509/12F510 microcontrollers in 2x3
DFN are expected to be available for volume orders in the fourth quarter of
Introduces PIC18F4685 Family of CAN-enabled MCUs
Microchip Technology announced the four-member PIC18F4685 family of
high-performance, low-power 8-bit CAN microcontrollers with 80 or 96 Kbytes of
Flash and integrated EEPROM memory to accommodate the growing complexity of CAN
applications. This is the largest amount of program memory available on any
PIC18 microcontroller with an onboard ECAN module for CAN connectivity.
Additionally, automotive and industrial designers can benefit from the small 28-
and 44-pin package sizes of this family for space-constrained applications.
The PIC18F4685 offers enough code space for both the CAN protocol and advanced
applications. And, each microcontroller in this family features Microchip's ECAN
module, an easy-to-use scalable CAN 2.0B solution with the ability to switch
between standard CAN operations and FIFO mode.
Key features of the PIC18F4685/4682/2685/2682 CAN microcontrollers include: 96
or 80 Kbytes of Flash program memory, 1 Kbyte of data EEPROM, 3.3 Kbytes of RAM,
and a 10-bit ADC with 8 or 11 channels.
The PIC18F4685/4682/2685/2682 microcontrollers are available now for general
sampling and volume-production ordering. The PIC18F4685/4682 come in 44-pin TQFP
and 40-pin PDIP packages, and the PIC18F2685/2682 are available in 28-pin SOIC
and PDIP packages, all of which are RoHS-compliant. Prices start at $5.26 each
in 10,000-unit quantities.
Announces New Line of CAN/LIN MCUs with Up to 1MB Flash
NEC Electronics America announced a new line of microcontrollers: the 8-bit Fx2
series and 32-bit Fx3 series, which are based on the company's 0.15-micron
process technology and have embedded Flash memory optimized for automotive body
and safety control applications.
Featuring pin counts ranging from 44 to 176, and Flash memory configurations
ranging from 32KB to 1MB, the new line is composed of 29 MCUs: 13 based on the
8-bit 78K0 CPU core and 16 based on the 32-bit V850ES CPU core. All devices
support CAN and LIN protocols. The products in both the 78K0/Fx2 and V850ES/Fx3
series are pin-compatible with NEC's previous-generation 78K0/Fx1+ and
V850ES/Fx2 MCUs to provide current customers with a smooth migration path to the
new series devices.
Samples of 78K0/Fx2 series MCUs are available now with volume production
scheduled for October 2006. Samples of V850ES/Fx3 series MCUs are scheduled to
be available in the coming months with volume production scheduled for December
Electronics Expands 8-Bit 78K0S/Kx1+ Flash MCU Family
NEC Electronics announced the expansion of its 8-bit 78K0S/Kx1+ microcontroller
series to include 10 new devices that provide seamless coverage of system
requirements for multiple MCU applications. Three new 10-pin 78K0S/KU1+ MCUs are
available in a plastic shrink
small-outline package (SSOP) that measures 4.4 by 3.72 mm. Flash memory
capacities range from 1 to 4 KB.
The company is also
adding to its existing low-pin-count series with seven new 78K0S/KB1+,
78K0S/KA1+ and 78K0S/KY1+ MCUs that are available with pin counts ranging from
16 to 30 and on-chip Flash memory ranging from 1 to 8 KB.
The 30-pin 78K0S/KB1+ MCUs feature 4 and 8 KB of Flash memory; the 20-pin
78K0S/KA1+ MCUs, 2 to 4 KB; and the 16-pin 78K0S/KY1+ MCUs, 1, 2 and 4 KB. The
omission of an A/D converter in these seven devices allows designers to select
only the functions they need, making these MCUs a cost-effective choice for
applications in which analog data (such as temperature or weight data obtained
from sensors) need not be converted into digital data by the MCU.
The 78K0S/KU1+ MCUs are in volume production now. Sample shipments of the
78K0S/KB1+, 78K0S/KA1+ and 78K0S/KY1+ devices are available now. Volume
production for these MCUs is scheduled to begin in October 2006. Sample pricing
is expected to range from US$1.30 to $2.
Innovative System-in-Package Technology
NEC unveiled a new system-in-package (SiP) technology capable of stacking logic
and gigabit-class memory in a single package to enable high-speed,
high-definition image processing in mobile devices. The new SiP technology,
SMAFTI (SMArt connection with Feed-Through Interposer), features a
three-dimensional chip connection whose approximately 60-micron gap and
50-micron-pitch microbump between the logic and memory devices can support
transmissions up to 100 gigabits per second (Gbps). Designers who use SMAFTI
technology in cellular phones and other portable equipment that have stringent
size and power constraints can achieve resolutions comparable to those achieved
in high-definition television.
NEC developed the SMAFTI technology by leveraging three key enabling
technologies: a 50-micron-pitch microbump interconnection technology, a
15-micron-thick feed-through interposer (FTI) based on superconnect technology,
and a multichip assembly process.
The microbump interconnection technology makes it possible to realize low power
dissipation, a small form factor, and high-speed interchip communication at more
than 100 Gbps, ten times faster than conventional technologies. The small
50-micron-pitch interconnection size is the result of a silicon-to-silicon
attachment process that effectively reduces the size of conventional pitch bumps
and enables designers to accommodate four times the number of bumps in the same
area. This process produces high-speed data transfers and is more reliable than
the conventional silicon and organic substrate attachment process.
Superconnect technology is used in chip fabrication and has a copper signal
trace 15 microns wide and a polyimide layer 7 microns thick -- half that of a
conventional substrate. The 15-microns-thick FTI, which is based on superconnect
technology, makes it possible to convert a chip's wiring pitch to 50 microns,
and to fan out the pitch connection of an outer ball grid array to 500 microns.
As a result, the routing of signals from a logic chip with a 50-micron pitch and
memory connection points to universal substrate terminals can be simplified.
The multichip assembly process is an enhancement of existing wafer-based
manufacturing processes that are typically used for SOC manufacturing. Memory
chips are first mounted onto silicon wafers using wiring based on superconnect
technology. Then the chips and wiring layer are molded by resin and the silicon
wafer is removed. The BGA attachment process follows.
Products featuring SMAFTI technology are expected to be available during the
first quarter of 2007 in a variety of lead-free package sizes. Availability is
subject to change.
ZiLOG has made its ZiLOG Developer Studio II (ZDS II) software
available free of charge via download from the Company's website.
ZDS II is a well-established Integrated Development Environment that provides a
complete suite of software tools that support development with ZiLOG's
eZ80Acclaim, Z8 Encore!, Z8 Encore! XP, Z8 Encore! MC, and Crimzon product
lines. Included in ZDS II are a Microsoft Windows-based project environment,
editor, project manager, C compiler, assembler, linker, librarian, simulator,
One major benefit of ZDS II is that it simplifies code development and helps
bring products to market more rapidly. In addition, it is an extremely useful
resource for writing 'code snippets' to test ideas or write functions. While
many commercial customers are using ZDS II to develop production applications,
it makes an ideal tool for embedded software development in an educational
setting. Teachers and professors, for example, can use ZDS II as a tool for
developing classes and workshops. Students can download the software to their
home machines and/or laptops for class work or projects, while design engineers
can evaluate the tools and silicon features without the expense of buying a C
Compiler up front.
ZiLOG's software and tools are fully supported by their technical support desk.
ZDS II can be downloaded at: http://www.zilog.com/software/zds2.asp.
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
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
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