November 2006 Embedded News Digest

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

This month's issue:

Analog Devices' Latest Blackfin Family Increases Performance and Security
ARM Releases Free OpenMAX DL Sample Software Library
Atmel Extends 8051 Flash Microcontroller Family with 128KB Device
Atmel's AT90SC256144RCFT Secure MCU Targets e-Government Applications
Atmel Announces Three Low-Power tinyAVR MCUs with High-Speed Timers
Freescale Opens Licensing of ColdFire Architecture to Embedded Customers
Microchip Introduces PIC MCUs for Cost-Sensitive Motor-Control Applications

Microchip Introduces Small, Cost-Effective PIC MCUs for Intelligent Motor Control
Microchip Announces PIC Microcontrollers with Internal Shunt Regulator

Microchip Unveils Latest Evolution of General-Purpose, Small PIC MCUs
Renesas SH7652 Supports IP Broadcasting and DTCP-IP Copyright Protection

TI Introduces TMS470PLFx1 MCUs for Complex Automotive Body Applications
TI Releases Lowest-cost 32-bit Digital Signal Controllers
TI Enhances Automotive Safety with IEC 61508-compliant Processor
ZiLOG Delivers First 8-bit MCU With Vector Control Capability

Analog Devices' Latest Blackfin Family Increases Performance and Security

Analog Devices is introducing its newest series of Blackfin processors: the ADSP-BF54x family (ADSP-BF542/BF544/BF548/BF549).

Operating at speeds up to 600MHz, the new ADSP-BF54x family doubles the internal bus bandwidth of Blackfin to 532 Mbytes per second to meet the demands of system peripheral integration. This internal bandwidth is matched by up to 260 Kbytes of on-chip memory.High Speed USB on-the-go (OTG) with integrated PHY, ATAPI controller, and NAND flash controller are just a few of the peripheral options on the ADSP-BF54x family. Up to 152 general-purpose I/O ports are also supported. Furthermore, these new Blackfin processors offer a MXVR (Media Transfer) interface that easily integrates automotive telematics and infotainment systems with vehicles through a MOST network.

The Blackfin ADSP-BF54X family also incorporates new Lockbox Secure Technology that allows developers to ensure code and data integrity through authentication, and to safeguard confidentiality by means of encrypting any or all of the system. Not only does this provide a means for developers to protect the intellectual property of their own products, but it also offers a platform for the digital rights management (DRM) content protection that is required for devices such as media players. In addition, the programmable aspect of the Lockbox software-based system gives system designers the opportunity to choose any encryption algorithm they prefer.

The ADSP-BF542 is available at 400MHz, 533MHz and 600MHz, ranging from $11.95 to $15.65. The ADSP-BF544 is available at 400MHz and 533MHz, ranging from $13.25 to $15.35. The ADSP-BF548 is available at 533MHz and 600MHz, ranging from $15.95 to $17.95. The ADSP-BF549 is available at 533MHz priced at $18.58. All prices are based on 10,000-unit quantities.

ARM Releases Free OpenMAX DL Sample Software Library

ARM has made the source code for its sample implementation of the OpenMAX DL (Development Layer) software library, designed to enable rapid implementation and seamless portability of video, image and audio codecs, freely available for download from their website. The ARM OpenMAX DL software library supports the OpenMAX DL API specification developed by the Khronos Group.

The Khronos OpenMAX DL API requires a software library that implements the functions it specifies. ARM's sample OpenMAX DL software library provides source code written in C for easy platform portability and code readability. ARM's optimized libraries will be hand-coded in assembly and designed to achieve maximum performance. Now, codec porting to new platforms is as simple as swapping in the new DL library.

The OpenMAX DL software library adds significant value to OEMs, ODMs, and codec and middle providers by improving time-to-market for advanced codecs, reducing software development costs and enabling silicon providers to offer an open-standards-based platform for optimized codec development.

ARM plans to create a series of highly optimized libraries including an implementation that will take full advantage of the ARMv6 architecture found in the ARM11 family, and an implementation for the NEON signal-processing technology found in the Cortex-A8 processor.

The sample OpenMAX DL software library is freely available for download at:

The OpenMAX DL API specification is freely available from the Khronos Group at:

Atmel Extends 8051 Flash Microcontroller Family with 128KB Device

Atmel Corporation announced the AT89C51RE2, a new 8051-based microcontroller with 128 Kbytes of Flash program memory. The device is an addition to their existing 16-, 32-, and 64-Kbyte 8051 Flash family of AT89C51RB2/RC2/RD2/ED2 microcontrollers.

The AT89C51RE2 comes with a rich feature set including 8 Kbytes of RAM, two UARTs, watchdog timer, power-on-reset, power-fail detector, PCA, SPI and on-chip debug, and up to 50 general-purpose I/Os for application use. The device is ideally suited for industrial and consumer applications such as I/O management, power management, industrial and motor control, smart sensors and set-top boxes. The AT89C51RE2 can operate from 2.7 to 5.5 volts at 2 to 40 MHz and achieves a 4 MIPS throughput when running at 40 MHz.

A key new feature is the on chip debug (OCD) capability that enables low-cost emulation. The hardware debug system with Windows IDE interface gives the user access to debugging functions built into the AT89C51RE2, resulting in faster development and verification of user code in real-time.

The AT89C51RE2 is available in 44-pin PLCC and VQFP packages at USD $4.80 for 10,000 units.

Atmel's AT90SC256144RCFT Secure MCU Targets e-Government Applications

Atmel has announced the introduction of its new AT90SC256144RCFT, a dual-interface secure microcontroller tailored to efficiently serve the high-end electronic identity markets.

The AT90SC256144RCFT is a dual-interface contact (ISO7816) and contactless (ISO/IEC14443) smartcard chip that is compliant with the new International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) specifications for e-passports. This product has been designed to meet common criteria EAL5+ security certification (BSI protection profile).

The AT90SC256144RCFT features 144 Kbytes of EEPROM data memory, 256 Kbytes of ROM program memory, an additional 32 Kbytes of ROM for crypto library and 8 Kbytes of RAM. Its large EEPROM nonvolatile memory provides sufficient capacity to allow large data storage such as 10 fingertip images of the passport holder (around 10 Kbytes/image), leaving enough space for other data (photo holder, encryption keys, etc.). The ROM and RAM sizes, combined with the computing power of the secureAVR architecture, make this chip perfectly suited for JavaCard implementation.

The AT90SC256144RCFT shares the same common features with Atmel's secureAVR family, including its 8-bit/16-bit RISC core, strong security mechanisms, a power-analysis attack-resistant DES/TripleDES engine, as well as Atmel's AdvX crypto-accelerator for an optimized trade-off between performance and power consumption. It allows extremely fast extended access control implementations. This product can be delivered with on-chip tuning capacitance options, ranging from 20 pF to 100 pF, to cope with different antenna technologies.

AT90SC256144RCFT samples are available now. Production will start in Q1 of 2007.

Atmel Announces Three Low-Power tinyAVR MCUs with High-Speed Timers

Atmel Corporation announced three new 20-pin tinyAVR Flash microcontroller devices with high-speed timers, targeting battery chargers, sensor end-points and motor-control applications.

The devices are pin compatible, differing only in the size of their Flash, EEPROM and SRAM memories. The ATtiny261 has 2 Kbytes of self-programmable Flash memory, whereas the ATtiny461 and ATtiny861 have 4 Kbytes and 8 Kbytes, respectively. All devices deliver 20 MIPS throughput when running at 20 MHz.

The internal 8 MHz RC oscillator and the on-chip PLL run the 10-bit timer/counter at up to 64 MHz. The high-speed timer/counter with three independent PWM generators and programmable dead times makes the devices ideal for battery chargers, battery monitoring, power monitoring and motor-control applications.

All devices have internal EEPROM, pull-up resistors, an internal 8 MHz precision oscillator and 12 general I/O pins for application use. Alternatively, the I/O pins work as ADC inputs or PWM outputs.

The ATtiny261/461/861 devices include a Universal Serial Interface (USI), which easily can be configured to work as an SPI, UART or TWI. Advanced analog capabilities, such as built-in temperature measurement, a fast analog comparator and a programmable analog gain amplifier, allow highly-integrated designs with a small price tag. A total of eleven 10-bit A/D converter input channels allows a wide selection of peripherals to be connected in sensor and control applications, and the internal temperature sensor allows reliable system parameter calibration.

A balance between system performance and power consumption is achieved by directly controlling the system clock frequency. Additional power saving is achieved by selectively turning off timers, the serial interface, and/or ADCs when not in use. As a result, the power consumption of the device in 1.8V active mode at 1 MHz is less than 400 microAmps, and in power-down mode it's just a few microAmps.

Samples of ATtiny261, ATtiny461 and ATtiny861 are available in 20-pin SOIC and PDIP, and 32-pad QFN packages. All three devices are in volume production. Volume prices for 10,000 units are $0.80, $0.90 and $1.15, respectively.

Freescale Opens Licensing of ColdFire Architecture to Embedded Customers

Broadening customer access to one of the industry's most popular 32-bit microcontroller architectures, Freescale Semiconductor has initiated a ColdFire licensing program for the embedded design community.

The V2 ColdFire core is available now for licensing through IPextreme Inc., semiconductor intellectual property (IP) licensing specialists. Specifically, IPextreme plans to market, sell and support the V2 ColdFire core to system-on-chip (SoC) designers seeking to integrate the core and other functions onto a single chip, helping them save time and money. Freescale plans to open licensing to additional ColdFire cores in 2007 and beyond.

By acquiring a license to the V2 ColdFire core, high-volume embedded system manufacturers are able to create their own low-power, highly integrated 32-bit ASIC solutions containing a ColdFire core combined with their own proprietary technology. ASIC devices based on ColdFire cores can be created quickly and cost-effectively to address emerging market opportunities requiring innovative, custom microcontroller designs.

Based on a memory-configurable hierarchical architecture that is 100-percent synthesizable, the V2 ColdFire core is designed specifically for software reuse and ease of integration into custom designs. ASIC designs based on the V2 core will be software-compatible with all ColdFire standard products and cycle accurate with V2-based devices.

For more information about the ColdFire licensing program or to obtain a license to the V2 core from IPextreme, visit

Microchip Introduces PIC MCUs for Cost-Sensitive Motor-Control Applications

Microchip has announced a family of 8-bit Flash microcontrollers with new advanced motor-control peripherals that deliver better efficiency, quieter operation, greater range, and extend the life of motors in automotive, industrial, appliance and consumer applications.

The 40-pin PIC18F4331/4431 and 28-pin PIC18F2331/2431 MCUs provide a complete solution for extremely precise and energy-efficient operation in sophisticated motor-control applications through advanced analog and digital feedback, and the new three-phase complementary PWM control system.

Key to the performance and flexibility of the PIC18Fxx31 family are three new modules specifically designed for advanced motion and power control applications. The power control module has a three-phase PWM structure; the motion feedback module includes a quadrature encoder interface; the third module consists of a high-speed ADC, which operates at 200ksps and can be synchronized with the PWM. Together, these modules eliminate the need for any external motor-control components, such as a high-speed converter and a resonator, thereby providing a lower-cost solution and saving board space.

Other significant features of the PIC18Fxx31 devices include: up to eight PWM channels with 14-bit resolution, center alignment, programmable dead-time and two external fault-protection inputs; two Capture/Compare/PWM modules; an Internal RC Oscillator with eight selectable frequencies ranging from 8MHz to 31.25KHz; four general-purpose Timers; a Clock Monitor for fail-safe operation; an Enhanced USART supporting RS485, RS232 and the LIN protocol; 256 Bytes of on-board, high-endurance data EEPROM; up to 10 MIPS performance at 40MHz; a 16-level Programmable Low Voltage Detection module; and nanoWatt Technology features that provide enhanced power-management capabilities.

The PIC18F4331/4431 devices are available in 40-pin DIP, and 44-pin TQFP and QFN packages. The PIC18F2331/2431 parts are offered in 28-pin SDIP, SOIC and QFN packages. General samples and volume production for all four MCUs are available now.

Microchip Introduces Small, Cost-Effective PIC MCUs for Intelligent Motor Control

Microchip Technology announced the PIC18F1330 and PIC18F1230 8-bit microcontrollers for basic, open-loop and low-end closed-loop motor control that is not algorithmically intensive. Additionally, these new microcontrollers address motor control applications where cost and space are primary design concerns, via the combination of a specialized PWM peripheral with up to six channels and 10 MIPS performance at 40 MHz in packages as small as 18 pins.

The PIC18F1330 family provides electronic motor control of 3-phase ACIM VF motors, Brushed DC motors, 3-phase BLDC motors and stepper motors. Specific motor control application examples include: Appliance (washers, dryers, refrigerators, vacuums); Commercial (low-end UPS, switch-mode power supplies, arena lighting, fiber-optic routing, power-bridge drivers, fuel pumps, DC-DC converters, smart fan controllers); Automotive (door and window lifts, mirrors, sunroofs, anti-pinch windows, garage-door openers, throttle control, smart fan controllers, windshield wipers, power seats).

Additional key features of the PIC18F1330 motor control family include up to 8 Kbytes of Flash; 128 bytes EEPROM; 256 bytes RAM; 2x 16-bit timers; 3x 10-bit ADCs; 3 comparators; Enhanched USART (LIN Interface); and a 14-bit, 3-phase PWM module.

The PIC18F1330 and PIC18F1230 microcontrollers are available now for general sampling and volume-production orders in 18-pin PDIP and SOIC, 20-pin SSOP, and 28-pin 6x6 mm QFN packages, all of which are Pb-free and RoHS-compliant. Pricing starts at $2.00 each in 10,000-unit quantities.

Microchip Announces PIC Microcontrollers with Internal Shunt Regulator

Microchip has announced the first general-purpose, Flash PIC microcontrollers with several peripherals for more cost-effective control of fans or small motors. The 14-pin PIC16F616/610 and the 8-pin PIC12F615/609 microcontrollers can substantially reduce system component counts and costs through the integration of specialized peripherals, such as a full-bridge PWM with deadband control, a Timer1 Gate for pulse width measurement, a comparator for hall-effect sensor interfaces, and an A/D converter for temperature and various monitoring functions. In the case of the PIC16HV616/610 and PIC12HV615/609 variants, the addition of an internal shunt regulator allows the PIC microcontroller to run from higher voltage rails without the addition of voltage regulators.

Many high-voltage-rail applications, such as motor control and power supplies, require components to step down the input voltage for various control devices. However, these new PIC microcontrollers -- available with an integrated shunt regulator option designated by "HV" in the part number -- allow engineers to design systems without having to add a regulator. Additionally, motor and power applications often require intermediate voltages for power drivers and other power components. The PIC16F616/HV616 family addresses these requirements with a built-in S/R latch to design a switch-mode power supply for these intermediate voltages.

Specific application examples include: home appliances (such as blenders, toasters, smoke alarms and thermostat controls), cooling-fan control and other motor control, power tools, system control and monitoring, battery chargers, automated door sensors, speedometers, and power supplies.

Key features for the PIC16F616/610 and PIC12F615/609 microcontrollers, and their HV variants, include up to 3.5 Kbytes of Flash program memory; 128 bytes RAM; and up to eight 10-bit ADC channels.

The PIC16F610/HV610 and PIC12F609/HV609 microcontrollers are expected to be available in December for general sampling and volume-production orders. Their superset counterparts, the PIC16F616/HV616 and PIC12F615/HV615 microcontrollers, are available now for general sampling and are expected to be available for volume-production ordering in December. In 10,000-unit quantities, the PIC16F616/610 start at $0.73 each and the PIC16HV616/610 start at $0.77 each in Pb-free, RoHS-compliant 14-pin PDIP, SOIC, TSSOP and QFN packages. The PIC12F615/609 start at $0.60 each and the PIC12HV615/609 start at $0.64 in 8-pin PDIP, SOIC, DFN and MSOP packages, also in 10,000-unit quantities.

Microchip Unveils Latest Evolution of General-Purpose, Small PIC MCUs

Microchip Technology has announced a new four-member family of 28- and 40/44-pin PIC microcontrollers for use in a wide range of applications. The PIC16F88X family maintains compatibility with the PIC16F87XA family for easy migration, while providing a host of new features designed to save users time and money, both during and after their design cycle. The enhancements include dual internal oscillators with clock switching and fail-safe clock mode; more (up to 14) ADC channels; an advanced comparator module featuring two comparators and a Set/Reset Latch to allow emulation of many analog circuits; and low-power enhancements that extend battery life.

Additional key features of the PIC16F88X microcontroller family include: up to 14 Kbytes of Self-write Program Flash and low-voltage programming to enable field programmability; up to 256 bytes of Data EEPROM for variable data storage; on-board In-Circuit Debug module for simpler system troubleshooting; UART/SCI connectivity via EUSART module; Master Mode SPI and I2C with Address Mask option; Master Synchronous Serial Port (MSSP) with slave address mask; Enhanced USART (EUSART); and more General Purpose I/O, with up to 36 pins that can be used for I/O and Interrupt-on-change capability for each I/O pin.

The four new devices are supported by the free MPLAB IDE, and the MPLAB ICD2 or compatible third-party in-circuit debugger/programmers.

The PIC16F886 and PIC16F887 microcontrollers are available now for general sampling and volume production. The PIC16F883 and PIC16F884 microcontrollers are expected to be available in December. Pricing for this four-member family starts at $1.58 each in 10,000 unit quantities. The PIC16F883 and PIC16F886 come in 28-pin PDIP, SOIC, SSOP and QFN packages, while the PIC16F884 and PIC16F887 are available in 40-pin PDIP, and 44-pin QFN and TQFP package options.

Renesas SH7652 Supports IP Broadcasting and DTCP-IP Copyright Protection

Renesas Technology has announced the 32-bit SuperH Family SH7652 microprocessor with an on-chip Ethernet controller, incorporating the industry's first encryption/decryption functions supporting both the copyright protection function for IP broadcasting soon to start in Japan, and the DTCP-IP copyright protection standard for in-home distribution, for use in digital audiovisual and office automation devices with built-in network functions. Sample shipments will begin in January 2007 in Japan.

As enhancements to current 133 MHz SH7650 with DTCP-IP functions, the SH7652 features the addition of a copyright protection function for IP broadcasting in Japan, a more comprehensive range of peripheral functions, and a 50% increase in operating speed to 200 MHz.

The SH7652 includes an error-correction function and encryption/decryption circuitry for decrypting IP broadcasting content, as well as functions compliant with the DTCP-IP standard used for content distribution within the home. These copyright protection authentication functions and content encryption/decryption functions are implemented using firmware to be provided together with the SH7652. These functions enable copyright protection processing and network processing to be handled by a single chip without further burden on the host CPU. Windows Media DRM10 copyright protection is also supported.

An IEEE802.3 standard compliant media access controller (MAC) is incorporated, enabling connection to a 10/100 Mbps Ethernet LAN. The improved processing performance makes it possible to perform IP broadcasting copyright protection processing and DTCP-IP control, and carry out simultaneous 2-channel transmission of HD digital content.

A USB 2.0 High Speed compliant USB Host/Function module and SD Memory Card host interface are included, enabling connection to a memory card and wireless LAN module. Serial sound interfaces are also incorporated, allowing playback of MP3, WMA and similar audio data well within the capacity of the high-performance CPU.

The SH7652 easily can be connected to another microprocessor or CPU via an on-chip host interface function. This function enables a main microprocessor's system control to handle the SH7652 as an SRAM-equivalent device in performing data transmission and reception. This allows control as an Ethernet controller, enabling network-related function development to be carried out independently, and simplifying user product development.

The copyright protection support functions provided in the SH7652 comprise a hardware encryption/decryption circuit block, and firmware for encryption/decryption circuit block and content data transfer control.

The SH7652 includes two video stream port channels that enable high-speed transfer of MPEG-2 TS (Transport Stream) and MPEG-2 PS (Program Stream) format data. These ports can be connected to an MPEG-2 encoder/decoder chip, enabling encrypted data received via a network to be decrypted, and transferred to an MPEG-2 chip at high speed as MPEG-2 TS format video data. Also, performing high-speed encryption of content data by means of the on-chip encryption circuit before transmission via a network makes it possible to achieve simultaneous secure network transfer of HD digital content on two channels.

The SH7652 also includes a comprehensive range of peripheral functions. The package used is a 240-pin CSP (13 mm × 13 mm).

TI Introduces TMS470PLFx1 MCUs for Complex Automotive Body Applications

Available for immediate sampling, the ARM7TDMI-based TMS470PLFx1 MCUs offer up to 512KB of Flash memory, optional EEPROM emulation, up to 32KB RAM, and up to 56MHz of 32-bit performance in a temperature range of up to 125 degrees C. Integrated communication peripherals include CAN, LIN protocol handler, and multi-buffered SPI.

TMS470PLFx1 MCUs include a unique user-programmable 32-channel high-end timer (HET), RISC-based co-processor for greater flexibility and accuracy in timing functions like period and pulse measurements, output compare, and PWMs. The HET co-processor runs in parallel and completely independently of the ARM7 CPU, providing significantly higher system performance. TMS470PLFx1 devices also include a multi-buffered, 32-channel 10-bit ADC with a total sampling and conversion time of 1.55 microseconds that, like the HET, offloads processing from the CPU. The high number of timing channels and analog input channels makes separate multiplexer devices redundant and helps in reducing the number of external components, board space and, in turn, system cost.

The new devices support multiple low-power operating modes with a wake-up time of less than 20 microseconds, enabling hibernate current consumption as low as 25 microAmps. Integrated voltage regulators on the chip enable 5V single-voltage supply resulting in cost savings on the system level by eliminating additional external components.

TMS470PLFx MCUs at 48 and 56MHz with up to 512KB of Flash memory are available in samples today, with volume quantities available mid-2007. Package options range from 100 to 176 pin LQFP.

TI Releases Lowest-cost 32-bit Digital Signal Controllers

Texas Instruments has announced volume availability of four low-cost TMS320F280xx DSP-based controllers. The TMS320F28015 and F28016 digital signal controllers offer 60 MHz of performance starting as low as $3.25 in 1,000-unit quantities; TMS320F2801-60 and F2802-60 controllers also offer 60 MHz of performance and are based on the current TMS320F2801 and F2802 devices.

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 devices offer extraordinary system integration by providing complete control system capabilities from signal input through the on-chip, 12-bit ADC, QEP interfaces, and timer captures/compares through signal output with up to 10 independent PWM channels. Depending on the device, communication interfaces include CAN, I2C, UART and SPI ports. The TMS320F28016 device is the lowest-cost digital signal controller with integrated CAN communications.

F280x controllers' patent-pending 150 picosecond resolution High-Resolution PWM (HRPWM) provides 16 bits of accuracy in a 100 KHz control loop, and 12 bits at 1.5 MHz, resulting in designs with cleaner power output, higher power density, smaller magnetics and more compact, cooler supplies. These benefits are vital in applications such as AC/DC rectifiers requiring high tolerances and faster transient response with small ripple amplitude. For motor control applications like white goods and automotive, overall system costs can be reduced through integration and lower device cost while leveraging the 32-bit performance necessary to implement advanced control techniques. Processor-intensive, sensorless vector control helps developers reduce the power electronics required and the size and cost of a system's motors.

All four controllers are AEC Q100 automotive qualified in 100-pin LQFP packaging and are available in production quantities.

TI Enhances Automotive Safety with IEC 61508-compliant Processor

Accelerating the trend towards safer but less complex automotive chassis control applications, Texas Instruments has introduced a new symmetrical dual-core microcontroller (MCU). The TMS570 MCU is the first automotive processor solution to support a certification according to the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 61508 SIL3 standard –- the highest level of safety that is designated for automotive applications. Co-developed with Robert Bosch GmbH, a leading global supplier of automotive technology, the TMS570 MCU will be implemented in next-generation braking, steering and chassis control applications.

The TMS570 MCU platform uses two identical ARM Limited Cortex R4 cores combined with an initial 2 Mbytes of on-chip Flash memory. Targeted applications include chassis control, braking/electronic vehicle stability and steering, with higher and lower memory and performance variations planned. The dual cores are tightly coupled by a patent-pending architecture for maximum reliability, while memory is protected by Error-Correcting Code (ECC) bit checking.

The TMS570 device integrates the Cortex R4 cores in an innovative and unprecedented design that enables failure detection and response times required by the IEC 61508 standard. Software development for the dual-core TMS570 MCU becomes less complex by eliminating a dedicated checker MCU algorithm and communication overhead between the main controller and the checker MCU, thus reducing development time and cost.

The FlexRay networking protocol is also implemented directly on the TMS570 MCU, further increasing integration. This deterministic communications standard developed by the leading automotive manufacturers and suppliers offers fully deterministic and fault-tolerant communications for advanced automotive systems.

ZiLOG Delivers First 8-bit MCU With Vector Control Capability

ZiLOG has announced that its Z8 Encore! MC (FMC16100 Series) is the first 8-bit MCU to offer vector control capability, an innovation that significantly lowers the Bill of Materials costs for appliance manufacturers, reduces both energy consumption and, in appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines, water usage -- factors that benefit both consumers and the environment as well as help extend the life cycle of the product itself.

Vector control was previously claimed to be the domain of digital signal processors (DSPs), digital signal controllers (DSCs) and 16- or 32-bit microcontrollers. With the vector control capability developed by ZiLOG engineers using the Z8 Encore! FMC 16100 series, the myth that only high-end MCUs or DSPs can perform vector control algorithms has been dispelled. Combining ZiLOG's fast CPU (up to 10 MIPS), fast ADC and integrated op-amp, and optimized C Compiler, ZiLOG can provide the equivalent of DSP functionality in vector control, which they estimates can save up to 50 percent on overall BoM costs compared to higher-end MCU solutions.

In addition to the lower BoM cost to appliance manufacturers, end users also benefit from vector control. Current motor technologies used in large appliances, especially older models, are only 50 to 60 percent energy efficient compared to newer models. Appliances using the vector controlled FMC 16100 can improve the energy efficiency of the motor to around 90 to 95 percent as it replaces conventional motors with brushless DC (BLDC) motors, enabling extremely accurate variable speed control.

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