February 2007 Embedded News Digest

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Welcome to the February 2007 edition of MicroController Pros Corporation's Embedded News Digest, your source for microcontroller and embedded system news.

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This month's issue:

Atmel Integrates AVR 8-bit MCU and LIN System Basis Chip
Freescale Adds Memory to 8-bit 908Q Microcontroller Family
Freescale Introduces First S08 MCU with LCD Driver
Freescale Extends PowerQUICC III Processor Family
Freescale Expands 16-bit 56F8000 DSC Family
Freescale Adds Advanced Security Features to MSC8144 DSP Family
Fujitsu Announces 32-bit Flash MCU with Six CAN Interfaces
Fujitsu Announces New 16-bit 16FX Series MCUs
Infineon Provides 8-Bit Flash MCUs With Temperature Range up to +140C
Microchip Unveils Newest Member of PIC16F88x Family
Microchip Adds The MathWorks Plug-ins to MPLAB
Microchip Achieves ZigBee Compliant Platform Status
NXP Introduces Integrated LCD Support to ARM7 MCU Family
Ramtron Introduces USB Interface for Versa 8051 MCU DevKit
Renesas Releases SH7764 for High-End Digital Audio Applications
Silicon Labs Announces 100-MIPS Small-Form-Factor MCU
TI Introduces Their Highest-Performing Floating-Point DSP
TI Announces Volume Availability of MSP430FG461x Series
ZiLOG Expands eZ80Acclaim! 8-Bit Family

Atmel Integrates AVR 8-bit MCU and LIN System Basis Chip

Atmel announced the availability of the ATA6602 and ATA6603 multichip modules, extending their IC family for LIN applications. These new devices are designed for automotive actuator applications typically found in comfort electronics (e.g., window lifter, mirror or seat adjuster) as well as in powertrain applications. Due to their very small size, the ATA6602 and ATA6603 are also ideal for sensor node applications such as control panels, air quality, rain/sun sensors and many more.

Using a multichip-module approach, these two ICs combine a microcontroller (8-bit AVR) and a LIN system basis chip (LIN SBC) in a single package (SiP, system-in-package).  The ATA6602 integrates the automotive-qualified ATmega88 AVR Flash MCU with 8 kB of Flash memory, whereas the ATA6603 incorporates the automotive-qualified ATmega168 with a Flash memory of 16 kB.

The LIN SBCs within the new ATA6602 and ATA6603 modules incorporate the LIN transceiver, an advanced voltage regulator, and a watchdog timer. They are manufactured using Atmel's own high-voltage BCDMOS process for operation in harsh environments. Thanks to its silent mode, the LIN SBC provides very low power consumption (40 microamps with activated voltage regulator). In addition, the LIN SBC provides high immunity against ESD and EMC, various protection functions, and a unique, broad input/output voltage range (-40 to 60V) for the LIN bus pin which is ideal for use in truck applications.

Since the ATA6602 and ATA6603 incorporate AVR microcontrollers with all pins bonded out, Atmel's standard AVR tools can be used during the development phase. This includes the AVR Studio IDE for writing and debugging AVR applications. AVR Studio includes an assembler, as well as a simulator, and supports the integration of the freeware GCC compiler. For on-chip debugging, the AVR JTAGICE mkII with debugWIRE interface can be used. A LIN protocol handler is also available. In addition, a LIN software library for GCC and IAR C compiler are available for free.

Samples of the new ATA6602/ATA6603 in QFN48 (7 x 7 mm) packages are available now. Pricing for 10,000 units starts at $1.87 (ATA6602) and $1.99 (ATA6603).

Freescale Adds Memory to 8-bit 908Q Microcontroller Family

Freescale Semiconductor is extending its low-end 8-bit 908Q microcontroller family with the introduction of the high-performance MC908QC16 (QC16).

Offering 16kB of Flash memory, the highly integrated QC16 MCU eliminates the need for external components such as low-voltage inhibit (LVI), oscillators and drivers with high-current I/O. The high-performance Flash memory read/program/erase functionality supports EEPROM emulation, eliminating the need for external EEPROM.

Features include 24 GPIO, 2.2V to 5.5V operation, -40 to +125 degrees C range, ESCI, SPI, high-speed asynchronous operation at full duplex, 10-bit ADC with internal reference voltage, internal clock oscillator with 3.2 MHz nominal frequency (or 2 MHz at 2.2V), and 4-channel 16-bit timers.

The QC16 MCU is housed in a 16-pin TSSOP. The suggested resale price is $1.94 in 10,000-unit quantities.

Freescale Introduces First S08 MCU with LCD Driver

Freescale Semiconductor has introduced a family of highly integrated, power-efficient 8-bit MCU devices optimized for LCDs. The MC9S08LC60 (LC60) family features Freescale's first S08-based Flash MCUs to include an integrated LCD driver module with an internal charge pump.

The LC60 family's integrated up to 160 (4x40) segment LCD driver supports both standard 3V and 5V LCD glass applications. An internal charge pump enables the application to run off of a single power supply, a dual supply for sustained contrast, or a customized implementation of contrast control.

The LCD driver can be configured to operate a display even when the MCU core enters STOP or "sleep" mode. The blinking of individual segments in STOP mode is an innovative feature that helps reduce overall system power consumption and preserves battery life.

The LC60 family features a dual Flash memory block for enhanced EEPROM emulation. Eliminating extraneous EEPROM from the system helps reduce system cost and board space. The dual Flash block enables continued execution of code out of one block while programming or erasing the other block.

On-chip integrated SPI, SCI and I2C modules make it easy to connect LC60 MCUs to external power measurement ICs or to ZigBee-enabled modules for wireless communications applications.

The LC60 family features the MCS08LC60 and the MCS08LC36. Volume quantities of both devices in an 80-pin LQFP are available now, and volume quantities for 64-pin LQFP devices are planned for Q2 2007. The suggested resale price for the MCS08LC60 in 10,000-piece quantities starts at $3.70, and the suggested resale price for the MCS08LC36 starts at $3.14.

Freescale Extends PowerQUICC III Processor Family

The newest member of the PowerQUICC III family, Freescale's MPC8544E incorporates SGMII interfaces and three multi-lane PCI Express ports. Additionally, the MPC8544E is one of the industry's lowest-power-consuming SoCs to deliver gigabit Ehternet performance. Consuming only 3.75W typical core power at 1 GHz operation, the MPC8544E greatly reduces the challenges of thermal management in fanless embedded applications.

The MPC8544E processor offers a flexible SoC platform with an e500v2 core based on Power Architecture technology and a 256kB L2 Cache. The device provides a wide range of high-speed connectivity, including two integrated 10/100/1000 Ethernet controllers with SGMII interfaces and three PCI Express ports. Hardware acceleration engines on the MPC8544E include Double Precision, Floating Point, Signal Processing Engine, TCP Offload and Freescale's Security Acceleration Engine. It operates in extended industrial temperature ranges from -40 to 105 degrees C.

The MPC8544 (without encryption) and the MPC8544E (with encryption) are manufactured on Freescale's 90nm process technology and offered in a 783-pin PBGA package. Early samples of the MPC8544 and MPC8544E are planned to be available Q2 2007, and production availability is expected to begin in Q4 2007. Suggested resale pricing for the 1 GHz MPC8544E processor starts at $90.71 in 10,000-unit quantities.

Freescale Expands 16-bit 56F8000 DSC Family

Freescale Semiconductor broadened its 16-bit 56F8000/E series of Digital Signal Controllers with the introduction of the 56F8011 and 56F8013M DSCs. These expand the Flash configurations and temperature ranges available within the 56F801x product family.

The 56F8011 DSC provides an incremental memory reduction to the 56F801x family, which was launched in 2005. As Freescale's lowest-cost DSC solution, the 56F8011 is ideal for cost-sensitive embedded applications with minimal memory requirements.

The 56F8013M DSC provides the key features and memory of the 56F8013 device and also has been tested at 125 degrees Celsius for use in high-temperature applications. Both devices are designed to reduce component count by eliminating the need for separate digital signal processors and microcontrollers.

The 56F8011 and 56F8013M DSCs are available in a 32-pin LQFP with Flash memory sizes ranging from 12kB to 16kB. Suggested resale pricing for the 56F8011 DSC in 10,000-unit quantities is $2.79. The 56F8013M DSC has a suggested resale price of $4.39 in 10,000-unit quantities.

Freescale Adds Advanced Security Features to MSC8144 DSP Family

Freescale's new MSC8144E device provides hardware acceleration of broadly used security protocols for fixed- and mobile-access networks, and the new MSC8144EC is designed to provide protection for OEM software and intellectual property by helping to prevent the copying or cloning of embedded software. Sampling for the new MSC8144E and MSC8144EC devices is scheduled for Q2 2007.

Meanwhile, the MSC8144 DSP has reached the general rollout phase after thousands of alpha samples were shipped to multiple customers over the last seven months.

Integrated security engine technology provides high throughput and strict real-time operation by handling intensive security algorithms without taxing the DSP cores. Performing the security algorithms within the MSC8144E enables system scalability and eliminates the need for expensive external logic to perform these tasks. The security engine supports the DES, 3DES, Kasumi-F8, MD-5, SHA-1/2, AES 128-256, HMAC and ARC-4 data encryption algorithms, and it offers a public key exchange (PKE) and random number generator (RNG). A CodeWarrior tool suite is available to support the security extensions.

In addition to data encryption, the MSC8144EC enables a code-protection mechanism implemented in hardware with a dedicated encrypted key for OEMs. This feature helps to prevent OEM software programs from executing on unauthorized devices, or from being copied or modified by unauthorized entities.

The MSC8144E and MSC8144EC are pin- and package-compatible with the existing MSC8144, enabling existing customers to upgrade their systems easily. Based on Freescale's advanced 90nm silicon-on-insulator process technology, the devices embed four StarCore SC3400 DSP cores each running at up to 1GHz, generating equivalent performance to a 4GHz single-core DSP. The MSC8144, MSC8144E and MSC8144EC integrate an embedded memory of 10.5Mbytes, dual-RISC QUICCEngine technology and high-speed packet interfaces such as Serial RapidIO, Utopia/ATM and dual Gigabit Ethernet while maintaining a highly competitive cost and power-per-channel envelope.

Samples of the MSC8144E and MSC8144EC devices are expected to be available in 2Q 2007. MSC8144 samples are widely available now in 800MHz and 1GHz versions housed in 783-pin, 29 x 29 mm FC-PBGA. The device features a set of enablement software and hardware including development tools, optimized voice codecs, a royalty-free operating system, peripheral device drivers, a development system, and reference design boards. Suggested resale pricing for the MSC8144 in 10,000-unit quantities starts at $180.

Fujitsu Announces 32-bit Flash MCU with Six CAN Interfaces

Fujitsu Microelectronics is expanding its family of 32-bit RISC MCUs with the new MB91F467B.

 The MB91F467B featues six C-CAN controllers and seven LIN-UARTs backed up by 40kB data RAM and 1088kB of Flash memory with read-out protection.

A 100MHz PLL clock circuit minimizes power consumption by dynamically switching off unused clock trees. Further power-saving features include an integrated 32kHz sub-clock oscillator in conjunction with standby modes such as "stop" and "sleep". Security and safety applications are supported by the internal clock supervisory circuit, which automatically switches to an internal RC-oscillator as backup in the event of a main clock failure.

Flexible timer architectures as well as the capability to generate and capture high-precision signals are basic requirements for automotive systems. The MB91F467B provides 8x16-bit free-running timers, an 8x16-bit reload timer and 16 PPG channels. Signal capturing is supported by a 32-channel, 10-bit ADC, eight ICU, and eight OCU modules.

The MB91F467B comes in an RoHS-compliant 144-pin QFP, functions over the automotive temperature range, and operates on a supply of 3V to 5.5V via its internal voltage regulator.

Engineering samples will be available in Q2 2007, accompanied by a full set of development tools such as starter kits, hardware and software debuggers, and third-party supported automotive operating systems AUTOSAR and OSEK.

Fujitsu Announces New 16-bit 16FX Series MCUs

Fujitsu Microelectronics Europe announced its next-generation 16-bit microcontrollers. The new 16FX series retains compatibility with the current 16LX microcontrollers while providing major performance enhancements including up to five times the computing power, an 80% reduction in power consumption (at the same performance) and greater on-chip functionality compared to its predecessor.

Program execution is about 3 times faster (depending on the memory model used) than 16LX at the same clock frequency. For example at 24MHz, the 16FX achieves more than 11 real MIPS (Dhrystone 2.1). New technology and improved design allow CPU frequencies up to 56MHz.

Low power consumption is achieved by means of Fujitsu's new 0.18um CMOS process technology, lower internal CPU voltage of 1.8V, a peripheral clock speed selectable independently from CPU speed, and a reduced number of clocks per instruction.

The 16FX devices have an extended supply range of 3.0 to 5.5V. In case the supply voltage drops momentarily below 3.0V, the on-chip low-voltage-detection reset ensures that the 16FX application will not hang up.

In addition, optional alarm comparators are available for monitoring the analog parameters without disturbing the CPU.

Fujitsu plans to provide approximately 40 devices in this family. The 16FX series comes in a variety of industry-standard packages with pin-counts from 48 to 144. Engineering samples are available now with full production coming in June 2007.

Infineon Provides 8-Bit Flash MCUs With Temperature Range up to +140C

Infineon Technologies announced availability of an 8-bit embedded Flash microcontroller product family that is qualified for operation of up to +140 degrees C. The new XC866 HOT microcontrollers exceed today's maximum temperature performance of +85 degrees C for industrial applications and +125 degrees C typical in automotive applications.

In the industrial sector, such high-temperature applications include motor controls for heating and furnace systems, and electronic controls embedded inside motor drives. Automotive applications that require extended temperature ranges include cooling fans located close to the engine, throttle controls and turbochargers.

The XC866 HOT MCUs feature up to 100,000 read/write cycles at +140 degrees C. This feature makes them currently the only MCUs in the market able to perform such data Flash cycling at high temperatures.

The XC866 HOT family members are based on the standard 8051 architecture with on-chip Flash memory of 4 kBytes, 8 kBytes or 16 kBytes. Performance and cost-saving features of the XC866 include a 26.67 MHz system frequency, an on-chip oscillator and PLL for clock generation and an embedded voltage regulator supporting single voltage supply of 3.3V or 5.0V. The MCUs feature a set of powerful peripherals, including a high-performance capture/compare unit enabling flexible PWM signal generation with special modes for motor control; a fast 8-channel 10-bit A/D converter allowing for a conversion time of less than 1.5 microseconds compared to the customary 6 to 10 microseconds; three 16-bit timers; UART; SSC (Synchronous Serial Channel); and on-chip debugging support (JTAG). An XC866 family of compatible 8kB or 16kB ROM versions with +140 degrees C capability will be available also.

XC866 HOT microcontrollers are fully qualified and currently available in volume production. The XC866 comes in a green TSSOP-38 package for the -40 to +140 degrees C temperature range. A full suite of low-cost development tools including starter kits, documentation, debuggers, and compilers are available now. In quantities of 10,000, the XC866 HOT is priced at approximately $2.30 per piece.

Microchip Unveils Newest Member of PIC16F88x Family

Microchip has announced the PIC16F882 -- the lowest-cost member of their 28- and 40/44-pin PIC18F88X family of microcontrollers. The PIC16F882 provides design engineers with the option to migrate to a lower-cost family member, as their code development stabilizes. In turn, all five members of the PIC16F88x family maintain compatibility with other 28/40-pin PIC microcontrollers for easy migration, while providing a host of new features designed to save users time and money during and after their design cycle.

The enhancements include dual internal oscillators with clock switching and fail-safe clock mode; more 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 PIC16F882 microcontroller include 3.5 kBytes of Self-write Program Flash memory and low-voltage programming to enable field programmability, 128 Bytes of Data EEPROM for variable data storage, Onboard In-Circuit Debug module for simpler system troubleshooting, eleven 10-bit ADC channels, and up to 36 pins that can be used for I/O with Interrupt-on-change capability for each I/O pin.

The PIC16F883, PIC16F884, PIC16F886 and PIC16F887 microcontrollers are in production now, and are available for general sampling. Production volumes of the PIC16F882 microcontroller are expected to be available in April. Pricing for this five-member family starts at $1.27 each in 10,000 unit quantities. The PIC16F882, 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.

Microchip Adds The MathWorks Plug-ins to MPLAB

Microchip announced that their MPLAB Integrated Development Environment (IDE) now features a free plug-in for The MathWorks MATLAB, Simulink and Real-Time Workshop Embedded Coder modeling and code-generation programs.

MATLAB is a high-level technical computing language and interactive environment for algorithm development, data visualization, data analysis, and numeric computation. Simulink is a platform for multi-domain simulation and Model-Based Design of dynamic systems. With Simulink, designers can quickly create, model and maintain a detailed block diagram of the system, using a comprehensive set of predefined blocks. MATLAB and Simulink are used by engineers and scientists in industry, government and education.

The MPLAB IDE is a free, feature-rich, integrated toolset for the development of embedded applications employing Microchip's PIC microcontrollers and dsPIC digital signal controllers.  MATLAB and Simulink plug-ins debut in the current version of the MPLAB IDE, version 7.51, and enable designers to select Simulink software models, automatically generate source code, and include the files in MPLAB IDE projects for compilation and build, all within the familiar, easy-to-use MPLAB IDE graphical user interface.

Microchip Achieves ZigBee Compliant Platform Status

Microchip has achieved the ZigBee Compliant Platform designation from the National Testing Service and the ZigBee Alliance, for the combination of its MRF24J40 IEEE 802.15.4 RF transceiver and the PIC18 family of high-end 8-bit Flash microcontrollers. Additionally, Microchip offers compliant development tools and compliant source code for its royalty-free, no-cost-license ZigBee protocol stack. The ZigBee Compliant Platform designation means that design engineers can use Microchip's semiconductors to build products that will interoperate over a ZigBee protocol wireless network.

Microchip's MRF24J40 transceiver is a highly integrated RF transceiver. This radio also offers low power consumption and performance that exceeds all IEEE 802.15.4 specifications, with full Media Access Controller (MAC) support and an Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) hardware encryption engine. In addition to supporting the ZigBee protocol, this transceiver supports Microchip's free MiWi protocol -- a small-footprint protocol developed by Microchip for customers who do not need ZigBee protocol interoperability.

Microchip's ZigBee Compliant Platform MRF24J40 IEEE 802.15.4 transceiver, based on the 1.0 Spec, is available now in combination with the PIC18 microcontrollers. In 10,000-unit quantities, the MRF24J40 starts at $2.99 each in Pb-free/RoHS-compliant, 40-pin, 6x6 mm QFN packages.

NXP Introduces Integrated LCD Support to ARM7 MCU Family

NXP has announced its new LPC2478 microcontroller, as well as a Flashless version, the LPC2470. The new microcontrollers feature two ARM high-speed buses (AHB) for the concurrent operation of multiple high-bandwidth peripherals, including LCD, 10/100 Ethernet, USB host/OTG/device, and two CAN channels.

The NXP LPC2478 and LPC2470 microcontrollers can support most static LCD displays -- up to 1024 x 768 pixels, 15 gray-scale monochromes and up to 24 bits per pixel true color TFT panels. For embedded system designers, the LCD implementation allows code execution on chip, and minimizes bus contention with frame data retrieval from external memory. In addition, the new microcontrollers provide 512KB, fast 128-bit wide embedded Flash with built-in error correction, for maximum reliability. The LPC2478 and LPC2470 require only single voltage (3.3V) power supply and offer a unique real-time clock (RTC) with 2KB of battery backed-up SRAM, allowing the device to consume only small amounts of current in power-down while quickly waking up with an external interrupt or at user-determined intervals.

Peripherals supported by the NXP LPC2478 and LPC2470 microcontrollers in addition to the LCD interface include Ethernet, USB host/OTG/device, two CAN channels, four UARTs, three I2C buses, two-input and two-output I2S, SPI, SSP, RTC, ADC/DAC, SD/MMC card interface, external interfaces to SRAM, SDRAM and NOR Flash.

The NXP LPC2478 and LPC2470 microcontrollers will be available in April. Both devices will be available in 208 TFBGA and LQFP packages.

Ramtron Introduces USB Interface for Versa 8051 MCU DevKit

Ramtron has announced that it will now offer a USB interface for in-circuit programming/debugging with its Versa 8051 microcontroller development tools.

The VJTAG-USB, a USB-based JTAG interface, will ship with the VersaKit-30xx, a complete and comprehensive evaluation platform that facilitates system prototyping and design development with Ramtron's fast and flexible MCUs -- the VRS51L2070 and the FRAM-Enhanced VRS51L3074.

The new USB board will enable faster device programming and superior in-circuit debugging. It functions on Windows-based computers with USB interface capability and can be used independent of the VersaKit devboard to program Ramtron MCUs installed on other target hardware. The VersaKit-30xx includes a development board with VRS51L3074 device, VJTAG-USB in-circuit programming/debugging interface, a USB cable and power supply.

Ramtron programming and debugging software is provided free with the VersaKit-30xx. Downloads and updates are posted at www.ramtron.com/doc/Products/Microcontroller/Support_Tools.asp. The VersaKit-30xx is available now for $49.

Renesas Releases SH7764 for High-End Digital Audio Applications

Renesas has announced the SH7764 microprocessor for use in HDD audio, network audio, and similar high-end digital audio devices, and multimedia devices such as car navigation models. Sample shipments will begin in Japan in April 2007.

The SH7764 incorporates a high-performance SH-4A CPU core operating at a maximum frequency of 324 MHz. On-chip cache memory comprising 32kB 4-way set-associative instruction cache and 32kB 4-way set-associative data cache helps to speed up software processing. In addition, the SH7764 includes 16 kBytes of RAM.

On-chip peripherals for implementing storage functions include an ATAPI controller, NAND flash controller, and memory card controller, while support for communication functions is provided by an Ethernet controller, USB interface, and so forth. On-chip display functions comprise a 2D graphics engine for screen drawing and an LCD controller and digital RGB output function for display purposes. The comprehensive set of on-chip peripheral functions also includes an SSI (serial sound interface) for digital audio playback, a serial communication interface with a FIFO facility (SCIF), an I2C bus interface allowing interfacing to E2PROM and the like, a 32-bit timer, a watchdog timer, and a DMA controller, facilitating interfacing to peripheral devices.

The package used is a 404-pin BGA (19 mm 19 mm) with a 0.8 mm ball pitch, allowing low-cost mounting. This is an environment-friendly lead-free package.

The SH7764 incorporates on-chip debugging functions that allow real-time debugging at the maximum operating frequency. The E10A-USB on-chip debugging emulator is available as a development environment.

Silicon Labs Announces 100-MIPS Small-Form-Factor MCU

Silicon Laboratories announced the first mixed-signal 8-bit MCU family to offer 100 MHz CPU operation in a 5x5mm package. The C8051F360 offers increased functionality, providing a 2-cycle 16x16 MAC, a 2%-deviation internal oscillator and 32 kB of in-system programmable Flash memory.

The C8051F360 has configurable I/O port pins and a variety of communications peripherals including crystalless UART, SPI and SMBus.  In addition, the C8051F360 integrates precision analog capability with a linear 10-bit 200 ksps SAR ADC and programmable DAC for measurement and control.

The C8051F360 is pin compatible with the C8051F310 MCU family. This allows designers using these solutions to easily provide both upgraded and lower-cost versions of their products without having to develop multiple hardware platforms. The C8051F360 also has low-cost development tools available that designers can begin using immediately to develop their end applications.

The C8051F360 Small Form Factor MCU family is available now with pricing beginning at $2.47 in quantities of 10,000.

TI Introduces Their Highest-Performing Floating-Point DSP

Texas Instruments has announced the TMS320C6727B DSP, its highest-performing floating-point DSP running at 350 MHz.  The C6727B DSP is also available at speeds of 275 MHz and 300 MHz, giving developers the flexibility to seamlessly migrate to 350 MHz without changing the hardware on their design.

Additionally, since the C6727 DSP is fully code compatible with TI's scaleable family of floating-point DSPs -- the TMS320C6720, TMS320C6722B and TMS320C6726B DSPs -- developers can easily migrate to the C6727B DSP.

The C6727B has a 32-bit external memory interface (EMIF) that provides a 33 percent increase in SDRAM speed from 100 MHz to 133 MHz. This allows the DSP to handle significantly more channels of audio so developers can meet the processing requirements in their tailored audio flagship applications, such as professional audio mixer and active noise-cancellation systems. The device also features the dMAX DMA engine which significantly improves system performance by performing complex 1-D, 2-D and 3-D memory transfers allowing the DSP to be dedicated to signal processing tasks.

TMS320C6727 DSPs are sampling immediately. The C6727B DSP is available at 275 MHz, 300 MHz and 350 MHz and is priced at $16.75, $19.95 and $25.95 respectively.

TI Announces Volume Availability of MSP430FG461x Series

Texas Instruments has announced volume availability of the MSP430FG461x series of ultra-low-power MCUs with up to 120KB Flash memory. As the first devices to incorporate the MSP430X architecture with extended 1MB memory model, the MSP430FG461x series is designed for today's larger system memory requirements and allows for the development of very sophisticated real-time applications, completely in modular C libraries with full backward compatibility. The extended memory model also enables faster code execution that results in up to 50% reduction in cycles for a full context store and up to 25% when addressing peripherals, Flash, or RAM.

As the first MSP430X device, the FG461x MCU series includes up to 120KB of Flash and up to 8KB RAM. Up to three operational amplifiers to handle high-precision instrumentation -- coupled with the on-board 200ksps 12-bit ADC, 1 micro-second code-to-code settling time 12-bit DAC, and DMA controller -- complete a signal-chain-on-chip (SCoC) solution that reduces overall system cost and eliminates the need for external components. The 3-channel DMA eliminates data transfer delays to the on-chip DACs, ADC and other peripherals and frees up the 16-bit RISC MSP430X CPU to spend time processing data, instead of performing "handling" tasks. Also, compared to using an external DAC and software, the MSP430FG4xx on-chip DAC module, coupled with the DMA, provides a greater than ten times increase in achievable analog output signal frequency.

From a single coin cell, the FG461x MCU can operate for up to 10 years by consuming less than two micro-amps in a real-time-clock stand-by mode.

The MSP430FG461x MCU series provides designers with pin-for-pin memory migration from the MSP430F449 MCU. The FG461x series of MCUs are immediately available in volume quantities and start at $9.45 per 1,000 units.

ZiLOG Expands eZ80Acclaim! 8-Bit Family

ZiLOG has introduced a new member of its eZ80Acclaim! family of 8-bit MCUs, an enhanced MCU designed for use in Internet/Intranet-based networking and communications applications. Available in LQFP and BGA packages, ZiLOG's new offering is designated the eZ80F91AZA50 (LQFP) or eZ80F91NAA50 (BGA) depending on packaging type. This latest member of the eZ80Acclaim! family features increased registers for better I/O performance, a modified power controller for lower power consumption, and updated Flash memory functionality to reduce code size and speed time-to-market.

Providing a powerful mix of embedded control capabilities, expanded memory functionality and enhanced communications features, this latest version of the eZ80F91 controller provides an optimum combination of features to enable collection of data from -- and control of -- a networked group of instruments or systems via a single PC. Along with the other members of the eZ80Acclaim! family, it features on-chip integrated memories (up to 256KB Flash and 16KB SRAM), core speeds up to 50MHz, and an on-chip Ethernet MAC.

The eZ80F91AZA50 and eZ80F91NAA50 devices have identical footprints to the previous eZ80F91 generation. The new devices were designed to be backward-compatible, although some minor code modification may be required, dependant on which features are used. Development kits and modules are available to facilitate designs developed using these new offerings.

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