March 2007 Embedded News Digest
 

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Welcome to the March 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:

ARM Extends Cortex Family with First Processor Optimized for FPGA

Atmel Doubles On-Chip Flash on ARM7 Microcontrollers, Adds AES

Atmel Introduces Optimized AVR Flash MCUs for USB Full-Speed Peripherals

Atmel Introduces 8051 Microcontrollers For High-Volume USB Applications

Freescale Launches Single-chip ZigBee Platform-in-Package Solution

Fujitsu Expands 32-bit Microcontroller Lineup

Fujitsu Introduces FlexRay-based MB91F465X

Fujitsu Announces 16-bit 16FX Series MCU

HI-TECH Software Releases PICC v9.60

Infineon Introduces Scalable XC2200 Microcontroller Family

Microchip Releases New 8-bit MCU Family

Renesas Releases SH7670 Group 32-bit SuperH Family

Silicon Labs Announces New 8-bit MCU

STMicroelectronics Unveils Two New Configurable SPEAr SoCs

STMicroelectronics ARM7-based Motor Control Development Kit

TI Announces Two New DSPs


ARM Extends Cortex Family with First Processor Optimized for FPGA

ARM has announced the availability of the ARM Cortex-M1 processor - the first ARM processor designed specifically for implementation on FPGAs.

The ARM Cortex-M1 processor is a streamlined three-stage 32-bit RISC processor that implements a subset of the popular, high-density Thumb-2 instruction set. This enables both the processor and software footprint to meet the area budget of the smallest FPGA devices, while retaining compatibility with Thumb code for any ARM processor from the ARM7TDMI processor upward. The Cortex-M1 processor is capable of more than 170 MHz, while occupying less than 15 percent of the area compared to popular low-cost FPGA devices. Despite being the smallest processor in the Cortex family, the Cortex-M1 processor can deliver 0.8 DMIPS/MHz. Typical applications for the Cortex-M1 processor on FPGAs include embedded control, communications, networking and aerospace.

Free of license and royalty fees, Actel's implementation of the Cortex-M1 processor will be available for early access in April via the Actel website. The M1-enabled ProASIC3 and Actel Fusion PSC devices will sample in Q3 2007.

The ARM Cortex-M1 processor RTL and associated EDA views optimized for a range of FPGA vendor devices including Actel, Altera, Lattice and Xilinx will be available for license by OEMs in Q2 2007.


Atmel Doubles On-Chip Flash on ARM7 Microcontrollers, Adds AES

Atmel Corporation announced 512-kByte dual-bank Flash memory extensions to its AT91SAM7S, SAM7X and SAM7XC microcontrollers based on the ARM7TDMI processor core. Atmel has also doubled the density of the zero-wait-state, 32-bit wide SRAM on its AT91SAM7X512 and SAM7XC512 from 64 to 128 kBytes.

The Flash memory on the AT91SAM7S512, SAM7X512 and SAM7XC512 is arranged in two separate banks that allow the device to be programmed simultaneously with application execution. A dual-bank implementation protects the application against potentially catastrophic failure resulting from unexpected power outages during firmware updates.

Peripheral DMA increases bandwidth by a factor of 6. Like all of Atmel's SAM7 MCUs, the new devices have 11 to 13 dedicated peripheral DMA channels (PDC) that increase on-chip bandwidth from a maximum of 4 Mbps, on conventional ARM7 MCUs, to 25 Mbps or more. By off-loading peripheral-to-memory transfers from the CPU, the PDC actually increases the number of CPU operations available to the application.

Another derivative, Atmel's AT91SAM7XC, provides encryption capability by integrating a hardware crypto engine that can be configured to do 128-, 192- or 256-bit  AES or triple-DES encryption.

Pricing for the 512K Flash variants of the SAM7S, SAM7X and SAM7XC devices start at US$6 in quantities of 10,000 units. The AT91SAM7S512 is available in 64-pin LQFP and 64-lead QFN green packages. The AT91SAM7X512 and AT91SAM7XC512 are available in 100-pin LQFP and 100-ball BGA green packages.


Atmel Introduces Optimized AVR Flash MCUs for USB Full-Speed Peripherals

Atmel has expanded its family of AVR microcontrollers with two new devices for high-volume USB applications ranging from high-performance Human Interface Devices (HID) to wireless adapters.

Based on the 8-bit AVR core, the new AT90USB82 and AT90USB162 feature a full-speed USB (12 Mbits/s) controller and have 8 and 16 kBytes of Flash memory respectively, allowing in-system programming directly through their USB interface. Thanks to the full-speed bandwidth, programming the AT90USB162's Flash memory can be achieved in 0.5 seconds. The program can be loaded at the end of the manufacturing line without the need for a dedicated connector to accommodate in-system programming, which lowers costs and proves invaluable when space is a premium. This gives flexibility for concurrent engineering, OEM/ODM customization, or even to upgrade products by the end user. On-chip EEPROM of 512 bytes allows for parameter settings without interfering with the application.

Communication with external components is ensured with SPI and UART interfaces. A 100 mA on-chip voltage regulator can also power companion devices such as laser sensors for high-performance mice or RF transceivers for wireless adapters.

The AT90USB82/162 are available in 32-pin packages including a tiny 5x5mm QFN. In addition, they offer an extensive 21 general-purpose IOs that can be used to detect interrupts. The AT90USB162 is offered in 32-pin QFN and TQFP packages, and the AT90USB82 in QFN. The AT90USB162 is available now while production of the AT90USB82 will start in Q3 2007. AT90USB162 is available at $1.65, and AT90USB82 at $1.45 for 10k pieces.


Atmel Introduces 8051 Microcontrollers For High-Volume USB Applications

Atmel announced the addition of three ROM devices to its family of standard 8051-based USB microcontrollers. Complementing the available Flash versions, the new devices are especially suited for high-volume applications where cost matters more than flexibility and where the code is stable.

Based on Atmel's 8051 X2 core which executes an instruction in 6 clock periods, the new AT83C5134, AT83C5135 and AT83C5136 have 8, 16 and 32 kBytes of ROM code memory, respectively. In addition, two variants of the 32-kByte version are available: AT83EC5136 and AT83EI5136 which include 512 Bytes and 32 kBytes of EEPROM data storage, respectively. The products feature a USB Full-Speed controller, UART, SPI and a Two-Wire Interface allowing an easy connection to companion devices.

The existing AT89C5130 and AT89C5131 devices, with 16 and 32 kBytes Flash, can be used for development, flexibility and pre-production, as pin-to-pin and binary compatibility are preserved when migrating to the new ROM devices. These devices are available with 3.3V supply voltage and support six programmable USB endpoints.

Offered in 32-pin 5x5mm and 48-pin 7x7mm QFN packages, the new ROM devices provide a broad range of memory sizes for the lowest cost and the smallest physical dimensions.

The AT83C5134, AT83C5135 and AT83C5136 are available now in 32-pin QFN packages. Pricing starts at US$1.30, US$1.40 and US$1.55 for 10,000 units. The AT83C5136 is also available in a 28-pin SOIC package, 48-pin QFN package and a 64-pin VQFP package.


Freescale Launches Single-chip ZigBee Platform-in-Package Solution

Freescale's MC1322x is available in a Platform in Package (PiP) solution that integrates the essential components of a ZigBee application within a single package, thereby reducing component count and system cost. The MC1322x platform contains a 32-bit microcontroller (MCU), a fully compliant IEEE 802.15.4 transceiver, balun and RF matching components -- all integrated into a small-footprint land-grid array (LGA) package that virtually eliminates the need for external RF components. The platform solution also features a TurboLink technology mode, engineered to increase data rates by up to 2 megabits per second between nodes.

ZigBee technology currently targets industrial, commercial and medical applications, such as energy management and asset tracking. Freescale's proprietary TurboLink technology mode boosts the data rate up to 2 Mbps, providing an ideal platform to support diverse applications, such as voice, wireless headsets and compressed audio, as well as large data transfers. For healthcare-related applications, such as patient monitoring systems, TurboLink technology also enables real-time data collection from sensors on the body. That data then can be sent via a ZigBee network to a central location for monitoring.

The MC1322x devices will switch automatically between the IEEE 802.15.4 protocol and TurboLink technology packets, allowing the developer to take advantage of the high-speed capabilities, while simultaneously controlling and monitoring a ZigBee mesh network.
The MC1322x platform was designed from the ground up to support battery-powered applications. Optimized for Lithium-ion or NiCad batteries, the MC1322x is designed to support batteries as small as coin cells or use standard alkaline batteries that can provide up to 20 years of system life.

Freescale plans to offer MC1322x device samples to key OEM customers in May 2007. General market sampling is planned for December 2007. The company plans to offer the MC1322x device in two package options: a 9.5mm x 9.5mm LGA and a 7mm x 7mm QFN. The devices also are planned to be available in standard mode or TurboLink technology mode. Suggested resale pricing for the standard mode devices in LGA packaging is $5.50 in 10,000-unit quantities.


Fujitsu Expands 32-bit Microcontroller Lineup

Fujitsu Microelectronics has announced the availability of the latest addition to its FR family of 32-bit microcontrollers: the MB91480 series. The new series is designed for high-performance control functions of home appliances such as refrigerators, washing machines and dryers. MB91480 series provide inverter control of two motors with one chip that enables higher functionality in a smaller space.

The first product in this series, MB91F487, has two multi-function timer units for motor inverter control that allows two-motor operation in one chip. It provides a highly sophisticated functionality in home appliances by supporting highly accurate and speedier control.

With 3 A/D converter units, there is a total of 18 channels which allows for the sensing of the minute changes in a maximum of 18 sensors. Together with PWM control, smoother and more minute control is possible.

The embedded FR60 CPU core operates at a speed of 80MHz, which provides high-speed processing enabling most information to be processed in real time. Also, for inverter control computation, special product-sum operation circuits are included that divide high-speed processing with the CPU thus reducing the burden on the CPU.

The MB91F487, which includes 512 kBytes of Flash ROM and 32 kbytes RAM, operates at voltages from 4V to 5.5V. The MCU comes in 100-pin LQFP packages, and samples are available now at $13.00 each. Volume pricing starts at $9.20 each in 10,000-unit quantities.


Fujitsu Introduces FlexRay-based MB91F465X

Fujitsu Microelectronics has introduced the MB91F465XA FlexRay controller. Designed for driver-assistance applications, the MB91F465XA is built around a Fujitsu FR70 32-bit CPU, with an internal clock speed of 100MHz and voltage range of 3.0V to 5.5V. Based on the E-Ray core licensed from Robert Bosch GmbH, the device uses VHDL code certified by TV Nord, supports 2-channel and FIFO operations, and supports 218 different identifiers by providing more than 8 kBytes of message buffer memory.

The controller enables implementation of the FlexRay protocol without the need for companion devices. FlexRay-based technology provides approximately 10 times the throughput of CAN, and is expected to replace CAN gradually as automakers and their suppliers adopt x-by-wire solutions. In addition to the two-channel FlexRay bus interface, one I2C, two CAN and three LIN-USART interfaces are incorporated onto the controller, enabling communication with all automotive bus systems. The device operates from a single supply ranging from 3V to 5.5V. Internal frequencies of up to 100 MHz are generated via the on-chip PLL using external 4 MHz quartz crystals as the clock input. A total of 544KB of Flash memory with read-out protection and 32KB of RAM is available, making the MB91F465XA meet AUTOSAR (AUTomotive Open System ARchitecture) requirements.

Other features include hardware watchdog, 17-channel 10-bit ADC, reload timer, stopwatch function, and an RTC module that can operate on external 4 MHz or 32 kHz quartz crystals.

The new controller is part of Fujitsu's "FlexRay Made Easy" program, which includes the hardware, driver and operating systems software, application software, development tools, and support required for application development.

Samples of the MB91F465XA are available in 100-pin FPT packaging with prices starting at $8.27 each.


Fujitsu Announces 16-bit 16FX Series MCU

The new Fujitsu 16FX series includes four devices based on a new central processor that significantly increases internal bus bandwidth compared with the Fujitsu 16LX microcontroller series. The 16FX series provides five times the computing power, increases on-chip functionality, and can execute programs approximately three times faster at the same clock frequency. For example, at 24MHz, the 16FX series achieves more than 11 real MIPS (Dhrystone 2.1). The new technology and improved design allow CPU frequencies up to 56MHz, enabling processing performance equivalent to 32-bit processors.

While the 16FX series is compatible with the 16LX microcontrollers, the new series reduces power consumption by an impressive 80 percent. This is achieved through Fujitsu's new 0.18um CMOS process technology, a lower internal CPU voltage of 1.8V, a peripheral clock speed that is selectable independently from the CPU speed, and a reduced number of clocks per instruction (CPI).

On-chip oscillators enable the devices to be operated at speeds of either 100kHz or 2MHz without external resonators. Applications that require a precise clock supply and an external resonator benefit from the fast (less than 1ms) and safe start-up (guaranteed even if the external resonator strikes). The MCUs can utilize the on-chip oscillator to monitor the external clock source.

The devices also have an extended supply voltage range of 3V to 5.5V. If the supply voltage drops below 3V, the on-chip low-voltage detection reset ensures that the 16FX application will not hang up.

Optional alarm comparators also are available for monitoring analog parameters without disturbing the CPU. If the on-board voltage leaves a defined range, an interrupt is generated, allowing the CPU to take counter-measures, such as deactivating low-prioritized loads.

The 16FX retains pin compatibility with most of the 16LX devices. With the same instruction set, the assembler and C-compiler are unchanged when users move from the LX to the FX CPU, and several peripherals from the LX are available on the FX, simplifying software conversion. The same starter kit, the Flash-CAN-100P-340, can be used. On-chip debugging is supported via USART.

The new devices include the MB96350 in 64-pin FPT packaging and the MB96320 in 80-pin FPT packaging, along with the MB96340 100-pin FPT packages and the MB96386/7 in 120-pin FPT packages. Prices start at $7.00 each in samples. Flash memory incorporated in the new 16FX series ranges from 128kB to 544kB. Fujitsu plans to continue enhancing the new 16FX series, providing devices with between 48 and 144 pins for automotive and industrial control designs.


HI-TECH Software Releases PICC v9.60

Version 9.60 of the PICC C compiler incorporates fixes for reported bugs, adds support for new PIC devices and introduces new optimizations and many new features.

This release introduces a number of significant enhancements over the previous version. Some of the noteworthy features incorporated in this release are:

* Support for 14 new devices (including the 16F887 family) is now available.
* An updated plug-in is now available to provide improved support for this compiler from within the MPLAB environment.
* A new driver option to generate and embed a checksum result from the command line.
* A new driver option to build in and perform a RAM integrity test at startup.
* A new bootloader which is now more compact and more reliable is included with the compiler.


Infineon Introduces Scalable XC2200 Microcontroller Family

The new XC2200 family includes more than 60 products. Specifically designed to fulfill the requirements of present and future body/gateway applications, the XC2200 family operates at up to 80 MHz. The power consumption is very low with less than 60 mA at maximum performance and 50 uA in stand-by mode with a running on-chip voltage regulator. This includes brown-out detection, an ultra-low-power clock for a short wake-up time, a wake-up timer and stand-by SRAM.

Peripherals include two synchronizable A/D converters with up to 30-channels, optional data pre-processing and a conversion time down to 1.2 us. The A/D converter is triggered by the flexible PWM unit and is then handed over to the CPU to initiate the reaction needed on a different peripheral. The flexible USICs (Universal Serial Interfaces) of the XC2200 family can be used as UART interface, LIN interface, buffered SPI, IIC Bus interface, and IIS interface. A MultiCAN Interface (Rev. 2.0B active) provides up to 256 flexibly assignable message objects on up to six CAN nodes and gateway functionalities. Infineon supports software standardization for interfaces and software modules for automotive systems by offering AUTOSAR software drivers for all XC2200 products.

All family members are software- and pin-compatible. They are based on the C166S V2 architecture and offer DSP-level performance. The XC2200 products come in a wide range of memory configurations from 32 kBytes to 1,280 kBytes embedded Flash, allowing easy upgrades when the application is short of memory or I/O functionality.

Samples of the XC2200 family are available for dedicated automotive customers. Volume production of all family members is scheduled to start in April 2008.

Sample pricing varies according to product specification. For instance, the XC2267 with 448 kBytes of Flash memory, a temperature range of -40 to +125 degrees C is priced at approximately $7.35 per piece in quantities of 20,000.


Microchip Releases New 8-bit MCU Family

Microchip Technology has announced the 12-member PIC18F87J11 general-purpose, high-performance 8-bit microcontroller family, which offers up to 20% greater performance with 12 MIPS (48 MHz), enhanced peripherals and lower sleep power consumption. With its breadth of family members, the PIC18F87J11 also provides a wide range of program memory and peripherals, ranging from most cost-effective to feature-rich.

Microchip is expanding its 3V PIC18F J-series of 8-bit microcontrollers to address cost-sensitive markets requiring high performance. Additionally, the PIC18F87J11 general-purpose family includes nanoWatt Technology for low power consumption in sleep mode, as low as 100 nA, which is ideal for battery-powered applications. Finally, the PIC18F87J11 is the first 8-bit microcontroller to offer the Parallel Master Port for connection to external memory and displays.

Members of the family contain 8 to 128 kBytes of self-programmable Flash in 64- and 80-pin TQFP packages, with up to 10k erase-write cycles. They include multiple communication channels including up to 2 SPI/I2C, 2 UART and 5 PWM modules, and have an 8 MHz Internal Oscillator and 4x PLL for up to 32 MHz operation without an external clock source.

The 12-member PIC18F87J11 family is offered in 64- or 80-pin TQFP package options, and all are available now for sampling. Volume production is expected in March, starting at $2.27 each in 10,000-unit quantities.


Renesas Releases SH7670 Group 32-bit SuperH Family

Renesas Technology has announced a total of eight new products in four groups in the SH7670 series of the SuperH Family . These microprocessors each incorporate an Ethernet controller and USB 2.0 host on a single chip and are intended for applications such as digital audiovisual, office automation, and factory automation systems requiring network connection functionality. Sample shipments will begin in April 2007 in Japan.

The SH7670 has a maximum operating frequency of 200 MHz, a 60% increase over the current SH7619. The SH7670 implements a IEEE802.3-compliant Media Access Controller (MAC) that makes it easy to develop systems supporting 10 Mbps/100 Mbps Ethernet LAN connections. It also incorporates USB 2.0 high-speed (480 Mbps) host and function module capabilities, simplifying development of USB functionality.

The SH2A-FPU CPU core incorporates the 32-bit SH-2A and a built-in double-precision FPU. The architecture of the CPU core has been enhanced to achieve processing performance that is approximately double that of the SH7619.

The host interface (HIF) enables easy connections between the SH7670 and another processor. This function enables the SH7670 to be recognized and controlled as an SRAM-equivalent device by a main microprocessor performing system control. The SH7670 has a 16-bit bus, allowing high-speed command transmission and rapid transfer of large amounts of data. This facilitates its integration into existing systems. Also, use of the HIF boot function eliminates the need for external nonvolatile memory such as Flash, reducing the number of parts required.

In addition to the above, an audio (voice) codec can be connected via the serial sound interface. This makes it easy to implement a VoIP system. The comprehensive other on-chip peripheral functions include an SD host interface and I2C bus interface. The package is a compact 256-pin BGA (17 mm x 17 mm). An on-chip debugging function is included that enables real-time debugging at the maximum operating frequency.


Silicon Labs Announces New 8-bit MCU

Silicon Laboratories has announced its most highly integrated 8-bit MCU, combining a 25 MIPS CPU, 10-bit 500 ksps ADC, and an internal 2% oscillator in a 3x3 mm package. In addition it  incorporates 8 kB of OTP memory, PWM, timers, SMBus and UART.  The C8051T60x product family is ideal for consumer and industrial applications including toys, camera modules, cell phone accessories, portable devices, home appliances and motor controllers.

The C8051T60x is pin-compatible with the C8051F30x Flash-based MCU family to allow both upgraded and lower-cost product versions without requiring the designer to develop multiple hardware platforms. In addition, the C8051T60x provides a full-featured development kit containing all the hardware and software required to develop an embedded system, including a socket-to-program one-time programmable memory.

The C8051T60x Small Form Factor MCU family is available now with pricing beginning at $0.45 in quantities of 10,000.


STMicroelectronics Unveils Two New Configurable SPEAr SoCs

STMicroelectronics has announced two new additions to its SPEAr family of configurable System-on-Chip ICs. The dual-core SPEAr Plus600, complemented with a single-core variant, SPEAr Head600 provide the possibility to choose between a single- and a dual-processor device with the same footprint and architecture.

Manufactured in 90nm process technology, ST's new SPEAr SoCs integrate one or two advanced ARM926 processor cores with 16k (data) + 16k (instruction) of cache memory running at 333MHz (worst case conditions) and 600,000 gates (ASIC-equivalent) of embedded configurable logic, complemented with memory interface supporting DDR/DDR2 memories and a large connectivity IP (intellectual property) portfolio.

The DDR/DDR2 memory interface is compatible with DDR2-666 (333MHz) memories, allowing the same physical pins to drive DDR or DDR2 memories. The connectivity IP includes an IrDA interface supporting fast IrDA, Gigabit Ethernet MAC and three USB2.0 ports (1 device and 2 hosts). The new set of features also includes a XGA LCD controller supporting up to 1024x768-pixel resolution in true color (24-bit) and a JPEG codec.

Additionally, ST's designers paid special attention to electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) by using a dithered PLL with programmable frequencies and jitters and LVDS I/Os operating up to 600MHz for high-speed communication links. Libraries of IP and hardware accelerators are available to be embedded in the configurable logic. The devices include 136 Kbyte of SRAM and 32 Kbyte of ROM completely available for customers' applications.

With the dual-core SPEAr Plus600, customers can run two different operating systems on the same chip. This enables, for example, the integration of the typical functions of a multifunction printer or copier on a single chip: Linux, or a similar complex operating system, runs on one processor and handles connectivity and system management, while a RTOS (Real-Time Operating System) on the second processor manages control functions, such as motor control or timing of critical interfaces. This flexibility also allows a processor to function as an accelerator coprocessor for critical image functions. A dual-core solution also allows designers to use a common software stack, developed on one processor, and implement upgrades or additional features on the second processor.

Both the SPEAr Plus600 and the SpearHead600 come complete with a dedicated development board that allows developing and testing of the customer system with minimum time and resource requirements. By using an external FPGA that mirrors the SoC's internal configurable logic block, designers can proceed with the software and hardware development without waiting for the final validation. Once the customer SoC passes the functional qualification, full production can ramp up in eight weeks' time from the final RTL availability.

Both devices will start sampling for high-volume OEMs by the end of March 2007. The price is $12 for the SPEAr Plus600 and $10 for the SPEAr Head 600, in quantities of 20,000 pieces.


STMicroelectronics ARM7-based Motor Control Development Kit

STMicroelectronics announced a new motor control kit, built around the recently-announced 32-bit STR750 microcontroller, which enables the rapid development of high-performance vector-control applications, using both Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motors (PMSM) and 3-phase AC Induction Motors. The kit includes all the necessary firmware and hardware, including a 24V DC permanent magnet motor for initial evaluation. The same hardware platform can be used for both PMSM and AC induction motors, operating at up to 48V; schematics are provided to minimize hardware design time. The kit allows real-time control and monitoring via a PC-based graphical user interface (GUI), or standalone operation using on-board push buttons and trimmers.

The Kit includes a Segger J-Link ARM in-cricuit debugger/programmer, Opto isolation board, ST750 controller board, inverter board for the motor and a 24VDC permanent magnet motor. The STR750-MCKIT with the DC motor is available now, priced at $895. An AC induction motor for use with the evaluation board can be ordered separately.


TI Announces Two New DSPs

Texas Instruments Incorporated announced the immediate availability of samples of two new digital signal processors (DSPs) -- the TMS320C6424 DSP and the TMS320C6421 DSP -- that deliver more than 2.5X price/performance improvement.

TI's new C642x DSPs start at only $8.95 in 10,000-unit quantities.The devices are 100 percent upward code-compatible with existing TMS320C6000 DSPs and can be programmed utilizing TI's proven eXpressDSP software that supports open-source and third-party software. The processors are supported by new C6424 DSP evaluation module (EVM) and development tools, helping to simplify system development and encourage innovation.

The C642x DSPs provide high DSP performance at an affordable price. Based on the TMS320C64x+ DSP core, the performance of the C6424 DSP and C6421 DSP peaks at 4800 MMACs at 600 MHz. Powerful I/O capabilities are enabled by the EDMA 3.0 with 4.8 GB/s throughput and the 333 MHz DDR2 memory interface. The C6421 DSP at 400 MHz is the lowest cost C64x DSP, and is pin for pin compatible with other C642x DSPs allowing scalability in performance, feature set and price. The on-chip Ethernet MAC reduces the bill of materials for networked DSP applications. The large on-chip memory further reduces BOM cost by reducing the need for external memory. The C6424 and C6421 DSPs deliver a 1.6X to 2X boost in raw DSP processing power (e.g. peak 16-bit MMACs), and with a 50 percent price reduction, enable more than a 2.5X price/performance improvement over previous generation DSPs.

Both new DSPs are available in 400, 500 and 600 MHz speeds. The C6421 DSP provides 16 KB of L1D and 16 KB of L1P and 64 KB of L2 SRAM cache for a total of 96 KB. The C6421 DSP also includes two EMIF interfaces, a 16-bit 266 MHz DDR2 and an 8-bit EMIFA, and a VLYNQ and McBSP and McASP interface. The C6424 DSP features 80 KB of L1D, 32 KB of L1P, and 128 KB of L2 SRAM cache for a total of 240 KB. The C6424 includes a 32-bit 333 MHz DDR2 and a 16-bit EMIFA, a PCI 33 MHz or VLYNQ interface for an optional FPGA interface and two McBSP or a McASP interface. The C6424 and C6421 DSPs also feature an EMAC (RMII/MII) or HPI / RMII, two UARTs, I2C, GPIO, three PWM and two 64b-timers. The two chips are pin compatible with each other so they can be swapped out to increase performance or reduce cost. Both new DSPs are available in two sizes: a 16 mm by 16 mm (the smallest package size ever offered for a C64x DSP), and a 23 mm by 23 mm BGA package at 0.8 mm pitch and 1.0 mm pitch respectively.

The C6424 EVM, priced at $495, is available today containing all necessary development tools, software and more. In addition to Code Composer Studio IDE, DSP/BIOS kernel, Chip Support Library (CSL) and audio codecs, the EVM also includes VirtualLogix's uCLinux. TI is continuing its multi-operating system offering for DSPs by providing the field-proven DSP/BIOS kernel and uCLinux for no additional charge. Developers can choose the OS of their choice, and if they require a hybrid combination of both, VitrualLogix also offers VLX software that enables DSP/BIOS kernel and its applications to run concurrently with uCLinux and its applications on a single DSP. This is an effective RISC replacement option; the performance of the DSP allows real-time DSP tasks with uCLinux applications like the network stack. The EVM also includes TI's TCP/IP Network Developer's Kit (NDK), which is an easy-to-use development environment for integrating TI's TCP/IP stack with DSP applications.

The TMS320C6424 and TMS320C6421 DSPs are available now in sample quantities and will be available in production quantities in the fourth quarter of 2007. The C6424 DSP is priced at $15.95 for 400 MHz, $19.95 for 500 MHz and $24.95 for 600 MHz parts. Pricing for the C6421 DSP is $8.95 for 400 MHz, $11.95 for 500 MHz and $16.95 for 600 MHz parts.


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