July 2007 Embedded News Digest

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Welcome to the July 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 Releases Four New 32-pin picoPower AVR MCUs

Atmel Extends AT91SO Secure MCU Product Family for High Security Systems

Infineon Unveils Scalable XC2300 MCU Family for Automotive Safety Apps

Maxim Releases MAXQ MCU Supporting 160-segment LCDs

NXP Acquires BlueStreak Microcontroller Product Line from Sharp

STMicroelectronics Introduces Faster Nomadik ARM9 MCU

Zilog Releases eZ80AcclaimPlus! System-on-Chip

25% to 50% Savings on HI-TECH Compilers

Atmel Releases Four New 32-pin picoPower AVR MCUs

Atmel Corporation has announced a new family of 32-pin picoPower AVR microcontrollers. The ATmega48P/88P/168P/328P devices have 4, 8, 16 and 32 Kbytes of Flash memory, respectively. These devices consume as little as 340 uA in active mode at 1.8V running from the internal RC oscillator at 1 MHz, 650 nA in power-save mode with real time counter running, and 100 nA in power-down mode. picoPower AVRs are pin-, performance- and code-compatible with existing AVR microcontrollers.

picoPower power saving features include an ultra-low-power 32 kHz crystal oscillator, automatic disabling and re-enabling of brown-out detection (sleeping BOD) circuitry during sleep modes, a power reduction register (PRR) that completely powers down individual peripherals, and digital input disable registers that remove leakage on ADC input pins.

The ATmega48P/88P/168P/328P microcontrollers operate from 1.8 to 5.5 volts and feature a 10-bit ADC, USART, SPI, 2-wire interface, internal temperature sensor, and have up to 20 MIPS throughput at 20 MHz. Similar to other AVR microcontrollers, the ATmega48P/88P/168P/328P features an on-chip debug system for easy, fast and robust development. AVR picoPower microcontrollers use the standard AVR microcontroller development tools.

Samples for the ATmega88P and ATmega168P are available now in QFN32 and TQFP32 packages. Samples for the ATmega48P will be available in August 2007 and the ATmega328P will be available in Q4 2007, respectively. Volume prices for 10,000 units are $1.18 for the ATmega48P, $1.65 for the ATmega88P, $2.00 for the ATmega168P and $2.65 for the ATmega328P.

Atmel Extends AT91SO Secure MCU Product Family for High Security Systems

Atmel has announced today the addition of three new members of its AT91SO family for high-security systems.

Based on Atmel's ARM SecurCore SC100 CPU core, the new AT91SO25, AT91SO50 and AT91SO51 feature 256 kBytes of EEPROM for program and data, 32 kBytes of ROM for on-chip Atmel libraries, and 100 kBytes of RAM. They include dedicated peripherals such as USB, SPI, USARTs, I/O ports, magnetic stripe and smart card interfaces. These devices incorporate strong security mechanisms to meet Common Criteria EAL4+ certification, including intrusion sensors, dedicated hardware protections, real-time clock and battery backup. They also have an impressive set of cryptographic features: hardware DES/TDES, AES and SHA-n, a cryptographic accelerator for asymmetric algorithms (RSA, elliptic curves, key generation) and a true random number generator.

The AT91SO50 is available in a BGA 208 package. The AT91SO51 integrates in the same package the AT83C26 which offers five smart card interfaces. The AT91SO25 distinguishes itself by an extremely compact BGA 144 package. AT91SO25, AT91SO50 and AT91SO51 samples are available now. Pricing starts at $9.53, $9.74 and $10.80 for 10,000 units, respectively.

Infineon Unveils Scalable XC2300 MCU Family for Automotive Safety Apps

The new XC2300 family of MCUs provides 32-bit performance and a rich peripheral feature set required for present and future safety applications requiring fast reaction time, redundancy and flexibility.

The product family features a high-performance CPU that can process up to 80 MIPS at 80 MHz.

The flexible Universal Serial Interface Channel of the XC2300 family can be configured as UART, LIN, buffered SPI, IIC Bus, or IIS interface. In addition, the MultiCAN (CAN Rev. 2.0B active) provides up to 64 flexibly assignable message objects on up to three CAN nodes, and gateway functionalities.

The two parallel A/D converters lead to high performance with up to 24 channels, optional data pre-processing and a conversion time down to 1.2 microseconds. The A/D converters have specific safety features such as the ability to detect broken connections and to synchronize the two A/D converters to redundantly sample incoming signals.

The low power consumption of the XC2300 products (less than 60 mA at maximum performance of 80MHz) reduces system costs since only tiny voltage regulators are needed.

The members of the XC2300 family will feature between 128 kBytes and 1.6 MBytes of Flash memory to fit both e.g. airbag systems and highly complex safety systems such as power steering, low-end chassis control and sensor clusters. Further characteristics include AUTOSAR compliance, with Infineon supporting software standardization for interfaces and software modules for automotive systems by providing AUTOSAR software drivers for all XC2300 products.

The first two XC2300 family members are the XC2365 and the XC2387, with a total of 16 software-compatible and pin-compatible products. Family members vary according to Flash memory size (384 kBytes, 448 kBytes and 576 kBytes), number of ADC channels (16 or 24), frequency (66 MHz or 80 MHz), temperature range (-40 to +85 C or -40 to +125 C) and green (lead-free) LQFP package options (LQFP100/144). Further versions with Flash memory sizes from 128 kBytes to 1.6 MBytes and additional features such as FlexRay interfaces and further LQFP-packages with 64 and 176 pins will be introduced in 2008.

Samples of the XC2365 and XC2387 of the XC2300 family are available for dedicated automotive customers. Sample pricing varies according to product specification. For instance, the XC2365 with 66 MHz frequency, 384 kBytes of Flash memory and an automotive temperature range of -40 to +125 C is priced at approximately €5.35 per piece in quantities of 20,000.

Maxim Releases MAXQ MCU Supporting 160-segment LCDs

Maxim Integrated Products has introduced a new addition to its RISC MAXQ microcontroller product line, the MAXQ3100 microcontroller that is ideal for a wide range of data-driven display applications. It includes a digitally trimmable RTC with a dedicated backup battery pin, an LCD interface that supports up to 160 segments, a frequency-locked loop, two analog comparators, and a digital temperature sensor. The MAXQ3100 has 16kB of EEPROM program memory, 1kB data SRAM, a watchdog timer, two USARTs, and three timers.

The integrated temperature sensor and digitally trimmable RTC enable very accurate time keeping, which is critical for applications that are based on time-of-use events such as electricity tariffs. The dedicated RTC battery-backup pin lets a battery keep the RTC running when the controller's main power supply is absent. The built-in power management circuit automatically detects and switches the RTC supply back to the main controller power supply whenever it is available. This intelligent power management approach maximizes the RTC's battery life. The 160-segment LCD controller allows end equipment to have large, complex displays.

The MAXQ3100 is available in an 80-pin MQFP. Pricing starts at $3.19 in 1,000-unit quantities.

NXP Acquires BlueStreak Microcontroller Product Line from Sharp

NXP Semiconductors has aquired the BlueStreak microcontroller product portfolio from Sharp Microelectronics of the Americas. This gives NXP the ability to manufacture and sell the complete line of ARM7 and ARM9 processor-based BlueStreak microcontrollers previously offered by Sharp. The acquisition expands NXP's ARM Powered microcontroller portfolio to 50 products, giving them the world's largest selection of ARM7 and ARM9 processor-based microcontroller products.

STMicroelectronics Introduces Faster Nomadik ARM9 MCU

STMicroelectronics has announced an addition to its Nomadik family of mobile multimedia application processors, improving on the previous STn8810 by increasing the speed of its ARM9 core by almost 50%.

The ARM926EJ core of the STn8811 runs at 393 MHz, compared to 264 MHz in the STn8810, and is supported by the innovative Nomadik architecture, which provides smart video and audio accelerators. These accelerators reduce the CPU's workload to extend the battery life of the product, and release more processing power for general-purpose device applications and OS support. The STn8811 is available in a space-saving 12 x 12mm BGA package.

Among its broad array of peripheral-device interfaces -- which include simultaneous TV and color LCD outputs, and a camera input -- the STn8811 integrates a High-speed USB On-The-Go port, and an MMC/SD Card controller. With its open platform approach, it supports Linux, Symbian, Windows Mobile and WinCE operating systems.

The Nomadik family of multimedia application processors now consists of the STn8810 and STn8810S12 (differing in memory configuration), the STn8811, and the STn8815 which adds imaging & graphics processors and a level-2 cache. The STn8811 is available in sample quantities now to lead customers, with volume production planned for Q3; pricing is expected to be $12.90 for quantities of 10,000 pieces.

Zilog Releases eZ80AcclaimPlus! System-on-Chip

Zilog has rolled out the eZ80AcclaimPlus! that provides easy-to-implement, embedded drop-in Ethernet capability.

The eZ80AcclaimPlus! features a 50 MHz CPU core, 24-bit addressing, and a 10/100 BaseT Ethernet MAC. It comes with an embedded internet software suite, including an updated TCP/IP stack, RTOS, support for USB 2.0 and PPoE, 256 kB of Flash memory, and 16 kB of SRAM. The upgraded RTOS features up to 32 priority levels, a reprioritization-at-run-time capability and inter-thread communications & synchronization options. Zilog's new offering also features RZK and ZTP enhancements that deliver a double-digit code density improvement over the previous versions, leading to faster program execution and smaller memory space requirements.

Since the eZ80AcclaimPlus! is backward-compatible with the eZ80Acclaim!, developers can use the existing development kits, which contain everything needed to quickly and easily develop, debug, and compile designs. Zilog's comprehensive set of development tools include a full development platform, module (depending on your requirements), USB and Ethernet smart cables, universal power supplies, CD-ROM documentation, ZDSII version 4.11 IDE, an ANSI C-compiler, and sample code.

Along with the eZ80AcclaimPlus!, Zilog is launching Zdots -- compact, high-performance single-board computers specially designed for the rapid development and deployment of embedded systems. Zdots can be a quick development solution in embedded proof-of-concepts, provide easy design flexibility, and can even be dropped into production-level systems for faster time-to-market.

The eZ80AcclaimPlus! and Zdots are available now from Zilog.

25% to 50% Savings on HI-TECH Compilers

HI-TECH Software has made special offers available to MicroControllerShop customers wishing to purchase, upgrade or crossgrade to HI-TECH C Compilers and Real-Time Operating Systems.

Hi-Tech develops high quality C-compilers and Real-Time Operating Systems for  ARM, MSP430, dsPIC, PIC18, PIC16, 8051, XA, Z80, H8/300, 68HC11/08 and 68000.

Customers may take advantage of any one of the following offers:

  • 25% off any single-user, multi-user, commercial or educational user license for first-time HI-TECH users.

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 In addition to one of those savings, customers who purchase the 1-year HI-TECH Priority Access maintenance plan will receive a second year free.

 To take advantage of this limited-time offer, call us at 408 776 7992 and request a HI-TECH Value Bank Number (VBN) when placing your order. Upgrades and crossgrades will require proof of purchase to qualify.

For more information on Hi-Tech software products, visit: http://microcontrollershop.com/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=hi-tech

About MicroController Pros Corporation

MicroController Pros Corporation (µCPros) is an authorized distributor for many microcontroller tool vendors, which enables us to offer you a large selection of Microcontroller Development Tools for almost any major microcontroller architecture.

The MicroControllerShop (http://microcontrollershop.com) puts convenient and secure online shopping, feature- and price-comparison on your computer's desktop. Microcontroller Development Tools featured at the MicroControllerShop include: Emulators, EPROM programmers, FLASH programmers, microcontroller C- compilers, assemblers, emulator accessories, pin adapters, pin converters, microcontroller starter kits and embedded evaluation boards for various microcontroller architectures and manufacturers.

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