Welcome to the January 2008 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:
PEEDI is a high-speed Ethernet/RS232 to JTAG interface supporting In-Circuit
Debugging and Flash Programming of ARM7, ARM9, ARM11, XScale, PowerPC, ColdFire,
DaVinci, and Blackfin based MCUs. PEEDI can program the on-chip Flash memories
of the supported MCU architectures and more than 800 Flash devices including
NAND Flash and Atmel DataFlash families. ARM11 support includes CPUs with an
ARM1136, ARM1156 or ARM1176 core, like Freescale i.MX31.
A PC independent programming mode makes PEEDI an ideal Flash programmer for
high volume production or in-field service updates. For more info see:
ELAN Microelectronics Corp. announced the forthcoming release of the 8-bit
OTP LCD type EM78P469 MCU. The multi-purpose MCU is an upgrade of their existing
EM78P468N product. Features offered by EM78P469 are 8K x 13 PROM, 656 x 8 SRAM,
and control for a 4-line by 40-character LCD. Power consumption in Idle mode
with TCC on is less than 5uA at 3.3V.
Atmel Corporation has announced its AT91SAM9RL64 ARM9-based interactive GUI
microcontroller with high throughput, ideal peripherals and OS support to
implement "smart" control panel applications that can provide access to content
including user manuals, video clips and audio, as well as offering a robust
interface to system control functions. The SAM9RL64 can be used as the main
processor in a system or as the co-processor dedicated to the user interface. A
USB High Speed link provides the bandwidth to transfer streaming video between
the host- and the AT91SAM9RL64 co-processor.
While 8- and 16-bit microcontrollers are used for user interfaces in
cost-sensitive consumer applications, they are, however, not capable of dealing
with the amount of processing and data movement required to manage a
state-of-the-art interactive graphical user interface. Atmel's AT91SAM9RL64 is a
single-chip "smart" panel solution with 200-plus MIPS, a 6-layer bus matrix and
DMA on all on-chip peripherals to support the high data rates associated with
screen refresh, image processing, user interaction and the creation of the
dynamics guaranteeing a good user experience. On-chip peripherals include LCD
and touch screen controllers, USB High Speed device, 24 DMA channels, an MCI/SDIO
interface, 5 UARTs, SPI, dual SSC, AC'97, 6 Timers, 4 PWMs with high-drive I/Os,
dual TWI and a battery backup RTC with associated registers.
In addition to the 4 Kbytes each of data and instruction cache, the SAM9RL64
supports deterministic processing with an additional 64 Kbytes of SRAM, arranged
in four 16 KB blocks, that can be configured as data or instruction Tightly
Coupled Memory (TCM) that bypasses the cache to provide single cycle access at
the maximum 200 MIPS clock frequency. The TCM may also be configured as local
memory for on-chip peripherals connected to the multi-layer bus. At system boot,
the SRAM is connected to the multi-layer bus allowing the DMA controller to copy
the real-time critical code from non-volatile storage, such as NAND or DataFlash®.
After the code has been shadowed in the SRAM, the memory blocks can be
reconfigured as TCM.
The AT91SAM9RL64 is available in a 217-pin 15x15mm 0.8mm ball pitch BGA package.
It is priced at US$6.85 in volumes of 10,000 units.
Atmel Corporation has announced its AT91SAM9R64 ARM9-based microcontroller
for high-performance USB-enabled embedded control applications. Designed to boot
from the USB port, SDCard or an external NAND Flash, the SAM9R64 offers the
flexibility to reduce the number of memories for program and bulk data storage.
In addition, the 32-bit microcontroller is optimized for space-constrained
applications, or intelligent USB High speed to SDIO, or SPI connectivity modules
by being in a 10X10mm, 0.8mm ball pitch, BGA package.
High Speed (480 Mbits/sec) USB is rapidly becoming the standard for system-to-PC
connectivity. The SAM9R64 offers an upgrade for existing USB Full Speed (12
Mbits/sec) designs to High Speed USB that does not require any physical change
in the connectors and is already supported by most PCs.
In addition to traditional static memories, the SAM9R64 memory bus interface
supports SDRAM and NAND Flash. While 3.3V memories are cheaper, 1.8V memories
are required for power-sensitive applications. In order to maintain the required
performance level at 1.8V, the I/O pads include a booster that can be enabled
The SAM9R64 has a 4 KByte Instruction and 4 KByte data cache, 64 KBytes of SRAM,
USB High Speed device, 24 DMA channels, an MCI/SDIO interface, 5 UARTs, SPI, SSC,
TWI, 6 Timers, 4 PWMs with high-drive I/Os, and a battery backup RTC and
The AT91SAM9R64 is available now in a 10x10mm, 0.8mm ball pitch, 144-pin BGA
package and is priced at US$5.85 in volumes of 10,000 units.
Silicon Laboratories Inc. announced the expansion of its small-form-factor
microcontrollers with the C8051T610 family of low-cost 8-bit MCUs.
The T610 features byte-programmable EPROM that can be programmed initially while
still leaving room for programming memory at a later time, making the T610's
EPROM more flexible than traditional one-time programmable memory. The T610 is
based on a single-cycle 8051 core that delivers up to 25 MIPS of CPU bandwidth.
Features include a highly accurate ADC for analog measurement, voltage regulator
and precision internal oscillator calibrated to two percent for worst-case
temperature and supply voltage, so the accuracy always meets the minimum
Systems using the T610 family can be designed and prototyped using the F310
family Flash memory equivalent and then switched to T610 without any hardware
changes. A full-featured development kit is available containing all the
hardware and software required to develop an embedded system using the T610
including a socket to program EPROM memory.
The C8051T610 family is available now with pricing beginning at $1.09 in
quantities of 10,000.
RMI Corporation has announced that it is shipping the highest-performing and
most power-optimized embedded processor in the industry for multifunction
portable media players (mPMP), mobileTV, and personal navigation devices. The
new RMI Alchemy Au1250 Media Processor brings 700MHz performance at remarkably
low power. When coupled with its on-chip Media Acceleration Engine, which
off-loads full D1 video processing in hardware, the Au1250 processor delivers
more available MIPS for other user applications than have been previously
available in portable consumer devices.
The Alchemy Au1250 Processor is in full-production in a variety of performance
levels ranging from 400MHz to 700MHz. The new 700 MHz offering, an increase of
17% in CPU performance, allows customers and developers to play DVD quality
video while simultaneously enjoying ample processing performance for such
applications as GPS navigation with heavy maps, MobileTV, photo viewing, VoIP,
web browsing, DRM, graphical user interfaces, OS services, and other software
RMI Alchemy's low-power claims are based on full chip power in real-world
environments. The Au1250 processor at 700 MHz boasts published typical power
consumption of less than 700mW (700 MHz CPU with 233 MHz DDR2 memory bus) while
playing WMV9 video at 2 Mbps, D1 resolution with WMA audio from IDE hard drive
driven to LCD display, running Windows CE 5.0, and with all on-chip peripherals
active except the USB2.0 ports.
The MC9S08QE8 (QE8) MCUs, members of the QE family, offers a stop current of
less than 300 nanoamps and run current as low as seven microamps - the QE8 can
run off of an ultra-low-power 32 kHz oscillator that consumes less than one
microamp of current. The device also includes battery-saving features, such as
two ultra-low-power stop modes, low-power run and wait modes, six microseconds
wake-up time from stop mode, and clock gating registers to disable clocks or
Samples of the QE8 devices in a 32-pin LQFP package are available now. The
suggested resale price for the QE8 devices in 10,000-piece quantities starts at
"Freescale Semiconductor is extending its low-end, 8-bit HCS08 microcontroller
family with the introduction of the high-performance MC9S08QA4 (QA4) and
MC9S08QA2 (QA2) MCUs. Offering 4KB and 2KB of Flash memory and 256B/160B of RAM
respectively, the highly integrated QA4 and QA2 MCUs provide an entry point into
Freescale's S08 family."
So far Freescale's press release. What the release fails to mention is
what those "highly integrated" features are - so anyone interested, please visit
www.freescale.com for more information. We were short on time, so could not look
it up for you, sorry.
Samples of the QA4 and QA2 devices are available now in production
quantities. Suggested resale pricing for 10,000-piece quantities of the
MC9S08QA4 is 73 cents (USD).
Freescale has added two devices to its ultra-low-end 8-bit RS08KA
microcontroller family. The KA8/4 devices feature: up to 254B RAM, up to 8KB
Flash and an analog-to-digital (ADC) converter (available on the KA8).
To our readers that work at Freescale, please tell your powers-to-be to
include some more technical details in the Freescale new product PRs, otherwise
we'll have nothing left to write about ;-)
Samples of the KA8 and KA4 devices are available now in production quantities.
Suggested resale pricing for 10,000-piece quantities of the MC9RS08KA8 starts at
68 cents (USD).
The new Infineon AUDO FUTURE family of 32-bit microcontrollers uses the TriCore
core that combines microcontroller functions with digital signal processing and
the industry's highest density Flash memory. The family also includes the first
FlexRay communications block that has been approved by TÜV Nord Group's
Institute for Vehicle Technology and Mobility, Germany, combined with
industry-proven AUTOSAR software and a peripheral control processor that offers
additional system performance.
The AUDO FUTURE family is fully compatible with Infineon's previous AUDO
Next-Generation family of 32-bit microcontrollers, but offers up to 66 percent
higher performance than the previous products.
This makes new family ideally suited for the upcoming OBD2 (OnBoard
Diagnostics for the vehicle's self-diagnostic functions, such as emissions
monitoring) requirements and emission standards such as EURO6 and Tier2 Bin5 in
the U.S. The higher performance also allows AUTOSAR standard software to be used
without an impact on the control algorithms.
The scalable AUDO FUTURE family ranges from the 180 MHz TC1797 with 4 Mbytes
(MB) of Flash and integrated FlexRay controller, to the 133 MHz or 80 MHz TC1767
with 2MB of Flash, to the entry-level 80 MHz TC1736 with 1MB of Flash. A wide
range of on-chip peripherals are handled by a dedicated, programmable peripheral
control processor (PCP) engine, allowing the TriCore core to focus on engine
management, transmission control and other powertrain functions. The FlexRay
core integrated into the TC1797 is a proven design using Infineon's discrete
CIC-310 FlexRay controller, saving space and system cost.
The Infineon AUDO FUTURE family ranges from approximately Euros 10 (about
USD14.50) to approximately Euros 20 (about USD29) in volumes of 100,000,
depending on the configuration and packaging. Samples are available now. The
family comes in Low-Quad Flat Pack (LQFP) packages with 144 or 176 pins or
Ball-Grid-Array (BGA) packages with 260 or 416 balls. High-volume production is
expected to begin in 2009.
Microchip Technology Inc. has announced the first two Baseline 8-bit Flash PIC
microcontrollers, the PIC12F519 (8-pin) and PIC16F526 (14-pin). With the
availability of 64 bytes of non-volatile Flash Data Memory (FDM) data memory --
combined with an 8 MHz internal oscillator, a Device Reset Timer (DRT), up to
three channels of 8-bit Analog-to-Digital Conversion (ADC), and up to two
comparators -- engineers now have a diverse feature set to select from when
integrating digital intelligence in low-cost applications.
Both devices are available today for general sampling and volume production.
Microchip's MPLAB development tools supports these microcontrollers. In
10,000-unit quantities, the PIC12F519 (8-pin PDIP, MSOP, SOIC and 2x3mm DFN) is
$0.56 each, and the PIC16F526 (14-pin PDIP, SOIC and TSSOP) is $0.64 each.
NEC has introduced 13 new 32-bit V850ES/Fx3-L microcontrollers.NEC Electronics'
0.15-micron process technology enables the new V850ES/Fx3-L devices to execute
29 Dhrystone MIPS (DMIPS) at a clock speed of 20 MHz. Flash ROM ranges from 64
to 256 KB with RAM ranging from 6 to 12 KB, and the devices come in 64-, 80- or
100-pin packages that are pin-compatible with NEC's previous V850ES/Fx2 devices.
The new V850ES/Fx3-L MCUs are software- and hardware-compatible with NEC's
higher-performing V850ES/Fx3 devices to provide a migration path for future
system changes. In addition, all V850ES/Fx3 and V850ES/Fx3-L devices share the
same hardware and software development tools. In total, NEC Electronics now
offers 29 V850ES/Fx3 MCUs for automotive control applications. All devices
support the CAN and LIN protocols.
Samples of the V850ES/Fx3-L MCUs are planned for spring 2008. Volume production
is scheduled for autumn 2008.
Renesas Technology Corp. has announced the development of the SH7786 Group of
dual-core processors built around twin SH-4A CPU cores. The SH7786 Group is
intended for high-performance multimedia systems, especially Car Information
System (CIS) such as car navigation systems. It incorporates dual Renesas
Technology SH-4A high-performance CPU cores to achieve superior processing power
of up to 1920 MIPS when operating at 533 MHz.
Samples of the first product version, fabricated using a 90 nm process, are
currently being shipped to selected automotive customers. The second product
version, fabricated using a 65 nm process, is under development. The 65 nm
version, based on the 90 nm version, will provide reduced power consumption and
an enhanced cost-to-performance ratio. Sample shipments will begin in October
2008 in Japan. The device will be made available to Renesas' consumer and
industrial customers in 2009.
For its two CPU cores, the SH7786 Group uses the well-established SH-4A, the
most powerful CPU core available in the SuperH family of 32-bit RISC
microcomputers, and newly adopted a core architecture that supports a dual-core
configuration. The SH7786 Group supports both symmetric multiprocessing (SMP)
and asymmetric multiprocessing (AMP), allowing both CPU cores to handle a single
processing task using parallel processing for improved efficiency. This results
in a maximum processing performance of 1920 MIPS when operating at 533 MHz.
Another major feature of the SH7786 Group is simplified system development of
multi-core products. When developing a multi-core product, separate systems
(domains) with different characteristics and functions are allotted to each CPU
core, and a distributed function system design is used so the CPU cores can
interoperate and function in an integrated manner. The SH7786 Group employs
technologies developed by Renesas that support the building of a distributed
function system (communication interface technology for interoperability between
the operating systems of multiple domains and technology for preventing
interference between these operating systems). This enables developers to make
use of existing software resources designed for single operating systems and
makes it possible to build a multi-core distributed function system in a short
amount of time. These technologies also support the running of different
operating systems simultaneously with a high level of reliability.
Renesas Technology plans to develop additional multi-core products based on this
technology, including processors with four CPU cores and dual-core system on
chip (SoC) products implementing most of the functions required by car
navigation systems, such as image processing.
STMicroelectronics has announced a new ultra-low-cost series of Flash
microcontrollers intended for highly cost-sensitive products such as electric
bicycles (ebikes), air conditioning, small appliances and sensors. The ST7FOX
series includes devices with from 2KB to 8KB of on-chip Flash memory, and with
eight to 32 pins, all of which are priced below the critical 50-cent ($0.50)
Part of the ST7 family of MCUs, the new devices achieve their remarkably low
unit cost with a simplified feature set. ST7FOX operates at +5V (plus or minus
10%), and includes a relaxed RC oscillator which can be calibrated within the
Samples of ST7FOX are available now in 8-pin DIP or SO-8 packaged devices with
2-Kbytes of Flash, and 32-pin DIP or LQFP devices with 4-Kbytes of Flash. All
are priced at less than $0.50 in large quantities.
To allow consumers to seamlessly move content across their video end products,
Texas Instruments is offering a new DaVinci technology digital media processor
for video transcoding in media gateways, multi-point control units, digital
media adaptors, video security DVRs and IP set-top boxes.
Wrapped with a complete offering of development tools and digital media
software, the new TMS320DM6467 DaVinci processor is a DSP-based system-on-chip (SoC)
specifically tuned for real-time, multi-format, high-definition (HD) video
transcoding. Integrating an ARM926EJ-S core and 600 MHz C64x+TM DSP core along
with a high-definition video co-processor, conversion engine and targeted video
port interfaces, the system solution delivers a 10x performance improvement over
previous generation processors to perform simultaneous, multi-format HD encode,
decode and transcoding up to H.264 HP@L4 (1080p 30fps, 1080i 60fps, 720p 60fps).
The DM6467 is specifically designed to address the HD transcoding challenge of
commercial and consumer markets through its multi-core design that achieves a
10x performance increase over previous generation digital media processors. The
DM6467 processor integrates the ARM and DSP core along with High-Definition
Video/Imaging Co-Processors (HD-VICP), video data conversion engine and targeted
video port interfaces. The HD-VICP offers more than three GHz of DSP processing
power through dedicated accelerators for HD 1080i H.264 high profile transcoding,
while the video data conversion engine manages video processing tasks, including
downscaling, chroma sampling and menu overlay functionality. Less than 300 MHz
of the DSP core is used to manage the multi-format video transcoding, leaving
the rest of the DSP headroom available for additional application performance.
The level of integration and optimization of the DM6467 also delivers this
performance at up to one-tenth the cost of previous application systems while
maintaining the flexibility needed to address multiple video formats in
applications like multi-conferencing units and video security. In an
multi-conferencing unit, for example, three 1GHz TMS320C6415T DSPs per HD video
channel are required for processing HD video at a cost of $507 per HD channel.
With a DM6467-based unit, the system is reduced to a single-chip HD solution,
reducing the per-channel cost to $35.95. Furthermore, with the DM6467 handling
the video transcoding, the system will require less power, less expensive DDR2
memory, reduced Flash count and a smaller FPGA generating additional savings for
the system bill of materials.
The DaVinci TMS320DM6467 is now sampling to select customers and will be sold in
50Ku volume for $35.95.
TI's new MSP430F2xx MCUs integrate on-chip memories of up to 120 KB, and a
20-bit address word increases total addressable memory to 1 MB without paging.
Standby power consumption is as low as 0.5 uA. The MCUs have a wide operating
voltage range of 1.8 to 3.6 volts and a flexible clocking architecture that
allows the designer to implement select processing speed versus operating
With up to 120 kilobytes of Flash and 8 kbytes of RAM, the MSP430F241x and
MSP430F261x are targeted for systems needing extensive processing capability,
while the MSP430F24x and MSP430F23x are more general-purpose devices. Among the
devices, the MSP430F2418 and MSP430F2618 are optimized for operation in
low-power ZigBee networks, while the MSP430F2410 targets applications such as
IEEE 802.15.4 wireless networks and automatic meter reading.
All five families are available now in volume quantities from TI and TI
The new Zilog F1680 MCU supports a 1.8V to 3.6V operating voltage, with low
ACTIVE, HALT and STOP mode currents. The MCU features an 8-channel SAR ADC with
a fast conversion time of 4.9ums, and an on-chip temperature sensor that
measures the temperature on the die to an accuracy of approximately +/- 7
degrees C over a range of -40 degrees C to +105 degrees C or +/- 1.5 degrees C
accuracy over the range of 20 degrees C to 30 degrees C. The F1680 supports up
to 24KB of Flash memory, up to 2KB of register RAM and 1KB of program RAM. The
F1680 is also loaded with up to four 16-bit reloadable timers that can be used
for timing, event counting or generation of PWM signals. The F1680's 11MHz
Internal Precision Oscillator records an accuracy of +/- 4 percent over
temperature and voltage and is designed for use with external components.
The MCU also features two comparators, a programmable LVD and an integrated
intelligent peripheral set including SPI and I2C interfaces as well as two UARTs
with support for LIN 2.0. Staying consistent with most of Zilog's embedded Flash
solutions, the F1680 Series also comes with a single-pin, on-chip debugger to
provide the greatest design flexibility.
The Z8 Encore! XP F1680 Series is available from Zilog and its worldwide network
of distributors and representatives. Pricing varies based on order quantity and
product requirements. Typical pricing for the new F1680 Series ranges from $1.90
to $2.32 for 1000-unit quantities.
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