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Motorola's low power 8bit family

With 8bit microcontrollers accounting for 58% of the mcu market, and sales predicted to grow from $4.5billion to $5.6billion by 2006 according to research from Semico, Motorola believes that its still a ‘vibrant market’ to participate in. It’s for this reason that it is launching a low power 8bit family. The HCS08 family, believes senior field application engineer, Harald Kreidl: “reflects the continuing blurring of boundaries between eight and 16bit mcus, with 8bit mcus now exhibiting the extra features that were previously reserved for larger models.” This is exemplified by the take up of embedded flash mcus, which by 2007 are predicted to account for over 40% of the 8bit mcu market.
Driving 8bit growth is handheld portable equipment in a whole range of markets. The HCS08’s target consumer and multipurpose equipment, such as handheld instruments, electricity meters, and remote controls. A particular trend is the requirement within these markets for smart energy management, whereby intelligence relating to how batteries are charges is built into the circuit.
The HCS08 extends the HC08 family, offering multiple power management modes – including a 20nA power down mode. Other features include up to 40MHz cpu, and to help designers evaluate available battery power, a Battery Life Calculator is supplied which uses operating and environmental parameters to make an estimation. The software allows engineers to adjust parameters to maximise performance by altering factors like battery sizes and clock speed. Another feature is the single wire background debug mode with on chip emulation, trigger and trace hardware which allows designers to use low cost bdm pods or serial cables rather than expensive development tools. This again is a feature normally only associated with 16 and 32bit mcus.
The first four members of the HCS08 family are in production, with ten more planned for later in 2003. A demonstration board (pictured) is available, with accompanying Metrowerks CodeWarrior software and hardware development studio.

Go to the Motorola web site

Author
Graham Pitcher

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