Microcontrollers

Microcontrollers – whether 8, 16 or 32bit – are all around us: at home, at work, in our cars and in industrial systems. Reflecting this abundance, the market for microcontrollers is worth more than $16billion a year and growing strongly.

The market was once dominated by 8bit parts, but the price performance advantage of ARM based 32bit devices, along with the need to accommodate more complex software, is starting a move from 8bit to 32bit mcus. And this is accompanied by the appearance of multicore devices.

In this section, New Electronics brings you the latest on the microcontroller market.

Low power MCU doubles battery life

Seiko Epson (Epson) has announced the release of the S1C31W74, its first product in a series of energy-efficient microcontrollers (MCUs) with integrated 32-bit Flash memory. The S1C31 family of MCUs has been created to provide high performance while extending the battery life of mobile devices.

Smallest MCU with built-in pre-driver for motor control

Toshiba has launched the TMPM37AFSQG microcontroller (MCU) as the latest addition to its ARM Cortex-M3-based TX03 series. The IC is claimed to be the world’s smallest vector control MCU to incorporate an original coprocessor, the Vector Engine Plus, and a pre-driver to implement brushless DC motor control.

MCU safety package for industrial applications

Infineon Technologies has announced a safety package for the XMC4000 range of 32-bit microcontrollers. The XMC4000 safety package is claimed to help develop TÜV-certified automation systems that conform to Safety Integrity Levels SIL2 and SIL3. The XMC4000 Safety Package was developed specifically for industrial high-end applications such as factory automation, industrial motor control and robotics.

16bit MCU range expanded

Microchip has expanded its PIC microcontroller portfolio with the PIC24FGB6 family. Included in the range are parts with up to 1Mbyte of ECC flash and 32kbyte of RAM – the first 16bit MCU in its range to offer such a large memory.

16bit MCUs for auto body control systems

A range of low power 16bit MCUs from Renesas is targeted at vehicle control systems. Called the RL78/F15 group and featuring 36 variants, the high functionality devices are said to combine low power consumption with high processing performance and CAN communications.

New NFC solution targets wearables

Ams has unveiled a new NFC (Near Field Communications) solution for manufacturers of smart watches, wristbands and other space-constrained devices, enabling them to support contactless payments and ticketing more reliably.

Toshiba announces three MCUs optimised for USB devices

Toshiba Electronics Europe has launched three microcontrollers (MCUs) optimised for use in USB devices. The TMPM066FWUG, TMPM067FWQG, and TMPM068FWXBG are the latest additions to Toshiba’s ARM Cortex-M0 core based TX00 series and feature integrated USB controllers.

Ultra-low power 16-bit flash MCU from Epson

Seiko Epson Corporation (Epson) has announced that it has developed and begun shipping samples of S1C17W18, a 16-bit flash microcontroller (MCU) from its S1C17W00 series. The MCU is said to operate at 1.2V and is capable of driving 352 segment displays while achieving 40% less current consumption in operating mode than previous 16-bit MCUs from the S1C17W00 series.

Development system supports STM32L4 MCUs

A new development ecosystem has been introduced by STMicroelectronics to support the STM32L4 series of MCUs. According to the company, the offering includes prototype boards for all budgets and STM32Cube software support.

Code generation support for STM32F7 MCU

Altia has announced its code generation support for the STMicroelectronics STM32F7 Microcontroller (MCU). The STM32F7 addresses a range of applications and is said to be the first MCU on the market to feature the ARM Cortex-M7 processor.

Power efficient MCUs

Renesas has announced the RX231 series of 32-bit MCUs, which is claimed to offer designers a combination of high performance and low power consumption, with digital signal processing and access to a floating point unit.

SensorTag development kit connects sensors to the Cloud in minutes

Mouser is stocking the CC2650STK SimpleLink multi-standard SensorTag development kit from Texas Instruments (TI). The SensorTag is equipped with a SimpleLink CC2650 ultra-low power wireless microcontroller, featuring a 48MHz ARM Cortex-M3 core paired with a 2.4GHz RF transceiver compatible with Bluetooth Smart, ZigBee, 6LoWPAN and other IEEE 802.15.4 protocols.

Extended reliability microprocessors

Extended reliability versions of Freescale's T4 series of microprocessors have been released by e2v, including T4240 (24 virtual cores), T4160 (16 virtual cores) and T4080 (8 virtual cores).

IO-link reference design kit speeds development

Linear Technology has introduced an IO-Link (IEC 61131-9) reference design kit, which includes the DC2228A eight-port IO-link master and DC2227A IO-Link device reference designs. With more than 2.19 million IO-Link nodes installed worldwide, the growing demand for larger networks is addressed by the new reference design kit, which reduces IC count, development costs and time to market.

Cypress samples 4Mb asynchronous SRAMs with ECC

Cypress Semiconductor has begun sampling 4Mb asynchronous SRAMs with Error-Correcting Code (ECC), which enables them to provide higher levels of data reliability, without the need for additional error correction chips. As a result designs can be simplified and board space reduced.

Cypress offers fully-certified, small-form-factor Bluetooth Smart module

Cypress Semiconductor has introduced a Bluetooth Smart module that has been designed to provide an end-to-end Bluetooth Low Energy solution. The new, small-form-factor EZ-BLE PRoC module, based on Cypress’s PRoC BLE Programmable Radio-on-Chip solution, includes Bluetooth 4.1 qualification and worldwide regulatory certification, simplifying design and cutting time to market.

Microchip releases new multizone technology

Microchip Technology has released its second generation multizone audio technology along with a mobile app for use in whole-home-audio and multi-room applications based on the JukeBlox 4 platform. The JB Multizone 2.0 feature enables synchronized and robust audio streaming to multiple speakers in conjunction with the JB App, a turnkey mobile app that enables easy setup and operation of the wireless speaker.

Toshiba targets IoT with expanded ApP Lite TZ5000 Series

Toshiba Electronics Europe has expanded its selection of ApP Lite processors with the launch of the TZ5010XBG, TZ5011XBG, TZ5021XBG and TZ5023XBG. Designed for Internet of Things (IoT) applications, these new ARM Cortex-A9 based processors reduce power consumption.

Silicon Labs offers scalable car radio system solution

Silicon Labs has introduced a complete portfolio of receivers/audio processors and multi-standard digital radio ICs designed to deliver AM/FM and digital radio performance for the global car radio market. The new Si46xx family, which includes single-chip digital radio-coprocessors and data receivers, provides an advanced digital radio audio decoding and data reception solution for analogue and digital radio.

Intersil unveils synchronous buck regulator for FPGAs and MCUs

The new ISL8002B synchronous buck (step-down) switching regulator from Intersil has been designed to deliver up to 2A of continuous output current from a 2.7V to 5.5V input supply. Along with the device’s 2MHz switching frequency it provides additional programmable soft-start, and output tracking and sequencing of FPGAs and microprocessors, providing increased system reliability for point-of load conversions in networking, factory automation, instrumentation, and medical equipment.

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