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ZiLOG attacks IR remote control market with its new 8bit MCUs

Posted: 07 Jul 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:microcontroller? mcu? zilog? zlr16300?

Microcontroller veteran ZiLOG Inc. has shown once again there is lots of life left in the mature 8bit microcontroller (MCU) market. This time around, the company is aggressively attacking the high volume, low price, universal infrared remote control application space, which looks to me to be a huge driver of the well established MCU devices.

ZiLOG's strategy called "Remote on a chip" pulls together all the elements for the infrared remote control market under one umbrella. In addition to its IR-specific silicon, ZiLOG also offers comprehensive IR code set databases, a wide selection of application-specific firmware and software, development tools and design and engineering services, all tailored to the customer's individual requirements.

The Remote on a Chip strategy comprises a number of 'mix and match' elements designed to make the development UIR remote controls significantly easier for design engineers working with end user device manufacturers and OEMs, according to the company.

For this market, ZiLOG is now extending its Crimzon ZLR16300 microcontroller family with smaller memory, low power ROM products. The company is adding two new series of devices specifically targeted at low-cost infrared applications. Among the features of these new devices is their special counter/timer architecture to automate generation and reception of complex pulses and signals. Included is a programmable input glitch filter.

Already available, the ZLR16300 1KB and 2KB devices are 100 percent software compatible with ZiLOG's current Crimzon family of OTP-based IR microcontrollers. The ZLR16300 1KB and 2KB devices are available in a wide range of package styles and pin-outs and are 100 percent backward compatible with ZiLOG's L88/L85/L82 MCUs. The devices are priced at 65 cents in quantities of 25,000 units and above.

The ZLR16300 line for infrared apps is now available in 1k, 2k, 4k, 8k and 16k memory sizes with many key features, including low power consumption, two standby modes, special architecture to automate both generation and reception of complex pulses or signals, six priority interrupts, high and low voltage detection with flag, programmable watch-dog/power-on reset circuits, two independent comparators with programmable interrupt polarity and programmable mask options.

In addition to its wide assortment of Z8-based MCU chips, ZiLOG also touts its Infrared codeset database. The database of universal infrared remote device codesets, currently in excess of 150,000 unique key codes, covers approximately 1,300 brands and 12,000 models of remotes worldwide. The database covers the most popular OEM remote control devices in Europe, North and South America, including, but not limited to, TVs, VCRs, DVDs, cable and satellite set-top boxes, HDTV set-top boxes, TV combos, DVD Combos, receivers, home-theatre-in-a-box systems, CD players, digital video recorders and audio shelf systems. ZiLOG has acquired code from more than 3,500 new remote controls in the last two years and is now adding codes to its database at a rate of over 100 remote controls per month.

ZiLOG also offers a complete suite of development tools, designed to give customers the ability to utilize ZiLOG's MCUs and IR codeset database to bring their products to market rapidly. These tools include silicon development tools, for example, an in-circuit emulator with trace and event trigger that helps the engineer develop and debug code used with the Crimzon MCUs, and remote control development tools such as the Crimzon RC Bullet and RC Express which enable the development of remote control applications.

- Marty Gold

eeProductCenter




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