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Tiny MCUs come in tiny 3-by-3-by-0.85mm

Posted: 20 Jan 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:royal philips electronics? lpc900? microcontroller? mcu? lpc9102?

Targeting space constrained applications, Royal Philips Electronics has beefed-up its LPC900 8bit microcontroller (MCU) family with two new devices in tiny 10-pin packages measuring 3-by-3-by-0.85mm3. The devices are aimed at applications ranging from white goods to environmental or security sensors and toys, as well as for industrial or medical instrument probes where space is extremely limited, according to Philips.

Both the LPC9102 and the LPC9103, based on the industry-standard 80C51 architecture, integrate many system-level functions on-chip, such as a high-accuracy internal RC oscillator, brown-out detect, power-on reset and peripherals such as a four-channel, 8bit successive approximation A/D converter, comparator and UART, reducing the total component count in the system.

The highly-integrated devices feature byte-write accessible flash memory with 2ms cycle which can eliminate the need for a separate EEPROM. Having an accurate internal RC oscillator (7.3728MHz, 1 percent accuracy) and an integrated UART enables an elegant RS-232 implementation. With eight of the 10 I/O pins on the package easily configurable by the user, the two devices double the functionality and I/O pins of those MCUs of similar physical size.

"This is all about integrating external functions on-chip, thus saving space and power," said Joe Yu, strategic marketing director, Standard ICs Business Line, Microcontrollers Product Line for Philips Semiconductors. "As a result, our customers are able to make smaller, thinner and more intelligent products at the price point suitable for high-volume consumer products or even disposable electronics."

A high-performance 80C51 CPU can execute instructions as fast as 111ns. The new LPC910x products offer many on-chip functions typically found in devices more than twice their size. Furthermore, the leadless high-volume small-outline package has a built-in heatsink on the bottom side that provides outstanding power dissipation.

Key features of the LPC910x family include 1KB byte-erasable flash code memory for easy firmware modification; 8bit ADC with window comparator to sample signals without generating unnecessary interrupts, offloading work from the CPU; 8bit ADC can also be configured as a DAC; 20mA LED sink capability; 128 bytes of RAMtwo times more than many competing solutions. The chip also has two counter timers and a real time clock displacing an external RTC. The devices run in the range of 3.6V to 2.4V.

The LPC910x devices are easy to use and have broad industry tools support available. The LPC910x family is fully supported by low-cost development tools including programmers, compilers, emulators and evaluation boards from Keil, Ceibo, Hi-Lo, LPC Tools, Philips, System General, BP, ZLG and many others.

The new 8bit MCUs are already available now. The LPC9102 and LPC9103, in quantities of 10,000, are both priced at 87 cents. The price could fall to as low as 60 cents in volumes of a million pieces.

- Marty Gold


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