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Renesas 32bit CISC MCU packs peripherals for automotive apps

Posted: 12 Jul 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:renesas technology? h8sx/1544f? microcontroller? mcu?

Renesas Technology's new 40MHz H8SX/1544F microcontroller (MCU) is aimed at simplifying and improving the design of embedded automotive in-vehicle systems.

The 32bit CISC MCU embeds an enhanced two-channel local area network controller that's compatible with the controller area network (CAN) standard; a 512KB flash memory that can be accessed in one cycle at full clock speed, and a stepping motor control timer with a driver that can drive the motors of up to six gages of meters simultaneously. The MCU also offers many other essential peripheral and communication functions.

It is particularly well suited for sophisticated meters and control functions such as high-performance instrumental clusters such as a speedometer, a tachometer, a fuel and temperature meter, according to Paul Fox, marketing director of the automotive business unit at Renesas Technology America, Inc. "Besides instrumental clusters, the H8SX/1544F is an excellent semiconductor solution for gateways, factory automation equipment and a wide range of other in-vehicle embedded control systems, networked or standalone," said Fox. "This extended-temperature device (-40C to 105C) is the second-phase product for automotive applications," he added.

The hardware functions built-into the H8SX/1544F ease and simplify the design of in-vehicle control systems and greatly reduce the load on the CPU. The two-channel CAN controller is enhanced with a filtering function and other improvements that boost network performance and reliability in the noisy environments typically found in cars and trucks.

Other peripheral functions include six 16bit general-purpose timer channels, twelve 16bit PWM timer channels, the previously mentioned stepping motor control timer, an 8bit watchdog timer, a 16bit watch timer, a 16channel 10bit A/D converter and a 2-channel 8bit D/A converter. To produce warning tones and other audible alerts, the MCU also provides a 4-channel sound generator.

The device offers a variety of on-chip data communication functions for connecting to external devices: a 16bit external bus extension function, three serial communication interface (SCI) channels, two synchronous serial communication unit (SSU) channels, a 2-channel I2C bus interface, and four DMAC channels for high-speed data transfers.

The system development support Renesas provides for H8SX MCUs includes a C-compiler, assembler, linkage editor, librarian, simulator, and debugger, all of which are available as an integrated software development environment with project management tools. The E6000H full featured emulator implements a powerful hardware development environment.

The instruction set of the 32bit H8SX CPU core is upward-compatible with that of Renesas' current H8S family of 16bit MCUs. This allows customers to reuse in H8SX designs the code originally written for devices in the H8S family, while obtaining approximately a four-fold overall increase in processing power and improving ROM code efficiency by about 20 percent.

Renesas has ongoing plans for advanced semiconductor solutions for automotive in-vehicle control system applications, and the H8SX product line is being extended to meet evolving market needs. Among the devices being developed are models with more flash memory, versions with enhanced peripheral functions, and chips that use 80-pin packages.

The new units will be available in August in 144-pin LQFP (20-by-20mm, 0.5mm pin pitch) packages. Price is $15.46.

- Marty Gold


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