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Toshiba MCU core delivers faster processing, lower frequencies

Posted: 08 Sep 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:microcontroller? MCU? MCU core? Toshiba? processor?

The latest 8bit microcontroller (MCU) core from Toshiba Corp. is said to be capable of processing one instruction cycle in a single clock cycle, enabling faster processing at lower frequencies, reduced noise and lower power consumption compared with Toshiba's previous 8bit core. The TLCS-870/C1 core's large-capacity address space is expandable to 128Kbytes.

The core architecture was modified from the previous TLCS-870/C architecture. The result was up to a four-fold increase in performance at the same clock frequency. The Toshiba America Electronic Components Inc.(TAEC) plans to introduce its first new products based on the new core in Q4 2006.

The TLCS-870/C1 core is aimed at a wide range of applications from small-scale applications, such as portable digital-consumer products, to large-scale applications requiring large-capacity ROM, such as air conditioners, washing machines and other white goods.

"Our next-generation TLCS-870/C1-based 8bit MCUs will offer low power, low voltage and performance comparable to that of 16bit devices," said Roland Gehrmann, business development manager in the ASSP business unit at TAEC.

"In response to customer feedback, the new family will help reduce system cost by integrating must-have features such as a voltage-detection circuit, a power-on reset circuit, and an on-chip debug circuit," he said.

Part of the IC design used synchronous RTL instead of multiphase-clock design based on circuit diagrams. The expanded address space was attained with a memory-management method that manages code and data in separate areas. Up to 128Kbytes of address space can be implemented in an 8bit MCU without any adverse consequences such as increased footprint due to address-bus expansion or degraded processing speed, which is common with the alternative memory-bank method.

The TLCS-870/C1 core is binary compatible with previous Toshiba 8bit MCUs; thus, existing software resources can be used. When used in combination with a Toshiba C compiler, high code efficiency can be realized.

- Marty Gold

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