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MCUs, FPGAs share limelight at IIC-China 2008

Posted: 21 Feb 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:IIC-China? automotive electronics? MCU? FPGA? DSP?

The 13th International IC-China Conference and Exhibition (IIC-China), kicking off Feb. 28 at the Chengdu New International Exhibition and Convention Center, will train the spotlight on the latest MCU and FPGA products from top-tier companies.

MCU manufacturers will showcase 8bit microcontrollers with more integration functions and ready for the price war. NEC Corp.'s 8bit MCU touts "All Flash," a feature said to omit phase-mask process and can be widely used in consumer electronics, medical electronics, industrial control and automotive electronics. Meanwhile, Silicon Laboratories Inc. will put forward a series of programs on power consumption to address rising costs in industrial applications.

Due to great demand for advanced safety smart cards, Renesas Technology Corp. will bring the RS-4 series of 12bit secure MCUs, designed to provide higher-level performance, safety and flexibility, and more peripheral functions. It is also applied to credit and debit cards and ID card issued by banks and finance companies.

With the increasing popularity of portable medical product, Texas Instruments Inc. will showcase its MSP430FG4270 MCU that features functions required by low-cost and portable medical diagnosis equipment. The device also offers complete signal chain for handheld medical applications, improves the integration of low power consumption and embedded technology, and helps lower costs. Large-capacity on-chip memory and a whole series of integrated simulation external equipment result in the reduction of module cost and of system space requirement. The MSP430FG4270 is designed for portable medical applications including individual blood pressure monitor, spirometer, pulsatory organ and heart rate monitor.

In-car electronics
Demand for in-car electronics is increasing steadily with MCU, sensors and analog ICs constituting the main solutions of automotive electronics. Automotive MCUs are expected to enable carmakers to design safe and comfortable cars that save on fuel.

Freescale Semiconductor's S08SG series MCU meets LIN, general-market and limited space requirements for automobile applications. The high on-chip integration of the series allows developers to eliminate the need for peripheral equipment and main board components, such as external clock source. The series also reduces development costs, saves main board space and enhances system quality.

Automotive MCUs from Microchip mainly target applications for engine management, panel, vehicle door module, comfort/convenience module and parking auxiliary module.

Local manufacturers who are also exhibiting their latest technologies include Sunplus Technology, Winbond Electronics, ELAN Microelectronics, Micon Design Technology, RDC Semiconductor and Haier IC Design.

Programmable technique
Sharing the center stage with MCUs are the latest programmable devices. FPGA is used more widely in customization as software and hardware programmable techniques merge. In high-performance telecommunications infrastructure area, programmable devices take up a dominant role in router, base stations and other systems. With its ability to reduce costs and power consumption, FPGA applications are expected to extend to consumer electronics, automobiles and battery-powered equipments. Programmable devices are already becoming more popular in cellphones, flat-panel displays and automobile information and entertainment applications.

Actel Corp. will exhibit its IGLOO AGL030 device in 4mm x 4mm package targeting portable multimedia players, safe and mobile telecommunication equipment, intelligent telephones, remote control sensors, security lens, portable medical equipment and other power-consumption sensitive and space-constraint handheld devices.

Altera Corp. will highlight its new zero-power consumption MAX IIZ CPLD to extend product combination of low power consumption and programmable logic solutions. The device is designed and developed for solving power consumption, encapsulation and price limit in portable application market. The MAX IIZ also meets the designers' need for lower power consumption and smaller circuit board area.

In the consumer electronics area, the Spartan series of Xilinx Inc. has been applied to the latest flat-panel displays. Spartan-3AN emphasizes cost and flexibility for middle performance and short market lifecycle applications, such as flat panel displays and digital STBs. In addition, Xilinx's XtremeDSP series adds Spartan-3A DSP device that can optimize power consumption. They provide high-performance DSP ability for applications of low-cost and low-power consumption areas such as military telecommunication tactics wireless systems, wireless access point and portable medical equipment.

Lattice Semiconductor will demo its third?-generation 90nm process NV FPGA series. The company claims that by combining the newest True NV FPGA technology, LatticeXP2 can offer flexible logic, smallest space occupancy, high security and instant activation less than 1ms. The product is designed for wireless base stations and medical applications.

Altium Ltd believes that the future FPGA will play a significant role in embedded design. According to the company, when more functions move to programmable area, the main three design proceduresboard design, programmable logic design and embedded software developmentwill depend more on one another. Altium will display its series of development tools in which hardware, software, and programmable hardware are integrated together that support mainstream programmable devices.

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