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MCUs carry enhanced analog features

Posted: 15 Dec 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:MCU? flash memory? low consumption power?


NEC Electronics Europe has begun sample shipments of 22 new flash-memory-embedded MCUs!12 8bit models and 10 16bit models!that the company claims with the lowest level of power consumption in the industry.

Of the new products, the ones that boast the lowest level of standby power consumption in the industry are six models in the 8bit 78KO/KY2-L line with 16 pins; six models in the 8bit 78KO/KA2-L line with 20 pins; six models in the 16bit 78KOR-KF3-L line with 80 pins; and six models in the 16bit 78KOR/KG3-L with 100 pins. Using these MCUs can reduce the number of parts necessary for building systems because they do not require the use of peripherals, contributed by the enhanced analog features like ADCs.

In addition, the new 8bit MCUs are the company's first models in which the number of communication external-connection pins (excluding it for the power supply connection), necessary for debugging, have been reduced. And in the 16bit products, the power necessary for rewriting programs on flash memory has been expanded from the conventional 2.7V to 1.8V. Thus, these products enable the upgrading of software after mobile devices are shipped out.

Keeping energy efficiency in mind
These new microprocessors also enable the company's client set manufacturers to easily develop energy-efficient home electronic products and battery-operated systems that require the reduction of standby power.

Due to the growing concern for environmental protection, the improved energy efficiency of systems in the microcontroller-applied business has become an even larger appeal to ordinary consumers. In addition, consumers want longer battery life for battery-operated products like fire alarms, electronic tooth brushes, shavers and other small systems. Thus, users want electronic-parts makers to offer more energy-efficient electronic parts that ultimately make up systems.

Under these circumstances, NEC Electronics has been introducing to the market new products under the concept of ultralow-power consumption. For example, the company released 32bit MCUs in October 2007, 16bit products in May 2008 and 8bit microcontrollers in September 2008.

By introducing the 12 8bit microcontrollers with the smallest number of external-connection pins and the 10 16bit microcontrollers with the largest number of pins among the 16bit products, NEC Electronics expanded the lineup of All-Flash microcontrollers that respond to low power consumption needs. This boosted the company's total lineup of MCUs with ultralow-power consumption to 70 models.

The company's press release said that the new products feature the lowest level of power consumption in the industry; reduced number of components; reduced number of pins; and can rewrite programs at 1.8V.

Lowest level of power consumption in the industry!The company's new products tout the lowest level of standby power consumption in the industry. The company's new 8bit products have a standby operating current of 0.7?A and an operating current when operating at 1MHz of 260?A. The 16bit models have a standby operating current of 1.0?A when only the watch is operating and 6.8mA at high-speed operation of 20MHz. This enables longer battery life and lower system power consumption.

Reduced number of components by expanding analog features!The 8bit MCUs have one built-in op amp, while the latest 16bit models have built-in high-speed ADC with many analog input pins. For these reasons, these products are optimal for systems equipped with sensor features. And because these microcontrollers do not require peripheral components!as conventional models do!users can reduce the number of peripherals on their systems.

Reduced number of pins used for on-chip debugging (only the 8bit products 78KO/KY2-L and 78KO/KA2-L)!These products have a reduced number of pins for on-chip debugging when using the internal oscillator as a main clock enabling low cost development. This enables users to develop sets that effectively use features at low cost when developing systems.

Can rewrite programs at 1.8V (Only the 16bit products 78KOR/KF3-L and 78KOR/KG3-L)!Because of an embedded, dedicated on-chip voltage booster, the power needed for rewriting programs onto flash memory is expanded from the conventional 2.7V to 1.8V. This enables the rewrite of programs by simply supplying power voltage from batteries even in mobile devices that could not rewrite programs unless supplied with power voltage from non-battery sources. Ultimately, this makes it easier to update software after sets are shipped out.

Mass-production of the new products will begin in Q2 09. The total monthly production of these 22 models is set for 1 million units in December 2009.

- Henri Arnold
EE Times-Europe

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