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8bit MCUs save power in active, idle modes

Posted: 17 Sep 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:8bit MCU? microcontroller? EEPROM?


STMicroelectronics has released the first microcontrollers that combine the company's high-performance 8bit architecture with their ultralow-power innovations to save power in active modes as well as when idle. The STM8L product family comprises 26 devices in three lines covering a broad spectrum of performance and function.

The new devices will enable engineers to increase the performance and capability of their end products while satisfying market-driven requirements such as end-user demands for 'greener' products and longer battery life in portable devices and a variety of medical, industrial, e-metering, sensing or security equipment. Designers will also choose these ultralow-power MCUs to comply with low-power product-design guidelines such as Energy Star, the IEA 1-Watt Plan, or the EU's EuP directive.

"The ultralow-power platform underpinning the new STM8L product line represents a significant investment from ST and underlines our commitment to satisfying designers' needs in this growing technology area," said Jim Nicholas, general manager of ST's MCU division. "Combined with the performance advantages of the STM8 architecture, this delivers an unbeatable value proposition that will enable technically advanced and cost-competitive end products."

The three STM8L lines are built on ST's ultralow-power technology platform using a dedicated, proprietary 130nm process optimized for ultralow leakage. Unique advantages include full CPU performance up to the maximum operating frequency throughout the entire supply voltage (Vdd) range, from 1.65V to 3.6V. Moreover, using an on-chip regulator, power consumption is independent of Vdd, thereby providing extra flexibility and simplifying design.

Additional benefits
Other innovations include low-power embedded non-volatile memory and multiple power-management modes including a 5.4?A Low-Power Run mode, 3.3?A Low-Power Wait mode, 1?A Active Halt with full RTC, and 350nA Halt mode. The device can wake from Halt within 4?s, enabling frequent use of the lowest-power mode. Low-power peripherals including the sub-1?A RTC and automatic wake-up unlock further savings. Overall, this platform enables dynamic current consumption as low as 150?A/MHz.

Another feature of the low-power platform is to ensure the integrated analog circuitry remains functional down to 1.8V operating voltage, which maximizes the MCU's functionality over the complete Vdd range.

Developers will also appreciate pin and software compatibility between all devices, as well as the added flexibility and scalability that come from the homogenous peripheral set shared with ST's 32-bit STM32 product lines.

The STM8L101 line is the entry point of the STM8L ultralow-power 8bit portfolio. This family delivers a high level of integration in an ultra-small footprint, with flash density up to 8Kbyte and 20-, 28- and 32-pin package options.

Of the two other product lines making up the product range, the STM8L15x lines are now sampling to major customers, and add extra features including up to 32Kbyte on-chip flash and up to 2Kbyte SRAM, external crystal/clock capability, enhanced reset features, and support for DMA. There are also additional peripherals including a motor-control timer, increased analog capabilities, real-time clock, and fast ADC and DAC functions. On-chip EEPROM with true Read While Write capability saves complex and expensive emulation in flash.

The third line, the STM8L152, also features an integrated LCD controller. The STM8L151 and STM8L152 lines are scheduled for production availability in early 2010.

Family pricing starts with the STM8L101 4Kbyte flash version in QFN20 3x3mm low-profile package: 10,000-units resale price is $0.68.

For application notes on microcontrollers click here.

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