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Infineon cracks entry level MCU market with new 32bit line

Posted: 21 Jan 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:32bit Microcontroller? low end segment? industrial controls?

Infineon has recently unveiled an entry level 32bit Microcontroller family which it hopes to address the low end segment of the industrial controls market. The new chips are designed to displace 8bit products, which are still used in price sensitive applications. In an attempt to sway users from the 8bit technology, the company treats the users to a wealth of integrated application-specific peripheral options.

The new XMC1000 complements Infineon's Microcontroller offering for industrial applications including Smart Lighting, power conversion and motor control. Like the XMC4000 family introduced a year ago, it is based on ARM architecture. But unlike the XMC4000 which uses a Cortex M4, the new Microcontrollers are powered by a Cortex M0. The price level will be comparable to widespread 8bit products, announced Stephan Zizala, Infineon's Senior Director for Industrial and Multimarket Microcontrollers. The chipmaker hopes to achieve this ambitious price level by using a 65nm embedded flash production technology on 300mm wafers8bitMicrocontrollers typically are manufactured on 200mm wafers at lower productivity.

For the start in March, Infineon announces three flavors of its new product family. They differentiate against each other through performance and the set of integrated, application-oriented peripherals. The XMC1100 which populates the low end of the product range features four 16bit timers, six DC channels with 12bit resolution and a throughput of 1.88 MSPS, a pseudo random number generator and a number of communication channels including UART, I2C, I2S and SPI. Target applications are smart sensors, actuators, and general-purpose control applications.

The XMC1200 is streamlined to support LED lighting applications: It is equipped with a Brightness and Color Control Unit (BCCU) that enables flicker-free lighting applications with multichannel RGB LEDs. Other integrated peripherals include the wave-shaping logic of a PWM control circuit and the I/O circuitry required by DALI and DMX smart lighting environments.

The top model XMC1300 includes special-purpose timers for motor control and digital power control applications as well as motor control interfaces. For fast numeric computations the XMC1300 is also equipped with a math coprocessor. PWM controls are facilitated through fast analog comparators; an integrated Event Request Unit enables the adaption of peripherals interconnection.

For all XMC1000 models, an IP protection in hardware scheme will be available that protects the software stored in the internal Flash memory from being copied. This feature however will only be available beginning 2H13. In any case, the XMC1000 family is fully integrated into Infineon's Eclipse-based Development Environment named Dave. For first-hour developers, Infineon also offers Boot Kits for all three Microcontroller models; application-specific kits for LED lighting and motor control will follow soon.

- Christoph Hammerschmidt
??EE Times Europe

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