Oki Semiconductor, which recently entered the general-purpose 32-bit microcontroller market using an ARM7 platform, has doubled the performance of the devices in a low-cost product series dubbed ML675K.
The parts, sampling this month, are pin-compatible with the company's earlier ML674K series but offer up to 60-MHz operation, providing an upgrade path without changing the board layout.
However, the new series is chiefly intended to provide a bridge from 8- and 16-bit proprietary MCUs to speedier 32-bit models without imposing a higher price. While 32-bit MCUs often are custom parts, Oki's are designed to be sold off-the-shelf, priced in the range of $5 for ROM-less versions.
"We're trying to provide the high-performance aspect of 32-bit MCUs and the standard product support of ARM at 16-bit prices," said Mitchell Le, senior product marketing manager for MCU products at Oki, Sunnyvale, Calif. "We believe we'll be able to change the shape of the MCU market by pushing 16-bit opportunities into the 32-bit space."
Le sized the 2003 proprietary 16-bit MCU market in the "billions of dollars."
According to IC Insights Inc., Scottsdale, Ariz., this segment produced revenue in 2002 of $833 million. The research firm forecasts average selling prices of 16-bit MCUs will be in the low-$3 range for much of 2003.
Oki's ML675001, 5002, and 5003 integrate 8Kbytes of internal unified cache, 32Kbytes of high-speed SRAM, and 4Kbytes of internal boot ROM. Additionally, the 5002 includes 256Kbytes of flash memory, while the 5003 comes standard with 512Kbytes of flash ROM.
Other features include a two-channel DMA controller, general-purpose and watchdog timers, A/D converters, multiple serial I/O ports, and interfaces for external memory and I/O. The parts are characterized for the industrial operating temperature of - 40°C to 85°C.
The devices have a 32-bit CPU engine, registers, and data bus, and execute 16-bit ARM Thumb instructions.
Oki is also offering a low-cost version of ARM Ltd.'s RealView tool suite, configured specifically to support Oki's MCUs and priced at less than $2,000.