SAN FRANCISCO Seeking to grab a larger percentage of the growing market for 32-bit microcontrollers, Royal Philips Electronics Monday (Sept. 26) added three new products to the company's LPC2000 microcontroller (MCU) family. According to Philips, the MCUs, based on the ARM7 TDMI-S architecture, can operate at speeds up to 70 megahertz.
Philips (Eindhoven, The Netherlands) said the new MCUs LPC2101, the LPC2102 and the LPC2103 feature fast I/O capabilities, allowing bit-toggling at a speed of 17.5 MHz.
Ata Khan, director of product innovation for Philips' microcontroller product line, said the main focus of the LPC210x parts is providing the superior performance of 32-bit MCUs at a price equivalent to existing 8-bit parts. Pricing for the series depends on memory configuration, but starts at less than $1.50 in quantities of 10,000.
According to Khan, Philips has helped to remove another obstacle to the adoption of 32-bit MCUs the cost of development tools. Khan said that Philips worked closely with established and new providers of compilers, integrated development environments, evaluation boards, emulators and real-time operating systems, persuading them to offer low cost development kits (some of which start at $99).
Khan said that many customers that are currently using 8- or 16-bit MCUs would like to take advantage of the performance benefits offered by 32-bit parts, but are hesitant to make the transition for several years, many of them cost related. By offering the LPC210x products at 8-bit prices, and helping to ease the burden of development tool costs, Philips believes it has provided an easy migration path to 32-bit.
According to research firm IC Insights, the overall market size for MCUs in 2005 is projected to reach $12.7 billion. The firms said 32-bit MCUs represent $3.5 billion of this revenue and constitute the fastest-growing segment of the MCU market, projected to grow by more than 15 percent CAGR is forecasted through 2009.
Pricing for the three new MCUs is based on the amount of on-board memory. The LPC2101 with 8 kilobyte flash and 2 kilobyte SRAM is priced at $1.47 per part in quantities of 10,000. The LPC2102 with 16 kilobyte flash and 4 kilobyte SRAM is priced at $1.85 per part in quantities of 10,000.