GENEVA STMicroelectronics here today announced a new 16-bit microcontroller core, based on a chip architecture that enables most instructions to be executed in a single clock cycle. The new core--called Super10--doubles the execution speed of existing ST10 microcontrollers in such applications as hard-disk drives, automotive electronics and consumer systems, said STMicroelectronics.
The company said it has also added digital signal processor (DSP) instructions to the Super10 core for real-time control. Two local register banks in the new core enable it to respond quickly to interrupts and offer zero-cycle context switching capability.
STMicroelectronics said it has developed a new interrupt function, called Interrupt Jump Cache, to reduce the time it take to service routines. The function allows the interrupt controller to transfer a 24-bit start address to the central processing unit for the service routine without time overhead.
The core has been specifically developed for embedding in system-on-chip designs and is fully synthesizable for a number of process technologies, said the European chip company. Currently the core is available for STMicroelectronics' 0.18-micron process technology. STMicrolectronics said The Super10 core can be operated with speeds up to 150 MHz and it is designed for power consumption in the 0.2-to-0.5-mW-per-MHz range, making it suitable for portable applications in digital still cameras, portable disk drives and personal digital assistants (PDAs).