AUSTIN, Tex. -- Motorola Inc.'s Microcontroller Division here today rolled out a second-generation flash technology for its 8-bit 68HC08 microcontroller family, speeding the time it takes to program devices and reducing the die area for embedded nonvolatile memory on MCUs.
A new flash memory design and process shrink have made the in-system programmable feature so cost efficient that Motorola has decided to no longer introduced new EPROM-based, one-time programmable parts in the 68HC08 family. "All of our new designs will be flash-based instead of OTP because we can offer this memory storage at about the same price as the one-time programmable solutions," said Kevin Kilbane, corporate distribution manager for Motorola's Microcontroller Division.
The new 68HC908JL and JK devices offer 1.5-kilobytes and 4-Kbytes of reprogrammable flash. The enhanced memory design enables 64 bytes of flash to be programmed in 2 milliseconds. The flash offers up to 10,000 write/erase cycles over operating temperature and is suitable for data storage, eliminating the cost of separate electrically erasable PROM, said Motorola, which is fabricating the new microcontrollers in a 0.5-micron process.
"Typically customers use flash for their program storage to allow them to update or fix code, but now with the higher write/erase cycles across operating temperatures, they also can use flash for data storage as well," Kilbane said. "Common applications for that are programmable user interface settings or allow some sort of adjustment of sensors in a system."
The series includes MCUs integrating a 12-channel analog-to-digital converter and a multi-trip point low-voltage inhibit feature widely used analog applications. "We believe this series if the first 8-bit flash MCU with an integrated a-to-d, priced under $1 in large quantities of 500,000 or above," Kilbane said.
The 24-pin MCU with 4-Kbytes of flash has a suggested resell price of $2.10 each in 50,000-piece quantities. The 20-pin 4-Kbyte flash MCU is $1.65 each and the 1.5-Kbyte flash microcontroller has a suggested resell price of $1.25 each in quantities of 50,000 through distributors. Samples and volume production of the first parts in the series are scheduled to become available in November.