Toshiba has decided to bring CISC back into the 32bit world with a family aimed at consumer electronics, airbag controllers and car radios. The company has implemented a new core derived from an architecture that has evolved from an 8bit microcontroller, through 16bit designs to a full 32bit engine.
The company launched its first 32bit CISC microcontroller several years ago, but the 900H2 has now been followed by the H1 core used in the new parts.
Peter Lieberwirth, senior manager of marketing for microcomputer, automotive and consumer ICs at Toshiba, said: "It is fully upwards compatible with the 16bit TLCS900 architecture. We have done that because there are quite a number of applications that use 8 or 16bit CPUs that require more speed and better power/performance [ratios].
"[Customers] could upgrade to RISC but they are not always happy to do that."
"[The H1] is about four times faster than the current 16bit family," said Lieberwirth.
He added that the company would focus on consumer designs in Asia but would put more emphasis on automotive designs in Europe, so there would be both flash and masked ROM versions of the parts.
"We need to have flash derivatives for automotive. CAN-type devices will also be available," said Lieberwirth.
Built using a 0.35um process, the first members of the family will run at 20MHz. A design with 128Kbyte of ROM and 6Kbyte of RAM consumes 75mW. Lieberwirth said this gave the part a speed-power rating of 267MIPS/W.