SAN JOSE, Calif. - Atmel, Cypress, Fujitsu, Microchip, Renesas, Super Micro, Via and others have rolled out new products at the Embedded Systems Conference (ESC).
ESC will be held at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose from May 2-5. One vendor, Atmel Corp., is expanding the AVR Xplained evaluation kits to support applications in the industrial, consumer, automotive and computing markets. Supporting all Atmel AVR devices including the megaAVR, AVR XMEGA and AVR UC3 families, the new Xplained kits create a platform for developers to easily evaluate Atmel AVR devices early in the design cycle.
A range of extension boards are also being released as accessory devices to offer customers the ability to easily evaluate a combination of microcontroller (MCU) and accessory devices before making big investments. The extension boards include the Sensors Xplained series, CryptoAuthentication Xplained and Temperature Sensors Xplained.
Meanwhile, Cypress Semiconductor Corp. and Redpine Signals have jointly developed a 802.11a/b/g/n wireless-connectivity solution. This is said to make it simple for system engineers to add low-power, single-stream 802.11n Wi-Fi capability to embedded systems with Cypress's PSoC 3 and PSoC 5 programmable system-on-chip platforms.
These solutions are based on the Connect-io-n modules from Redpine Signals. The 802.11n modules are self-contained and system designers do not have to have a detailed knowledge of Wi-Fi technology to use them, according to the company.
The modules work with Cypress’s PSoC platforms, which are used in a broad range of embedded system applications. The modules implement single-stream 802.11n connectivity in a smaller space and at lower cost than legacy 802.11b and 802.11g modules.
Meanwhile, Fujitsu Semiconductor America Inc. (FSA) has extended its portfolio of general-purpose, 32-bit microcontrollers (MCUs), introducing 52 new products designed for home appliances, office automation, and digital consumer products.
The Fujitsu FM3 devices are built around the ARM Cortex M3 core. The 52 new products are part of the MB9A310 and MB9A110 Series, bringing the FM3 Basic Product Group to a total of 60 products.
The new MCUs in the FM3 Basic Product Group expand pin, memory and interface options. The 52 new devices provide flash memory from 64KB to 512KB and increase the range of package options from 64-pin to 112-pin versions. A USB 2.0 host/function has also been added.
The FM3 family can operate on a wide range of power supply voltages, from 2.7V to 5.5V. The devices are well-suited for the conventional 5V power-supply voltage needs of major home appliances, office automation devices, and other consumer electronics designed for Asia and Latin America.
Another vendor, Microchip Technology Inc., has rolled out its next-generation, open-source integrated development environment—the MPLAB X IDE—with cross-platform support for Linux, Mac OS and Windows operating systems. A host of features have been added to the new IDE, including the ability to manage multiple projects and tools with simultaneous debugging, an advanced editor, visual call graphs and code completion.
MPLAB X support its entire portfolio of 8, 16 and 32-bit microcontrollers—including all 800+ PIC microcontrollers, dsPIC digital signal controllers and memory devices. MPLAB X is based on the Oracle Sponsored open-source NetBeans platform, which has an active user community that can contribute a wide range of enhancements and third-party plug-ins.
In addition, Microchip Technology also announced it has expanded its 8-bit enhanced mid-range core product portfolio with the new, low-cost PIC16F1516/7/8/9 and PIC16F1526/7 (PIC16F15XX) microcontrollers (MCUs).
These new, general-purpose MCUs feature Microchip’s eXtreme Low Power (XLP) technology—for sleep currents down to 20 nA, and active currents less than 50 micro Amperes/MHz—which lowers overall power consumption and extends battery life.
This MCU family offers 5V operation. An on-chip, 10-bit Analog-to-Digital Converter (ADC) with up to 30 channels enables more mTouch capacitive touch-sensing keys and sliders in smaller packages. Up to two each of EUSART, I2C and SPI ports enable communication with on-board peripherals. The new MCUs are available in 28-, 40-/44- and 64-pin packages, and are suitable for cost-sensitive applications in the consumer, cell phones, MP3 players, automotive, home appliance and other markets.
The PIC16F(LF)1516 and PIC16F(LF)1518 MCUs are available in 28-pin SOIC, SPDIP, SSOP and 4 mm x 4 mm UQFN packages. The PIC16F(LF)1517 and PIC16F(LF)1519 MCUs are available in 40- and 44-pin PDIP, 10 mm x 10 mm TQFP and 5 mm x 5 mm UQFN packages. The PIC16F(LF)1526 and PIC16F(LF)1527 MCUs are available in 64-pin 9 mm x 9 mm QFN and 10 mm x 10 mm TQFP packages. Volume pricing starts at $0.68 each for the 28-pin parts.
MCU rival Renesas Electronics America Inc. announced the addition of two new product groups within the R8C microcontroller (MCU) family, which incorporates Renesas' touch-sensor control unit (TSCU). The R8C/36T-A and R8C/38T-A product groups expand the number of touch channels to 28 and 36 respectively, and offer up to 128 kilobytes (KB) of program memory suitable for single-chip embedded designs.
The 18 new devices add a number of enhancements to the TSCU hardware block especially designed for touch-key sensing applications. The block supports up to 36 independently connected electrodes and can complete a full scan of all channels in less than 10 milliseconds (ms). The TSCU includes additional features for the rejection of electrical noise, such as fully automated random and majority-vote measurements for more reliable touch determination.
Renesas also announced for its RL78 microcontroller family new compiler support from IAR Systems, real-time operating systems (RTOS) from Micrium and CMX Systems, and Wi-Fi (802.11n) support from Redpine Signals.
And not to be outdone, Super Micro Computer Inc. has announced a new addition to its ''Embedded Server Building Block Solutions,'' where are servers for embedded applications.
This product is optimized with the Intel Corp.'s second-generation Core product family and Intel's QM67 chipsets. This platform provides PCI-E 2.0 x16 support and power savings capabilities as well as remote management, security and a DC power option. It is offered in a Mini-ITX form factor, making it ideal for embedded applications, such as multi-display digital signage, multi-channel digital surveillance, expandable I/O industrial control and long-life medical instrumentation.
In another announcement, Taiwan's Via Technologies Inc. will unveil its previously-announcedfamily of low power dual core VIA Nano X2 Series processors at the event.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.