San Jose, Calif. Aiming at embedded smart card applications as well as card readers and set-top boxes, Atmel Corp. has launched an 8/16-bit microcontroller based on what the company said is an enhanced 80C251 architecture.
The T89SC256C, which is compatible with existing 80C51-based applications, includes 256 kbytes of compact Flash memory on chip, plus a separate arithmetic crypto coprocessor that supports up to a 2,048-bit Rivest-Shamir-Adleman cryptography computation. The part is said to achieve a 1,024-bit RSA computation with Chinese Remainder Theorem in 90 milliseconds.
Applications include high-end mobile phones, multiapplication smart cards, secured data storage and secured card readers. Frederic Chevreton, vice president and general manager of Atmel's Microcontrollers & Digital Products Business Center in Nantes, France, said the device includes more nonvolatile, reprogrammable memory than other microcontrollers in its category: 256 kbytes vs. 64 kbytes. It also includes 4.5 kbytes of RAM.
For enhanced security, the T89SC256C includes a true random number generator, a secure memory management unit, an automatic memory error detection and correction mechanism and physical sensors. A watchdog timer controls the execution of embedded application software.
Atmel's MCU is manufactured on a 0.35-micron CMOS process. It measures less than 25 x 25 mm, consumes 10 milliamps at 5 volts and 5 mA at 3 V, and offers UART and SPI communications interfaces.
Chevreton said the 80C251 core is clocked by a high-frequency, tunable internal clock that operates at up to 24 MHz. He added that the device provides up to 15 times better performance than applications at the same clock frequency developed on an 80C51 core. The part is priced at $7 in quantities of 100,000.
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EETInfo No. 612