The MC9S12UF32 16-bit, flash-based microcontroller from Freescale Semiconductor is available to help designers bring an improved level of peripheral functionality to the personal computer. The microcontroller features an integrated universal serial bus (USB) 2.0 physical layer transceiver to provide comprehensive USB specification implementation for both full-speed (12 Mbps) and high-speed (480 Mbps) operation. The high-speed operation, running at bus speeds of up to 30MHz, implements fast large data transfers for applications such as real-time movies that were impractical at the previous lower-speed operation. Besides standard USB functionality, the MC9S12UF32 enables control of external hard disk drives, CD-ROM and DVD-ROM drives via the USB 2.0 protocol. The device also enables compact flash memory devices: secure digital memory cards, multimedia cards, smart media memory cards and memory stick memory cards. Freescale Smiconductor, 81829 Munich, Germany.
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.