SAN FRANCISCO As expected, Luminary Micro, the fabless semiconductor startup formed in 2004 to bring ARM Cortex-M3 processor-based microcontrollers (MCUs) to market, rolled out its first Stellaris MCUs Monday (March 27).
Luminary Micro (Austin, Texas), said the Stellaris family is the first silicon implementation of the ARM Cortex-M3 processor. It is also the first time that ARM Holdings plc (Oxford, England) has allowed a startup company to be a lead licensing partner for one of its microprocessors, according to Luminary Micro.
The first two members of the Stellaris family – the LM3S101 and LM3S102 – are available now, Luminary Micro said, at a starting price of $1 per unit.
According to Luminary Micro, the introduction marks the first time that embedded microcontroller system designers can utilize 32-bit performance for the same price as current 8- and 16-bit microcontroller designs. ARM is said to have more than 80 percent market share in some embedded 32-bit processor markets, with ARM Partners shipping at a rate exceeding 1.5 billion units a year.
Luminary Micro offers a Stellaris development kit with ready-to-go software and tools designed to get users running in 10 minutes or less, the company said. In addition to a Stellaris microcontroller, these kits include Luminary Micro’s development kit motherboard and daughterboard; peripheral driver library, documentation, schematics and example programs and all cables and jumpers, the company said. The development kit motherboard supports the entire Stellaris family of microcontrollers, including future members of the family, Luminary Micro said.
The development kit also includes full evaluation versions of software and hardware development tools from ARM, with the RealView Microcontroller Development Kit, which incorporates the Keil µVision development environment, IAR Systems and CodeSourcery, Luminary Micro said..
Citing analyst firm Gartner Dataquest, Luminary Micro said the 32-bit microcontroller industry quadrupled in revenues in five years, reaching $2.4 billion in 2003, and is expected to double in size over the next five years.
Alpha customers are currently designing in Luminary Micro products, the company said, and full development kits, including applications software and evaluation versions of popular software tools, are available now. Small-quantity orders of LM3S101 and LM3S102 silicon are also available now with volume production in expected during the third quarter, Luminary Micro said. The company expects to announce additional Stellaris family products later this year.
Last month, Luminary Micro signed Alpha Micro Components as its distributor in the U.K. and Ireland.