PORTLAND, Ore. Freescale Semiconductor is offering complimentary software valued at $95,000 to engineers choosing its microcontrollers for industrial connectivity, smart appliances, medical handhelds, factory automation and other industrial control applications.
Freescale's flash-based microcontroller feature both Ethernet- and USB-connectivity. The 5225x family also comes with a sublicense to the MQX real-time operating system (RTOS) from Arc International (San Jose, Calif.) "When you buy our silicon, now you get the entire MQX software suite with all source code rights, which includes the RTOS and all its associated tools and software stacks, a value of about $95,000 in up-front licensing fees," said John Weil, manager of MCU software enablement at Freescale (Austin, Texas).
Embedded system designers currently spend an estimated 64 percent of their resources on software, according to market research conducted by TechInsights, the publisher of EE Times.
Freescale said the program aims to make Freescale's microcontrollers the leading choice for industrial connectivity applications. The program also dovetails with its tactic of wooing design engineers interested in cost and power savings.
If the program is successful, Freescale said it plans to extend the offer to its other microcontroller families. The 5225x family is based on the 32-bit ColdFire V2 core, designed to deliver up to 76 Dhrystone
2.1 MIPS at 80 MHz. The MCUs also include extensive integrated serial communications capabilities, such as a serial peripheral interface, two inter-integrated circuit buses and three universal asynchronous receiver transmitters.
Product development consultation comes from Embedded Access Inc. (Ottawa), which provides second-level support and custom engineering services to MQX RTOS users.