NEC Electronics introduced a new 8-bit All Flash
general-purpose microcontroller (MCU), the uPD78F8025, with integrated
constant high-current drivers, and 32 kilobytes (KB) of flash memory.
LEDs have been used increasingly in many lighting systems
such as general lighting for home and office, indoor/outdoor signs and
displays, and backlight systems in LCD panels. Most systems are
designed with separate MCUs and discrete components, such as transistor
diodes and voltage control driver ICs. Manufacturers are concerned
about performance, power consumption and increasing compact board
design. To address these concerns, NEC Electronics introduced the
uPD78F8024 device last year, combining its low-power 78K0/KB2 MCUs,
with constant current drivers, and following the success of the
uPD78F8024 MCU, the new uPD78F8025 expands the flash memory to 32KB to
meet the increasing software requirement.
Key features of the
uPD78F8024 and uPD78F8025 MCUs include integration of an NEC
Electronics' 78K0/KB2 MCU and a 4-channel
constant current driver in a single flat package. There are
several interfaces included on the devices,
such as an I2C and UART, as well as on-chip 10-bit A/D converter.
In addition to constant-current circuits, the chips integrate
protection circuits such as over-current, thermal shutdown and voltage
lockout to improve power control, efficiency and reliability of the
overall system. With the integrated buck/boost converter the devices
can be used in voltage booster
topology or buck topology.
A full evaluation kit is also available, along
with comprehensive development tools.
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.