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Spansion Targets IoT With Flexible MCUs

11/27/2013 01:45 PM EST
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junko.yoshida
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Background of this announcement
junko.yoshida   11/27/2013 4:16:09 PM
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Hi, Max. Thanks for detailing Spansion's announcement.

Here's the background in case if anyone missed it:

Spansion Exec Reassures Fujitsu Customers


http://www.eetimes.com/document.asp?doc_id=1320210

The stuff Spansion didn't detail in its press relesae is this:

Spansion's proprietary eCT technology goes inside embedded MCUs by 2015

 

 


Stevens.Wang
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Re: Background of this announcement
Stevens.Wang   12/3/2013 10:37:55 PM
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I am very interesting in bindng IoT and Engergy Harvesting ...

It's an art of balancing, I think ^ ^. 

Victor Lorenzo
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Re: Background of this announcement
Victor Lorenzo   12/4/2013 1:35:20 AM
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@Stevens: "I am very interesting in bindng IoT and Engergy Harvesting". Perhaps we wouldn't have to wait too long for that as some power management chips targetted at energy harvesting as well as some ultra low porwer MCUs are readily available.

The ZigBee Alliance will also contribute to IoT with the ZigBee PRO Green Power introduced at the end of 2012 (http://www.zigbee.org/Specifications/ZigBee/GreenPower.aspx).

KB3001
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Pricing?
KB3001   11/29/2013 2:54:35 PM
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Impressive range. What about pricing?

ip2design
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IoT ?
ip2design   12/2/2013 7:45:35 AM
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I can hardly see what is specific to IoT business. Any idea ?

Max The Magnificent
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Re: IoT ?
Max The Magnificent   12/2/2013 11:33:48 AM
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@ip2design: I can hardly see what is specific to IoT business. Any idea?

My understanding is that the M3 and M4-based MCUs, although extremely powerful and efficient, may be overkill (and consume too much power) for a lot of IoT applications. The C0+ based MCUs are more applicable to a wide range of IoT applications.

ip2design
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Re: IoT ?
ip2design   12/2/2013 12:52:51 PM
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Thanks Max. That means that CPU throuput is far less critical than connectivity.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: IoT ?
Max The Magnificent   12/2/2013 12:59:30 PM
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@ip2design: Thanks Max. That means that CPU throuput is far less critical than connectivity.

Well... I guess it sort of depends. Like many people, when I hear "IoT" I tend to think of hundreds of millions (billions, in the not-so-distant future) of teeny-weeny devices (small processors coupled with sensors and/or actuators) connected to the internet. In this case, connectivity and low power consumption will often trump raw processing power (the Cortex C0+ MCUs will score here).

However, the IoT isn't restricted to teeny-weeny devices -- there will be lots of other devices that are physically larger and/or do require more processing power (the Cortex M3/M4 MCUs will score here).

So I think Spansion's point of view is that the fact they offer 700+ processors spanning the M0+, M3, and M4 cores means they can address a wire range of IoT  applications.

Victor Lorenzo
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Re: IoT ?
Victor Lorenzo   12/4/2013 1:51:14 AM
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@Max: "The C0+ based MCUs are more applicable to a wide range of IoT applications". The concept of IoT is not limited to sensors all around wirelessly connected to a local network, it seems like it goes far beyond that limit.

I think we could expect even newer architectures with more processing power-per-mW and more power efficient communications interface technologies showing up soon.

As security is a concern in the IoT, crypto accelerators will most likely be a 'basic' feature/requirement for MCUs/SoCs targeted at IoT applications.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: IoT ?
Max The Magnificent   12/4/2013 10:20:02 AM
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@Victor: As security is a concern in the IoT, crypto accelerators will most likely be a 'basic' feature/requirement for MCUs/SoCs targeted at IoT applications.

I agree -- but I'm sad we have to worry about stuff like that (sad face)

Victor Lorenzo
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Re: IoT ?
Victor Lorenzo   12/4/2013 10:42:59 AM
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@Max, "I agree -- but I'm sad we have to worry about stuff like that (sad face)".

Well, thinking about making a system "secure" has also a lot of fun... and is of course challenging.

...and think about how happy will others be after breaking into what you believed to be "secure"... LOL. Of course they will also have a lot of fun succeding on that, trust me. ;)

Max The Magnificent
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Re: IoT ?
Max The Magnificent   12/4/2013 10:49:22 AM
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@Victor: ...think about how happy will others be after breaking into what you believed to be "secure"...

Good point -- so long as we are increasing the sum total of human happiness LOL

krisi
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flexible
krisi   12/2/2013 1:13:36 PM
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interesting interpretation of the FM acronym, flexible micontrollers...I think 99% people think frequency modulation...I would think every microcontroller is flexible by definition...and intersting enough they make 700 of them, so they are not that flexible after all!

Max The Magnificent
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Re: flexible
Max The Magnificent   12/2/2013 2:57:19 PM
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@krisi: interesting interpretation of the FM acronym...

I might have known you would have a comment about that (LOL)

Did I ask you if you are planning on going to EE Live! 2014?

alex_m1
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Re: flexible
alex_m1   12/3/2013 4:00:26 AM
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Krisi, They mean flexilbility at their factory , when they limit the capabilities of each unit and then sell it under a different number.

Victor Lorenzo
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Re: flexible
Victor Lorenzo   12/4/2013 1:26:45 AM
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I agree with @krisi "I would think every microcontroller is flexible by definition" and if you let me I would like to add one small detail... if it's running from FLASH/EEPROM and not from ROM masked at the factory or bricked with a static program code it is even more flexible.

seaEE
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trying to wrap my mind around this mcu
seaEE   12/3/2013 12:04:13 AM
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I was trying to wrap my mind around this MCU and figured that perhaps it was for use with the new wraparound displays that phones are sporting.  Silicon?  No, sillycon putty.

Blunk
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FM = Fujitsu MCU
Blunk   12/4/2013 2:47:04 AM
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Perhaps they were speaking slowly because they were thinking on their feet for a new acceptable meaning to FM.

dvandit
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FM
dvandit   12/5/2013 4:29:57 PM
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And I have though all along that FM stood for Funny Magic, (we at least in Silicon Valley).

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