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Mixed-signal MCU acquires analog signals with high precision

Posted: 15 Sep 2005     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:dallas semiconductor  maxq3120  mixed-signal microcontroller  microcontroller  mcu 

Dallas Semiconductor rolled out a new mixed-signal MCU with integrated precision analog functions. The MAXQ3120 has two 16bit sigma-delta ADCs, each with independently programmable gain amplification (PGA). This MCU also integrates a digitally trimmable real-time clock (RTC), an LCD controller and a single-cycle multiply-and-accumulate (MAC) module. It is suitable for use in a broad range of analog applications, including electricity metering, medical instruments, portable data acquisition, weight scales, industrial sensors and controls.

The MAXQ3120 is powered by a high-performance (approaching 1MIPS/MHz), single-cycle execution, 16bit RISC core. It uses an intelligent clock-management scheme that minimizes digital switching noise, while its integrated single-cycle MAC module provides a powerful signal processing function for the MCU. According to Dallas, the integration of high performance signal-processing capability and low digital noise enables the MAXQ3120 to acquire analog signals with high precision, and then process them using only a small fraction of its clock-input bandwidth. As a result, customers who incorporate the MAXQ3120 into their end equipment can offer more functionality at a lower cost, added the company.

The hardware MAC module of MAXQ3120 allows it to perform DSP algorithms with ease, even in data-intensive applications. The MAXQ3120 takes, for example, about 2.7MIPS (or 33 percent of a 8MHz input clock) to process and manipulate all the data in a multifunction single-phase electricity meter. This is especially impressive when one realizes that, in this short interval, both voltage and current inputs are digitized into two streams of 16-bit values, while the active and reactive energies and the voltage channel's RMS value are computed at every data conversion, said Dallas.

In addition, the MAXQ3120 allows a customized low-pass filtering to be applied in order to optimize the ADC output for its target application. With the help of the integrated fast single-cycle MAC, this programmable filtering capability makes MAXQ3120 a suitable solution for a variety of signal-processing applications.

The MAXQ3120 is packaged in an 80-pin MQFP, and operates over the -40°C to 85°C temperature range. MAXQ3120 reference designs are also available to help customers shorten design time-to-market. Prices start at $4.08 (1,000-up, FOB USA).

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