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Freescale announces ultra-low-end 8-bit MCU core

Posted: 21 Mar 2006     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Freescale Semiconductor Inc.  8-bit microcontroller core 

Freescale Semiconductor Inc. is introducing an ultra-low-end 8-bit microcontroller (MCU) core to meet the demand for smaller, more cost-effective solutions. Designed for traditional electro-mechanical designs that require additional functionality, this core is designed to allow increased integration while staying at a low price point.

The RS08 ultra-low-end core is a simplified version of its high-performance, low-power HCS08 architecture. The core is 30 per cent smaller and features a condensed instruction set, allowing compact and efficient coding of most embedded applications in small-pin-count devices with less than 16KBytes of flash memory. These changes offer engineers a simpler, faster way to get microcontroller-based applications to market, said the press release.

Freescale is developing a new version of the CodeWarrior Development Studio to support the RS08 core. It is designed to accelerate application development with a built-in project wizard that helps create working projects in as few as seven clicks. The RS08 represents some of the initial returns on Freescale's investment to strengthen its 8-bit portfolio and is the starting point of a performance roadmap outlined today that will provide compatible peripherals and tools from 8bit to 32bit.

"We have focused on providing 8-bit solutions that are an easy-to-use alternative to simple logic," said Mike McCourt, vice president and general manager of Freescale's microcontroller division. "We are surrounding the silicon with a support environment that delivers the training, tools and software that will help accelerate our customers' time to revenue."

The RS08 core will introduce a tiny and short addressing mode, which allows for more efficient access and manipulation of the most commonly used variables and registers. Additionally, Freescale has added a shadow programme counter to the core for more efficient subroutine calls. The RS08 will use the same bus structure as the HCS08, which will enable the use of the same peripheral and memory modules. In addition, both architectures will be supported by compatible debug interface hardware.

Freescale plans to announce a family of RS08-based processors in the spring of 2006. Preliminary pricing is targeting the sub Rs.22.13 (50 cents) suggested resale range.

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