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Freescale core promises 32bit power, 8bit ease-of-use

Posted: 02 Aug 2006     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Freescale  68K/ColdFire V1 core 

As performance and memory requirements increase in consumer, medical, industrial and motor control applications, designers are hitting the ceiling of 8bit performance. The new ColdFire V1 core from Freescale Semiconductor promises to provide 32bit performance with the ease-of-use of an 8bit microcontroller at a price point that won't give traditional 8bit designers sticker shock.

According to the company, the 68K/ColdFire V1 core will provide the engine for the industry's first 32bit devices that are compatible with 8bit—allowing easy migration between architectures. Products based on the V1 core will use the same peripheral modules and development tools as products based on the S08 architecture, providing upward compatibility and simplifying application design.

"The 68K/ColdFire V1 core is Freescale's next step in delivering the Controller Continuum, our roadmap for 8bit and 32bit product compatibility that will give designers the ability to move effortlessly between 8bit and 32bit microcontrollers," said Mike McCourt, VP and general manager of Freescale's Microcontroller Division. "Our next-generation products based on the V1 core will provide 32bit performance with 8bit ease-of-use at 16bit prices."

The 68K/ColdFire V1 core and 8bit S08 architecture will share a common set of tools, starting with the CodeWarrior 6.0 development studio. The CodeWarrior tool set makes programming the 32bit 68K/ColdFire architecture as simple and straightforward as programming an 8bit microcontroller, the company said.

The device is designed to deliver increased system utilisation, resulting in the lowest power consumption of any 68K/ColdFire products to date, Freescale said, while offering more processing performance than 8bit microcontrollers. This new low-voltage/low-power technology allows the V1 core to achieve aggressive stop/run currents.

The full set of ColdFire architecture registers are built into the 68K/ColdFire V1 core, and it supports the same programming model as the 68K/ColdFire V2-V4 cores. The V1 core uses the S08 bus structure, which enables the use of similar peripheral and memory modules. For package pin compatibility, the V1 uses the S08's single-pin background debug mode to create simple interface configuration.

Freescale intends to introduce multiple products based on the 68K/ColdFire V1 core throughout 2007. The company anticipates products based on the V1 core will be priced within approximately 20 per cent of its 8bit products with comparable features.

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