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8bit MCUs suit power-sensitive designs

Posted: 31 Jan 2008     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:unltralow-power MCUs 

Freescale Semiconductor Inc. has introduced ultralow-power 8bit MCUs designed to enhance portable performance, extend battery life and improve energy efficiency for a wide range of embedded applications.

The MC9S08QE8 (QE8) MCUs—members of Freescale's ultralow-power QE family—are among the industry's most power-efficient 8bit offerings, with stop current of less than 300nA and run current as low as 7µA. This low-power operation makes the QE8 devices ideal for low-end medical devices, such as blood pressure monitors and at-home pregnancy tests, as well as portable devices such as PDAs and cellphone accessories.

"Embedded developers designing tomorrow's portable, battery-powered devices demand ultralow-power operation from every component, especially 8bit MCUs," said Aiden Mitchell, consumer and industrial MCU product manager for Freescale's microcontroller solutions group. "While offering exceptional 8bit performance and a rich peripheral set, we've designed the QE8 devices to deliver industry-leading energy efficiency for power-sensitive designs."

The QE8 devices are designed to meet the requirements of portable designs through optimised peripherals that enable lower operating voltage and current. The QE8 can run off of an ultralow-power 32kHz oscillator that consumes less than 1µA of current. The device also includes battery-saving features, such as two ultralow-power stop modes, low-power run and wait modes, 6µs wake-up time from stop mode, and clock gating registers to disable clocks or unused peripherals.

The QE8 is pin and software compatible with corresponding devices in Freescale's MC9S08Qx family of ultralow-power MCUs and with the Flexis QE128 devices. This compatibility along Freescale's Controller Continuum provides developers with a software compatible roadmap from 8bit to 32bit architectures.

Easy to use
The QE8 devices are supported by a rich ecosystem of Freescale and third-party hardware and software tools. Freescale's CodeWarrior Development Studio for Microcontrollers 6.1 provides an array of built-in features and utilities to help developers deliver higher-quality products to market faster. For example, the Processor Expert rapid application design tool included in the CodeWarrior tool suite provides a graphical interface to help developers initialise the device easily.

To ease board design, Freescale offers the cost-effective DEMO9S08QE8 demonstration board with a companion DVD. The DVD includes software, application examples, datasheets and a quick-start guide to help developers get up and running in the design process quickly. The DC9S08QE8 QE8 daughter card also can be ordered independently for only Rs.394.78 ($10) to use with the DEMOQE128 demonstration kit. Freescale offers extensive resources for low-power design, including application notes, low-power tips and tricks, and online training and webcasts on low-power design.

Samples of the QE8 devices in a 32-pin LQFP package are available. The suggested resale price for the QE8 devices in 10,000-piece quantities starts at Rs.45.40 ($1.15).

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