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Insight into the Stellaris microcontroller family

Posted: 04 Jan 2011     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Stellaris  microcontrollers  energy harvesting  MCU portfolio 

Microcontrollers (MCUs) have been playing an important role in revolutionizing simple and day-to-day electronics applications. MCUs have applications in every electrical appliance that are used on an average day. From energy harvesting & industrial applications to aiding cutting-edge medical applications and bringing healthcare into homes, MCUs have helped to make a difference in the way electronics are used. In the year 2009, TI expanded its MCU portfolio with the acquisition of Luminary Micro and since then has officially integrated Luminary Micro's Stellaris MCU family into TI. Here in an exclusive email interaction with EE Times India, Jean Anne Booth, Product Line director, Stellaris Microcontrollers, Advanced Embedded Controllers, Texas Instruments Inc., shares the vision behind the acquisition and the road ahead.

EE Times India: What was the objective behind TI's acquisition of Luminary Micro? Can you tell us about the results (financial) that TI has achieved with regards to the acquisition?

Booth: Texas Instruments (TI) acquired Luminary Micro to broaden the range of embedded processing solutions that TI can provide. With the addition of Luminary Micro's Stellaris ARM Cortex-M3 MCUs, TI is the only ARM licensee who can provide code-compatible software solutions from $1 [Rs.44.67] with Stellaris to beyond 1GHz with Sitara (ARM Cortex-A8). While TI does not disclose financial results on specific business units, I can say that TI's MCU products have led our Embedded Processing growth in both the sequential and year-on-year comparisons as our investments in this area are producing results.

Booth: With the addition of Luminary Micro's Stellaris ARM Cortex-M3 MCUs, TI is the only ARM licensee who can provide code-compatible software solutions from $1 [Rs.44.67] with Stellaris to beyond 1GHz with Sitara (ARM Cortex-A8)

Did the acquisition affect the no. of employees in Luminary Micro? Were they integrated in TI?

After the acquisition in May 2009, Luminary Micro's employees were integrated into TI. The Stellaris business unit is located in Austin, Texas, at Luminary Micro's old location. Texas Instruments has invested in Stellaris just as TI has invested in all embedded processing — especially the MCU market. We now have significantly more employees working on Stellaris than Luminary Micro had.

Where does the Stellaris line of MCUs fit into TI's existing portfolio? Did it pose a threat to any of the existing lines?

Because TI supports a large number of customers across very diverse embedded markets, TI has a very broad offering in its embedded processing portfolio. Stellaris MCUs extend the 32bit general market applicability of TI's embedded solutions. At the time of acquisition, we expected Stellaris to broaden the reach of TI's MCU portfolio and complement the general-market presence of TI's ultra-low-power MSP430 MCUs as well as the C200o real-time control MCUs. Our experience in the previous 18 months has validated our expectations of the growth synergy for TI MCU by having a very broad portfolio.


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