Luminary Micro wins award for 32-bit MCUs at 8 bit prices

Pricing for Stellaris line is a first for microcontrollers based on ARM architecture, says Frost & Sullivan.


San Jose, CA — Microcontroller IC maker Luminary Micro received the 2008 Global Frost & Sullivan Entrepreneurial Company Award for superior entrepreneurial ability for its Stellaris line of microcontrollers (MCUs). The award rewards “a unique and revolutionary product solution with significant market potential” — in this case, 32-bit microcontrollers at 8-bit prices.

Luminary Micro, Inc. designs, markets and sells ARM Cortex-M3-based microcontrollers (MCUs), and delivered the world’s first silicon implementation of the Cortex-M3 processor in March 2006. The Austin, TX-based company’s Stellaris family of products provides 32-bit performance for the same price as 8- and 16-bit microcontroller designs, providing entry-level pricing at $1.00 for an ARM technology-based MCU. Stellaris mixed-signal microcontrollers contain specialized capabilities for applications in energy, security, and connectivity markets. According to the company, Luminary Micro’s Stellaris family of products allows for standardization that eliminates future architectural upgrades or software tools changes.

“With the Cortex-M3 technology and a few strategic engineering decisions, Luminary Micro offers microcontrollers with 32-bit performance at price points that fit squarely in the 8-bit microcontroller segment,” says Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Jayalakshmi Janakiraman. “The company’s Stellaris product line has an entry-level pricing of $1, which is a first for microcontrollers based on ARM architecture, and is targeted toward industrial control and embedded applications.”

According to Frost & Sullivan , “Luminary Micro was introduced as the lead partner for the Cortex– M3 microcontroller core from ARM in March 2006. ARM was confident about the private company’s ability to successfully introduce Cortex-M3 into the market within a short span of time. The company has lived up to this expectation with a microcontroller product line consisting of around 106 microcontrollers at present.” 

“As the first company to introduce Cortex–M3 based microcontrollers to the market, Luminary Micro has an initial time-to-market advantage over other licensees,” said Frost & Sullivan.  “The company strives to differentiate itself with the technology that it brings to the implementation of the microcontroller core. Motion control capability, analog performance, and flash speed are some of the areas in which Luminary Micro’s devices excel. The company also offers full evaluation kits that enable easy familiarization and implementation in less than 10 minutes, along with complete reference designs formotion control applications.”

Haydn Povey, product manager for ARM , said, “Enabling developers with evaluation kits and reference designs is crucial for microcontroller vendor success. Some 80% of system integration cost goes into software and deployment, and that’s for high-volume systems. For systems produced in low volumes that can reach 99%!”

A recipient that is chosen for the Frost & Sullivan Award for Entrepreneurial Company must match the following criteria:
• The company must have fewer than 300 employees.
• The company must have identified a brand new and completely unique product solution.
• The product solution must have significant market potential - at least $200 million - and a high probability of reaching its potential in the next 2-5 years.
• Financial and employee-based resources to ensure a large probability of
success. Financial resources include backing from VCs, IPOs, and funding from
large corporate partners.
• Protection from competitors: such as patents, large product development lead
time and strategic alliances with key component suppliers
• Strong plans for marketing: such as strategic alliances for distribution,
relationships with key customers, voluminous positive-press in the media and
endorsements from industry experts.

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
C.G. Masi , senior editor

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