Motorola expands 16-bit hybrid MCU/DSP portfolio

Phoenix, AZ - New options will soon be available from Motorola for embedded systems that require high performance microcontroller (MCU) and digital signal processor (DSP) functionality with integrated Flash memory.


Phoenix, AZ - New options will soon be available from Motorola for embedded systems that require high performance microcontroller (MCU) and digital signal processor (DSP) functionality with integrated Flash memory.

Motorola is combining the performance of its newer 56800E hybrid core with the peripherals of the original 56800 family to meet growing market demand for higher performance cores and embedded Flash memory.

"With a portfolio of more than 75 derivatives, Motorola has the broadest portfolio of MCUs and MCU/DSP hybrid chips with embedded Flash," said Tony Massimini, chief of technology at analyst firm Semico Research. "The flexibility enabled by Flash is an important benefit to OEMs, enabling variations in product lines without redesign of an entire system."

The Flash-based 56800E devices, named the 56F83x family, are being designed for automotive, instrumentation, and industrial-networking applications including electronic power-assisted steering, data acquisition equipment, and factory automation systems. This family will operate at 3.3V in extended temperature ranges (-40 degC to +125 degC) at 60 million instructions per second (MIPS).

"Motorola has to-date shipped more than 200 million units of Flash-based MCUs and MCU/DSP hybrid devices," said Paul Grimme, corporate vice president and general manager of Motorola's 8/16-Bit Products Division. "We are committed to building our best-in-class portfolio with the 56F83x family, leveraging Motorola's existing non-volatile memory expertise and offering a performance migration path for automotive and industrial control applications where both MCU and DSP functions are required."

Historically, design engineers have addressed the challenges of adding control functions and processing power to systems by dividing the system tasks between multiple chips or even multiple-core solutions. With its 56800 family, Motorola integrated into a single core the performance of a traditional DSP with the control functionality of an MCU. It is designed to enable engineers to reduce the number of chips as well as overall system costs.

Current users of Motorola's 8- and 16-bit MCUs, as well as current users of the 56800 family, can expect to have a migration path to the higher performance 56800E core and still have integrated Flash memory at extended operating temperatures. In addition, the 56800E Flashed-based devices will provide 32-bit performance with 16-bit code densities. This is ideal for 16-bit MCU customers needing additional processing power while maintaining code efficiency.

The 56F83x devices are an extension of the existing 56800 family, with suggested list prices ranging from $2.50 to $20.00 (USD). Select customers are currently sampling the new 56F83x products today and general market availability is expected in early 2003.

Metrowerks, a Motorola company, offers CodeWarrior Integrated Development Environment (IDE) as a single tool that crosses Motorola's family of 16-bit controllers. This IDE is designed to provide navigation, editing, and debugging functions such as intuitive graphical project management, optimized C compiler, assembler, linker, debugger, instruction set simulator, and more. Through a common IDE environment, the tool helps customers to develop code for Motorola's existing MCU and MCU/DSP families as well as the future 56F83x controllers, helping to smooth the migration between product lines.

Software support from Motorola includes motor control, industrial, automotive, and general purpose applications. Designed to enable customers to reduce development time and costs, the software tools include production-quality drivers and algorithms for the existing 56800 and 56800E families, and will include support for the new 56F83x chips when they are introduced.

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Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Gary A. Mintchell, senior editor

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