Embedded company ‘briefs’: More tools, expansion

By Control Engineering Staff February 9, 2006

Recent newsworthy announcements from companies in the embedded-control sector include Microchip Technology ’s shipment of its 400,00thdevelopment tool to customers and Infineon Technologies ’ official opening of its newest development center in Romania.

Provider of microcontroller and analog semiconductors, Microchip Technology Inc., recently announced the shipment of its 400,000thdevelopment tool—claiming that few semiconductor companies match its total number of tools installed in the field. Microchip considers the milestone to demonstrate industry acceptance of its products.

Said to be easy-to-use, these development tools permit engineers to design with Microchip’s 8- and 16-bit PIC microcontrollers, 16-bit dsPIC digital signal controllers, analog/interface devices, and EEPROM memory products. Microchip says that using the same supplier for silicon and design tool eliminates design incompatibilities and maximizes technical support. Demonstration tools, in particular, provide design engineers with hands-on examples of emerging technologies with which they will be working.

The company’s development tool portfolio includes MPLab IDE (integrated development environment), a free, integrated toolset consisting of a programmer’s text editor, software simulator, assembler, Visual Device Initializer, and other application plug-ins; MPLab PM3 universal device programmer; PICStart low-cost development system; MPLab C compilers; and PICDem demonstration board series.

“ Microchip stands alone among semiconductor companies by offering a no-cost, truly integrated development environment for 8- and 16-bit microcontrollers and 16-bit digital signal controllers, all the way from 6-pin to over 100-pin devices,” claims Derek Carlson, director of development tools at Microchip Technology.

For more on these and other recently introduced development tools from Microchip, click .encing growing use in the above applications—along with security controllers for chip cards for mobile communication, banking, and identification. Infineon Technologies Romania SRL, the regional company founded in April 2005, will manage activities of the new development center.

“Ournewest development center reflects the increasing demand for intelligent power semiconductors for automotive and industrial applications,” says Infineon CEO Dr. Wolfgang Ziebart. “The center in Bucharest will provide additional support for our success with power mixed signal products for automobiles and industry, and it will soon play a significant role.”

Initial development center staff of around 60 developers is expected to double during 2006, according to the company.

—Frank J. Bartos, executive editor, Control Engineering,