32-bit performance for 8-bit price on ARM Cortex M0-based controllers from Infineon.

32-bit performance at 8-bit prices is the sales pitch for Infineon’s ARM Cortex M0-based family of industrial controllers called XMC1000 which begin sampling in March.

‘With the XMC1000, Infineon is the first semiconductor provider to offer 32-bit microcontrollers at 8-bit prices that are supported with an advanced, 32-bit peripheral set,’ says Infineon. 

The price/performance of the device family is achieved by using state-of-the-art 65nm embedded flash production technology on 300mm wafers and combining an ARM 32-bit processor with advanced peripheral functions designed for target application requirements – specifically low-end 8-bit industrial applications.

The applications addressed by XMC1000 include sensor and actuator applications, LED lighting, digital power conversion, such as uninterruptible power supplies, and simple motor drives, such as those used in household appliances, pumps, fans and e-bikes.

“The XMC1000 family offers clear advantages for making the switch from 8-bit to 32-bit MCUs in a wide range of systems,” says Infineon’s Dr. Stephan Zizala, “the MCUs deliver true 32-bit performance at 8-bit prices, application-optimised peripherals, scalability with regard to the XMC4000 microcontroller family and the user-friendly, free DAVE development environment. With the XMC1000 microcontrollers, Infineon is creating a decisive incentive for switching architecture from 8 to 32 bit.”

MCU platform

Particularly for simple industrial applications, where cost pressure places a premium on design flexibility, developers look for highly scalable MCU platform. For this reason, Infineon is launching the XMC1000 family in three series at the same time; XMC1100 (Entry series), XMC1200 (Feature series) and XMC1300 (Control series).

The three series differ essentially in terms of their memory capacity and peripheral set. On-chip flash size ranges between 8KB and 200KB, which is a far broader memory range than is usual today for 8-bit microcontrollers.

The XMC1000 family currently comprises 23 products in TSSOP packages with 16, 28 and 38 pins.

The XMC1000 family addresses industrial applications which, to date, were reserved for 8-bit MCUs. In addition to 200KB flash memory, the MCUs feature high-performance PWM timers, 12-bit A/D converters and programmable serial communication interfaces.

Additional features include a module for touch control and LED displays, a peripheral unit for the dimming and colour control of LEDs – otherwise known as the Brightness and Colour Control Unit (BCCU) – and a mathematical coprocessor specifically for motor drive controls.

The XMC1000 microcontrollers satisfy the requirements defined by the standard IEC60730 Class B, which is prescribed for the safety of household appliances sold in Europe, and offer, for example, hardware error correction (ECC) and corresponding memory tests.

A further feature is a flash loader with a 128-bit AES accelerator, which allows design engineer’s valuable software IP – so important especially in cost-sensitive applications – to be better protected.

Entry Level XMC1100 series devices offer inexpensive access to the XMC1000 world for numerous industrial applications. Devices in this series have six 12-bit A/D converter channels, which operate up to 1.88 mega samples/second, and four 16-bit timers in a capture/compare unit 4 (CCU4) and the broad voltage tolerance, between 1.8V and 5.5V, support a wide range of applications.

The XMC1200 Feature series incorporates additional application-specific features, including the BCCU peripheral unit for LED colour control, a unit for capacitive touch sensing and LED display controls. The BCCU permits flicker-free dimming and colour control of LEDs with virtually no burden on the processor. Versions in this series are available for the extended temperature range of -40°C up to 105°C.

The XMC1300 Control series is specifically optimised for motor control and digital power conversion applications. They feature a very efficient capture/compare unit 8 (CCU8) with two compare channels and asymmetric PWM

Tags: actuator applications, bit microcontrollers, design flexibility, sales pitch

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