This year’s Design West (formerly ESC) took place March 26-29th with the promise of providing something useful for every designer and it pretty much delivered the goods. Here’s a few products/technologies that caught my eye:
Last week ARM launched its Cortex™-M0+ processor, the most energy efficient ARM processor available, with partners Freescale and NXP and Design West gave all three companies a first chance to gush about their latest offspring. Freescale outlined features of its Kinetis L series microcontrollers (MCUs) built on the ARM Cortex-M0+ processort (initial sampling due to start in the second quarter of 2012). Full details will be announced at the Freescale Technology Forum in June.
Texas Instruments introduced three new Keystone architecture DSP family members at Design West. The single and dual-core DSPs consume from 2 to 3.5W. The TMS320C6657 features two 1.25 GHz DSP cores, delivering up to 80 GMACs and 40 GFLOPs. The C6655 and C6654 are single-core parts providing up to 40 GMACs and 20 GLOPS and 27.2 GMACs and 13.6 GLOPS, respectively.
Renesas’ L12 low power version of its RL78 MCU was demo’ed using a Lemon (yes, Lemon as in citrus) to power it driving a 7 segment LCD display.
Ramtron discussed its ultra- low-power FM25e64 F-RAM, claiming improved energy efficiency, access speed, and security. It natively operates on energy efficient 1.5- or 1.8-V rails, offers low 20-µA active current operation, and only requires about 20-µs to start up, write data, and shut down the memory. In utility metering applications the memory allows the meter to write energy consumption and diagnostic information faster and 100-to 1000-times more frequently than systems designed with standard EEPROM. And, since memory access time is drastically reduced, the amount of time that a system's processor can remain in the sleep mode is significantly increased.
Microchip Technology unveiled its 8-bit PIC16F(LF)178X mid-range core microcontroller (MCU) family , featuring analog and integrated communication peripherals, such as on-chip 12-bit Analog-to-Digital Converters (ADCs), 8-bit Digital-to-Analog Converters (DACs), operational amplifiers, and high-speed comparators, along with EUSART (including LIN), I2Cand SPI interface peripherals.
STMicroelectronics updated its iNemo family of inertial sensors with a sensor-fusion combination of a 3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis gyroscope and 3-axis magnetic sensor in a single package. The LSM333D, currently available in a 3.5 x 6 x 1mm package will soon enter volume production in the 4 x 4 x 1mm package.
Over a three day period, EE Times took apart a Chevy Volt enhanced range vehicle to investigate the engineering that went into its design and systems . I was wondering: is Bryan Fuller going to have to piece it back together to continue his Drive for Innovation tour?
Oh, yes, and element14 had a rare Raspberry Pi at its Design West booth and my understanding is it wasn’t pilfered by Content Director Sagar Jethani or any of the other Raspberry Ravenous element14 staffers.