Semiconductor Products Insight

Semiconductor Products Insight

A brand new competitive landscape for 2016




In another twist of the semiconductor board rooms, it is yet unclear where Atmel will land after the Microchip offer. Although counter-intuitive, a consolidated Microchip/Atmel would present a stronger face to the growing threat of NXP/FSL and Renesas.
The NXP/FSL merger is now complete, with all the products under the same banner, let the portfolio optimization begin!
2016 will introduce new company faces and on the product front, new peripherals and wireless integration as we are observing this month. We wish all of our readers a wonderful and exciting new year!


What a quarter for Atmel. After announcing a deal with Dialog Semiconductor, Atmel is now looking at a competitive bid from Microchip. It isn’t the first time Microship has sets its views on Atmel. It ended a bid to acquire Atmel in early 2009, citing a deepening downturn in the semiconductor industry. The shareholders will vote on the Dialog deal in March.
Although Atmel and Microchip MCU portfolios are very similar, Atmel brings a key element to the merger: a strong Cortex-M portfolio would align back Microchip to the current market trends. It is unclear whether its large PIC32 portfolio has garnered enough support in the industry compared to FSL/NXP and ST. But it pales in comparison to the number of Cortex-M parts on the market – well above 5,000 – and the number of partners and tools supporting the Cortex-M architecture. If the merger happens, it will be interesting to follow how the AVR and PIC architectures will evolve as they are both proprietary. We could imagine a strong 8-PIC portfolio with a mid-range AVR and 32-bit ARM families. Exciting developments for sure.Atmel released the ATMega324PB, a sibling to the 16MHz 324PA with subtle changes including more I/Os, a temperature sensor and 105C.

On the ARM front, the SAMD21L lost its revision A silicon to only leave the B revision.


Freescale has been integrated with NXP, with all the products now under the same banner, but different taxonomies and documentations. We are in the process of getting all the data aligned too.


Infineon offered us nice gifts under the tree for Christmas: 3 families were released and are currently sampling.

The XMC1400 is a 48Mhz Cortex-M0 with a math co-processsor and up to 200kB of Flash (31 parts). The XMC4700 (12 parts) and XMC4800 (18 parts) boast a 144 MHz Cortex-M4 with FPU, extended temperature and up to 2MB/352kB of Flash/RAM. The XMC4800 embeds an EtherCat interface and targets real-time Ethernet based applications.


Microchip added close to 100 products this month mostly in the PIC24FJ and PIC16LF families. The new PIC24FJ bring a bigger (512kB or 1MB) flash to the party, as well as a USB for the 128kB Flash variant. The 16LF188x is a 32MHz device with 7 to 56 kB Flash.


Nuvoton had no product change this month.


NXP web site has all the Freescale products now, we are sorting out the changes.


Renesas released the RX130, a cost optimized RX100 family for touch apps with 5V support, in total 20 parts from 8 to 128kB Flash.

The RL78 saw 6 very interesting new products: all support a sub GHz IEEE802.15.4e/g interface for the metering and home markets. You will get 32MHz and 256 to 512 kB Flash in a 9×9 mm HVQFN package.


Silicon Labs added another family to its Bee family: the Laser Bee, a 72MHz 8051 core with a 14-bit 900ksps 20-channel ADC. There are 20 new part numbers ranging from 16 to 64 kB of Flash.


Spansion was quiet this month.

ST Microelectronics

ST released 43 products, most of which were higher temp versions of existing parts. However, the F410 is a 90nm, 100MHz Cortex-M4 optimized for low power. The STM32L041 also appeared on the lower end with Cortex-M0+ and 32 MHz. Other biffier versions included the 071/72/73 with new package or temperature options.

Texas Instruments

TI released a couple of MSP430 parts, but more interestingly 5 new Delfino parts that are dual C28x cores running at 200 MHz.

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