Semiconductor Products Insight

Semiconductor Products Insight

A Turbo MCU closer to the traditional application processor




ST continues to deliver superior performance with the addition of products to its STM32H7 400MHz Cortex-M7 family at 40nm. We are reaching the realm of applications processors that embed high level OS like Linux. This is reflected by a CoreMark of 2,010, close to other TI OMAP or NXP i.MX6 Quad parts and much higher than any other Cortex-M on the market at the time of this newsletter.

Microchip spun out a new revision of the SAMG55J/G (Cortex-M4, 120MHz) with a new package, in all 5 new part numbers were uncovered.
There were also new packages for the ATMega 16, 32 and 64, 10 products overall.
No change.
A few part numbers at Infineon changed packages slightly:

– Two 105°C 32 MHz ARM Cortex-M0-based XMC1300
– Three 120 MHz ARM Cortex-M4-based XMC4400F

The parts list for Microchip Technologies added 134 new MCUs, and took away only 19. Most of the new parts were the more powerful 8-bit data/14-bit instruction 8 MHz PIC16 with another chunk being 8-bit data/16-bit instruction 64 MHz PIC18, all with an assortment of packaging choices.,. That still leaves over 3200 PIC16 and over 1900 PIC18, so there is still plenty of selection in these proprietary architectures. Added were:

– 34 newly released PIC16F153 MCUs with up to 28kB Flash, 2kB RAM, and as many analog, PWM, and comms peripherals as their 8- to 48-pins allow
– An identical number of the same parts but in the low-voltage/power “LF” SKU with identical peripherals and packages. This smells of “binning” for low-power.
– 14 of last year’s 64 MHz PIC18LF24K40 MCUs with 16kB Flash, 1024B RAM, 256B EEPROM, and many analog, timer, PWM, touch, and comms peripherals in 28-pins
– An identical number of the same parts labeled _LF25K40 having double the Flash and RAM.
– 11 of last year’s more robust 64 MHz PIC18LF27K40 MCUs with a large 128kB Flash, 3728B RAM, 1024B EEPROM, and more analog, timer, PWM, touch, and comms peripherals on 28-pins.
– An identical number of the same parts but labeled _LF47K40 come in 40/44-pin packages offering more I/O lines and A-to-D channels.
– Note that perhaps 20% of the Microchip part number changes simply indicate Tape-and-reel containers for already-specified surface mount packages.

A dozen dsPIC33EP_GM_ parts dropped from the database, the 16-bit DSP/MCUs sporting PWMs and analog with drive output for Motor control applications. Dropped were 128kB and 256kB with a couple 512kB Flash parts in given feature/IO/package configurations, -40 to 85°C.

No change this month.
No change this month.
Certainly NXP Semiconductors continues to gird up for its pending acquisition by Qualcomm, while considering the advantages of being a Dutch company versus an American company in an ever-changing territorial political climate.

With regards to microcontrollers the last month, the only changes from the company was the removal of 30 of the formerly-Philips ARM 32-bit Cortex-M0-based LPC1100 and 1200 products of 48- and 64-leads, plus an odd Cortex-M3. A dozen of the LPC1100’s were the USB variety, which leave only 60% still remaining, according to our database. Worse are the LPC1200s that are being decimated to one lone part.

One stray that was abandoned was a well-loaded LPC4357 containing 1MB of Flash, pairing a 204 MHz Cortex-M4F with a Cortex-M0 sidekick; maybe the similar package didn’t justify existence.

Renesas released the RX24U, a family focused on motor control with a dual inverter control including a FPU supporting complex inverter control algorithms. There were only 6 parts with a RXv2 core running at 80 MHz, 256, 384 or 512 kB of Flash and 32 kB of RAM with 100 or 144 pins.
No change.
No change.
ST Microelectronics
STMicroelectronics increased its ARM Cortex-based STM32’s by 27 without seeing the need for removing any. Thirteen of these are screaming new 400 MHz Cortex-M7’s engulfed in 2MB Flash, 1MB RAM (various sorts), all forms of connectivity and communications up through Ethernet, graphics and even hardware cryptography support in the new STM32H753 line announced last year that pushes the definition of microcontroller.

A half-dozen more Cortex-M4’s show up in the low-power STML4’s and mid-grade STMF4 product families, with a little new life even in the “old” Cortex-M3 lines.

Texas Instruments
Texas Instruments added nearly 60 new 16-bit low-power MSP430 to their listings while 70 parts vanished.
For fifty of the new parts, TI inserts _A_ after the MSP430 in the order number and may indicate a mask revision in what looks like some very errata-riddled parts.
Fully identifying the functionality of the components is elusive, although these appear to be re-markings of what might normally be called MSP430F parts, perhaps of very different p/n’s. See here for examples, noting the “Device Marking” column to the right. Also note the errata showing a comprehensive but somewhat complex view of all the changes in the revision table.
Most of the deleted parts are MSP430F2’s, with a handful of parts in each of assorted other 430 lines with Flash (and a few with the company’s FRAM).
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