Semiconductor Products Insight

Semiconductor Products Insight

Secure Cortex-M Cores get broader adoption




Cortex-M23 and Cortex-M33 continue to gain ground across the industry, from Cypress/Infineon to Nuvoton and Renesas who unveiled new product families, based on the secure cores. It is comforting that the industry and the market are taking the right steps to minimize the risk of cyber attacks.

No change.
No change.
Microchip had 168 new OPN this month all across the board:

  • ATMEGA, ATSAMC21 and DSPIC33C/E had a few dozen automotive-grade parts
  • AVR128DB, a couple dozen additions, but no new family
  • 80 new OPN in PIC18 are part of a newish, should we call it “series”: the Q. It is declined into Q40/41/83/84 (the Q10 and Q43 were already there), and is an interesting bunch since they span across the PIC18F04/05/06(all new)/14(existing)/15/16(new)/26/27(existing).
    • Q10: Closed Loop Control with Configurable Logic Cells
    • Q40: Robust MCUs for Compact Embedded Designs
    • Q41: Microcontrollers for Improved Sensor Interface Designs
    • Q43: Optimized Performance and Versatility for Hardware Customization
    • Q83: There doesn’t seem to be a dedicated page and the reference guide points to a URL that creates an internal server error… (HTTP500). Hope they can fix it soon.
    • Q84: Combine CAN Flexible Data-Rate (FD) and Core Independent Peripherals

If you have insight into the meanders of the Microchip product taxonomy, please contact us at

No change.
Nuvoton had 30 products out this month with 2 brand new series, the M251/2, based on a Cortex-M23 core and focused on industrial control applications. It runs up to 48 MHz with up to 256/32 KB Flash/SRAM. Here are some notable features:

  • 1.8V to 5.5V input voltage range, -40℃ to 105℃ temperature range, from 20 pins to 128 pins, and 5 power modes with VBAT support, 138 μA/MHz in normal run mode. Power-down mode current with RTC on is down to 2.5 μA and Deep power-down current is less than 1.4 μA.
  • up to eight channels of Nuvoton Patented Programmable Serial I/O (PSIO), with support for such as DMX512, HDQ, 1-wire, Microwire, and programmable encoder
  • up to 16-channel 12-bit 880 kSPS SAR ADC, one Operational Amplifier (OPA), one 12-bit 1 MSPS voltage type DAC, and two rail-to-rail analog comparator (ACMP)
  • built-in eXecute-Only-Memory (XOM) region, and four Memory Protection Unit (MPU) , 96-bit UID and 128-bit UCID ( Unique Customer Identification ), safety library for IEC-60730 compliance
NXP introduced the LPC550x/S0x, a low cost Cortex-M33 variant in the LPC5500 series. S is the secure version. These all run at 96MHz with Flash/SRAM from 64-256/48-96 kB. The S versions get CAN FD, and a number of secure features while the regular versions only get a regular CAN 2.0.
NXP also got a few new variants of the i.MXRT (Cortex-M7 running at 600+MHz).
In the RL78 family, there were a few updates, primarily in the G1F (BLDC motor control) series.
Last week, Renesas announced the ultra low power RA2L1 group, a Cortex-M23 based group.
20 new RA2L1 running at up to 48 MHz target home appliance, industrial and building automation, medical and healthcare, and consumer human-machine-interface (HMI) IoT applications.

The RA2L1 MCUs includes capacitive touch sensing, Flash up to 256 kB. The RA2L1 MCU was certified with an EEMBC® ULPMark™ score of 304 at 1.8V.
An interesting feature is the advanced capacitive touch IP. For example, it supports sensing through acrylic or glass panels more than 10 mm thick, which is enough for use in household equipment with thick doors or partitions. It also implements proximity sensing (hovering) and 3D gestures. This accommodates hygiene or safety limitations. The RA2L1’s capacitive touch noise tolerance meets the requirements of IEC EN61000-4-3 level 4 (radiated) and EN61000-4-6 level 3 (conducted) to assure reliable operation with minimal sensing errors.

No changes.

Spansion/Cypress soon Infineon
Cypress added 18 variants to the existing CY8C40/41/61 and CY9AF.
ST Microelectronics
ST unveiled 20 new products across the board, mostly new pin/package and flash size combinations.
Texas Instruments
TI disclosed a few new products in the F2838 family (delfino).
Newsletter | Permalink.
Sign up for our newsletter