Semiconductor Products Insight

Semiconductor Products Insight

Calm before the storm?




Calm before the Feb 20th storm? NXP has disclosed more i.MX8 multi-core apps processors although they are in development while we have concurring hints that ST will announce a family of devices capable of running a full Linux kernel. This would bring sparks to the embedded apps processor market where NXP, Mediatek, Renesas, Texas Instruments and Intel have dominated.

A couple of VAO (automotive-grade) parts appeared in the SAMV7 and SAMC21 families.
Dialog had a revamp of their site and in the process, we saw a few additional parts in the DA14583/5, DA14680/2 families.
No change.
About 30 parts were added this month, partly in the DSPIC33 and PIC16F families with the auto-grade VAO suffix as well as in the PIC32MM. The DSPIC33CH uses a dual-core architecture and targets motor control and industrial applications. The DSPIC33CK is its single-core cousin.
No change.
As discussed last week, Nuvoton is one of the few MCU suppliers that has Cortex-M23-based products, more can be found here.
NXP offered an interesting mix of new products this month.
The i.MX8 M for Mini is a multi-core apps processors built on 14LPC FinFET process. At the heart is a core complex of up to four Cortex-A53 cores running up to 2GHz plus Cortex-M4 based real-time processing domain at 400+MHz. The i.MX 8M Mini adds hardware 1080p video acceleration to enable two-way video applications, 2D and 3D graphics, and advanced audio. 12 part numbers were released on the web site, but the status is still “in development”.
A couple of i.MXRT1015 (low end Cortex-M7) were also released. Finally, a number of LPC541xx with WLCSP49 packages were removed.
No change this month.
SiliconLabs released the Giant Gecko GG12, basically a GG11 without the Ethernet interface and a slightly better power consumption, 69 parts in total. It also beefed up its Happy Gecko (Cortex-M0+) portfolio, more next month.
Cypress has only minor changes this month.
ST Microelectronics
ST had only minor changes this month, but this might be hiding a larger upcoming change. We have heard rumors from independent sources of an imminent launch of an STM32 platform that would support Linux. ST has this nice post on LinkedIn.
If this is a full Linux kernel, it would unlikely be based on Cortex-M7/M4 which don’t have a memory management unit, comments on LinkedIn are hinting at a Cortex-A7 with a Cortex-M processor, we will know by Feb 20th.
Texas Instruments
TI has released close to 20 MSP430FR50/60 part numbers to serve the ultrasonic sensing market.
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