Fujitsu Unveils 16LX Microcontroller for Automotive Applications

2/27/2004 - Fujitsu announces a new 16LX microcontroller to complement its portfolio of microcontrollers with Controller Area Network (CAN) interface. This latest product has been designed for automotive body control and comfort applications. In automatic air-conditioning, light control, seat control and sensor systems the product supports driver or passenger comfort and safety features.

Housed in a 48-pin QFP package of a mere 7mm square, this small footprint incorporates the 16LX CPU core and peripherals such as timers, 4ch PWM, 2 UARTs, AD-Converter as well as 64KB of Flash memory and 2KB RAM. Some I/Os feature programmable port levels. In addition to TTL and C-MOS levels, 'automotive levels' (with VIL = 0.5*Vcc), can be selected. This is a critical feature as ground levels in vehicles often show offsets of several volts.

Fujitsu's new device, the MB90F897 can be specified for 125C operation and is pin compatible to the MB90385 and MB90455 series. The company now offers more 50 different 16LX CAN products.

Fujitsu is actively growing its core competence in embedded Flash technology since the introduction of the first 16-bit microcontroller with single voltage Flash technology and 10K write-erase cycles in 1997. Recent specifications for 100K write/erase cycles or high temperature specifications underline that the process technology has achieved a high level of stability.

The new dual-operation Flash technology inherits these feature and expands the functionality: It allows fast EEPROM emulation and reliable self-programming because the 64KB Flash macro is divided into two banks. In each Flash memory bank write, read and erase operation can be performed separately.

The smaller bank consists of four sectors of 4KB each. Any sector can be erased individually. Writing to Flash is possible in units of one word.

Conventional Flash memory requires the CPU to execute code from RAM while the Flash content is updated - therefore during re-programming no read from Flash is possible.

In dual-operation, Flash program execution continues in one bank while, for instance, data is updated in the other bank.

Integrated EEPROM functionality in embedded Flash has many advantages compared to external EEPROM ICs, allowing more flexible memory management and higher read/write speeds than separate EEPROM. Often this functionality makes external EEPROM ICs redundant - which reduces PCB and footprint complexity. Internal memory is always the preferred choice when memory content needs to be protected from manipulation.

Writing one word into the Flash memory can be completed in just 16s, which is much faster than writing to conventional external EEPROM (which may take about 50s/word).

Many Flash microcontroller applications require a CPU-controlled SW-update (self-programming). The advantage of dual operation Flash is that the CPU can always operate from one memory bank while the other bank is rewritten. This concept makes it easy to cope with events such as interrupts or reset during re-programming.

Interrupt vectors are normally located in the highest sector of the upper bank. However, during programming the upper bank cannot be accessed. Therefore, a special register is provided which switches the internal interrupt vectors to the highest sector of the lower bank, thus allowing Interrupt Services during write/erase procedures.

Detection of completion of writing/erasing can be achieved by interrupt. This increases system performance.

The Reset Vector is hard-wired, pointing to 0xFFE000 to ensure correct reset procedure at any time.

To prevent accidental write or erase, a special write enable/protect register is provided. Once a sector is write protected only a power-up or an external Reset can release the protection. Each sector can be protected individually.

For these new products a comprehensive development tool environment is available.

About Fujitsu Microelectronics Europe
Fujitsu Microelectronics Europe (FME) is a major supplier of semiconductor and display products. The company provides advanced systems solutions to the automotive, digital TV, mobile telephony, networking and industrial markets. Engineers from design centres dedicated to microcontrollers, mixed-signal, wireless, FRAM, multi-media ICs and ASIC products work closely with FME's marketing and sales teams throughout Europe to help satisfy customers' system development requirements.

This solutions approach is supported by a broad range of advanced semiconductor devices, IP and building blocks as well as leading-edge LCDs and Plasma Display Panels.

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