NEC V850E Microcontrollers for Inverter Control

NEC recently announced six new microcontrollers (MCUs) for inverter control systems, designed for advanced motor control applications in products such as air conditioners, refrigerators and washing machines. The new devices feature high performance with advanced control functions for more precise motor control, as well as integration of formerly discrete components to help lower costs. The new offering includes four 100-pin V850E/IG3 MCUs and two 80-pin V850E/IF3 MCUs.

Compared to the company’s prvious generaion of inverter control MCUs, the devices feature a four-fold increase in resolution of the A/D converter that detects motor rotation (4,096 discrete values,12 bits) and an approximately six-fold increase in gain ratio—to 13 steps—of the operational amplifier (op amp) that adjusts the level of motor status signals. The comparator that protects a system from motor faults can detect overvoltages, and also measure undervoltage with respect to a reference level. Components that normally would have to be connected externally—including a voltage-generating regulator IC, a reset IC to initialize the microcontroller when it is powered on and a low-voltage indicator (LVI) circuit to detect low voltage—are integrated on chip. With their enhanced performance and high integration, these new devices allow designers to achieve more precise inverter control, at lower costs and with fewer parts.

With the addition of these new devices, NEC Electronics now offers a comprehensive lineup of 214 All Flash microcontrollers, ranging from compact and economical 8-bit devices to high-performance 32-bit models. Combined sales of NEC Electronics’ 8-bit 78K0 MCUs (including mask ROM devices) and 16-bit 78K0R MCUs are expected to reach 100 billion yen in fiscal year 2009. Sales of NEC Electronics’ 32-bit V850 microcontrollers are expected to reach the 100 billion yen mark in fiscal year 2008.

Inverter control is widely used in the motors of large household appliances such as air conditioners, washing machines and refrigerators. Manufacturers of these products are under intense pressure to cut costs even as they deliver more sophisticated appliances, creating a need for components that can enable more precise motor control at lower development costs. These latest offerings from NEC Electronics are designed to do just that, and will reduce the development burden on appliance manufacturers and benefit consumers by enabling more sophisticated, eco-friendly products.

NEC Electronics’ 32-bit V850/Ix3 microcontrollers use SuperFlash(R) technology licensed from Silicon Storage Technology, Inc.

Samples of the V850E/IG3 are available now. Pricing varies according to device specifications. For example, NEC Electronics’ V850E/IG3 device with 256KB flash memory is priced at $10 for 1,000-lot quantities. Volume production is scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2007. Monthly production is expected to reach approximately 500,000 units within one year. Pricing and availability are subject to change.

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