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Tools and Ecosystem Analysis
Having a great chip to sell doesn't cut it anymore. What the customer needs today is a great chip, powerful and easy to use software development tools, fast time to market, reference solutions hard and software and support on his way from selecting a new device to delivering good to the end customer. Particularly in the ARM Ecosystem the importance to provide excellent tools is paramount. Let us provide guidance what tools are needed, what features are included in your competitors tools but missing in your tools, let us show you where your advantages over your competitors are.  

Competitive Analysis for MCUs
Our experience covers many years of embedded benchmarking, one team member has been leading a cross functional team for competition analysis of 8 and 32-bit MCUs and last but not least it is our mission to compare architectures and different implementations of identical CPU cores. This service also includes to create presentations for internal and external use or fighting guides. 

Architecture
Our expertise includes device definition of new 8-/16- and 32-bit microcontrollers / ASSPs. Sometimes, very small features will open up additional markets, or a poor pinout creates major conflicts for important applications, a bottleneck in the system such as a slow memory connection reduces the possible performance by a lot and so much more. Let an external expert provide feedback to your existing product planning. You will end up with a better device, involving minimal cost compared to a redesign or design loss.
References: Our lead engineer was heading the architecture team of such a complex device like the 208-pin LPC2478. Depending on the target applications completely different measures apply, all with the same goal to create a MCU that is successful in the market and makes money for the company. 

Customer Satisfaction Programs / CRM
We can create surveys and provide all required services for you to put specific numbers on the satisfaction of your customers. Get a fast start into this section of CRM

Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 November 2013 19:27
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Professional development tools can save you lots of money PDF Print E-mail

Working with professional tools can make the difference between a project succeeding or failing. Why are GNU tools not part of my category professional tools?

1. The possible optimization for code size has improved steadily over the years but compilers from IAR or ARM are still better. If this is important for you, I can't tell but telling from experience, there will always be that one extra feature requested from a customer and if you are using GNU tools, there will be this one feature less fitting in the memory, provided both programmers are equally smart. If you are using external memory this difference is usually void, if everything has to fit in an internal Flash memory the small difference can be worth a lot.

2. Optimization for speed is something that can be seen when processor vendors are running industry benchmarks such as EEMBC benchmarks. In the past most benchmarks used the Greenhills compiler because it offered the speed speed optimization. IAR managed to pull off a tie with EWARM 6.40 and the latest announcement for EWARM 6.50 talks about another 10% or more improvement in industry benchmarks. This will put IAR in the lead for speed optimization.

3. Optimization for Power is a relatively new concept. IAR offers Power Debugging and provides information to the software developer how a specific implementation affects power consumption. 

4. Code Debugging with GDB or a real debugger. Each debugger is only as good as the engineer is familiar with it. All other things equal, commercial debuggers such as uVision or C-SPY offer lots of additional functionality over GDB. 

These professional tools might be not be an option for hobbyists but as a company which depends on revenue from a product the question is: Can you afford NOT to use such professional tools?

The answer is up to you!

Last Updated on Monday, 19 November 2012 06:49
 
LPC1800 the fastest Cortex-M3 PDF Print E-mail

The LPC1800 is optimized for fast operation all the way through to 150 MHz maximum performance from either Flash or RAM. NXP has re-introduced the double flash bank technology that is a proven concept to speed up execution from flash beyond the possibilities given with one 128-bit wide bank. If the user selects to option to write to one bank while executing from the other flash bank, there might be some speed penalty but the write while execute feature is well worth that. Overall the feature list, which includes dual HS-USB, 10/100 Ethernet and AES decryption, optional also AES encryption and a high-resolution LCD controller reads like a wish list for many designers in the communication space.

NXP’s ultra low-leakage 90 nm process technology offers faster operation, low dynamic power consumption. The LPC1800 offers the industry’s largest on-chip SRAM for a Cortex-M3 with up to 200 KB provided in multiple banks, each with separate bus master access for higher throughput and individual power-down control for low power operation. The drawback of this approach is that an OS will have to deal with multiple banks too, reducing its efficiency.

Additional peripherals available on the LPC1800 include two HS USB controllers, an on-chip HS PHY, a 10/100T Ethernet controller with hardware enabled TCP/IP checksum calculation, a high-resolution color LCD controller in the 180- and 256-BGA, and AES decryption including two 128-bit secure OTP memories for key storage. Versions with AES encryption are available on request.
 
Standard features on all members of the series include 32 KB ROM containing boot code and on-chip software drivers, eight-channel General-Purpose DMA controller, two 10-bit ADCs and 10-bit DAC with data conversion rate of 400k samples/s, a motor Control PWM and Quadrature Encoder Interface, 4 UARTs, 2 Fast-mode Plus I2C, I2S, 2 SSP/SPI, CAN, Smart card interface, 4 timers, windowed watchdog timer, an alarm timer, an ultra-low power RTC with 256 bytes of battery powered backup registers found its way back into the system after being omitted on the LPC1700 and up to 80 general purpose I/O pins.

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LPC11C24 MCU with CAN transceiver PDF Print E-mail

NXP announces the LPC11C22 and LPC11C24, entry level 32-bit MCUs with integrated CAN transceiver in a multi-chip solution. 

NXP launches industry's first Integrated MCU and CAN transceiver with high-speed CAN Physical Layer transceiver. The LPC11C2x is a multichip solution which integrates NXP's TJF1051 CAN transceiver with an ARM Cortex-M0, an ADC, SPI, UART, I2C and 32KB of Flash combined with 8K SRAM. Industrial and automation market is the primary target for this chip

While some CAN transceivers can cost as much as or even more than the microcontroller itself, NXP believes its multichip solution will only carry a 20% premium over the price of the microcontroller alone. Integrating the CAN transceiver on board also increases system reliability and quality, according to the company, while reducing electrical interconnect and compatibility issues, and reduces board space by over 50%.

The CAN Physical Layer is designed for up to 1 Mbit/s High-Speed CAN networks and delivers optimal performance for industrial applications with state-of-the-art Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) protection, improved Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) and low power operation.

The LPC11C22/C24 CAN Physical Layer is fully compliant with the ISO 11898-2 standard for two-wire balanced signaling and is optimised for automotive sensor applications and rugged industrial CAN networks.

As with the existing family without the integrated transceiver, CANopen drivers are provided in on-chip ROM with easy-to-use APIs. This standardised CANopen layer (EN 50325) is especially well suited for embedded networks in all kinds of control, such as machines and elevators, making proprietary or application-specific application layers obsolete.

Incorporating CANopen drivers in on-chip ROM reduces overall risk and effort while providing design engineers with the added advantage of reduced operating power, as well as secure and safe bootloading via CAN. With the security and peace of mind offered by ROM-based drivers, updating Flash via In System Programming (ISP) over the CAN-bus provides the whole range of functionality – from programming blank parts in production, through changing system parameters, to full in-field re-programmability.

 
Giant Gecko (EFM32GG) from Energy Micro PDF Print E-mail

After first targeting the mid range of Cortex-M3 MCUs, later the smaller, low end devices, Energy Micro® has now announced details of its EFM®32 Giant Gecko microcontroller product family. Many applications can't be implemented with 256 KB of Flash, particularly when RTOS support is requested by customers. For energy sensitive applications with high memory requirements, the 32-bit Giant Gecko (GG) will provide Flash configurations up to 1 MB paired with 128 KB of SRAM and add an option of embedded USB device, host and OTG connectivity.

There will be 48 EFM32GG microcontrollers offering a choice of 64, 128, 256, 512 and 1024 KB Flash memory blocks and a RAM of 32KB or 128KB. The microcontrollers’ pin and software compatibility with the existing Gecko product family means designers can develop products using the existing Gecko microcontroller and migrate to Giant Gecko when the higher memory parts enter production. Of course that is as long as the designers do not use USB for the design, which is not available yet on the existing EFM32 devices. Package options will include QFN64, QFP100 and BGA112.

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