NXP, TI unveil ARM-based microcontrollers and processors

NXP Semiconductors has revealed two ARM Cortex-M based microcontrollers, the LPC1100L and LPC1300L, which it says achieve the industry’s lowest 32-bit operating power.

The selling point for the microcontrollers is the active power consumption, which comes in at 130 µA/MHz. It also features a massive 60 percent reduction in deep sleep current. These power savings don’t come at the expense of performance – the microcontrollers can see performance increases of up to 72MHz.

“Users no longer need to manage low level register settings to achieve optimal power management,” reckons NXP.

The microcontrollers feature speeds of up to 50Mhz for the LPC1100L and up to 72MHz for the LPC1300L, both of which are pin and peripheral-compatible. They come with 32 vectored interrupts and four priority levels, with dedicated interrupts of up to 13 GPIOs.

They also have two 16-bit and two 32-bit timers with PWM/Matcj/Capture, a 12MHz internal RC oscillator with one percent accuracy over temperature and voltage, a power-on-reset, multi-level brown-out-detect, and phase-locked loop, along with 8-channel high-precision 1-bit ADC.

Meanwhile Texas Instruments hops on the ARM bandwagon too, introducing the C6A816x Integra DSP + ARM series of processors, which, as one can gather from the name, uses one of ARM’s Cortex-A8 processors.

Texas Instruments is touting its new product as the industry’s fastest single-core, floating point digital signal processor, using the ARM processor to give speeds of 1.5GHz.

The combination of the digital signal processor and ARM processor allows for a variety of different tasks, with the former perfect for complex mathematical functions and image processing algorithms, while the latter can be utilised for graphical user interfaces, including loading multiple operating systems such as Linux, Windows, and Android.

The processor includes a built-in 3D graphics accelerator and is supported by a hardware evaluation module. It also comes with Texas Instruments’ EZ Software Development Kit, allowing, according to the company, evaluation “in minutes” and the start of development “within an hour”, which should keep some happy.