NXP Semiconductors N.V. recently released the LPC1500 microcontroller series, optimized for fast, easy, and high-precision motor control.
So, what’s unique about the new LPC family? First, the LPC1500 was designed to simplify motor control for the masses. It has the flexibility to drive various types of motors, such as ACIM, PMSM, BLDC, etc. The LPC1500 can also drive multiple motors simultaneously.
These aren’t all! The hardware interconnection between the SCTimer/PWM, ADCs and comparators allow the motor to be driven with little CPU intervention. It has free LPCXpresso IDE and free FOC firmware for sensored and sensorless motors that reduces cost and improves time to market.
Looking at the unique features and benefits, the Switch Matrix allows any function to be routed out to any pin making schematic capture and board layout simpler and faster. The SCTimer/PWM block is unique to NXP.
Benefits are, it can run independently of the CPU and generate extremely precise PWM waveforms for quiet, smooth, efficient motor drive. The 2x 2Msps 12b,12ch ADCs can measure simultaneous phase currents to determine precise motor position and speed. There are four comparators for fast system shutdown upon fault detection.
The LPC1500 is suitable for large appliances, HVAC, building automation, factory automation, industrial pumps and generators, digital power, remote sensing, etc.
How will the LPC1500 aid embedded engineers? According to NXP, it saves time to market using the free FOC firmware and GUI tuning tool. It also saves system cost by using only one system MCU, e.g., HVAC typically has one MCU for fan control and one MCU for the compressor. LPC1500 can control both.
The LPC1500 feature set makes it ideal for sensorless motor control removing the need for sensored motors and allowing customers to switch to cheaper sensorless motors. As the SCTimer/PWM can run independently of the CPU, the freed up CPU bandwidth can be used to control other parts of the system for example the LPC1500 can be used for both the control and motor board in a washing machine.
NXP is currently working with customers to understand their future requirements and developing the roadmap to match their needs.
Early this month, STMicroelectronics and Freescale Semiconductor introduced a new dual-core microcontroller (MCU) family aimed at functional safety applications for car electronics.
These 32-bit devices help engineers address the challenge of applying sophisticated safety concepts to comply with current and future safety standards. The dual-core MCU family also includes features that help engineers focus on application design and simplify the challenges of safety concept development and certification.
Based on the industry-leading 32-bit Power Architecture technology, the dual-core MCU family, part-numbered SPC56EL at ST and MPC564xL at Freescale, is ideal for a wide range of automotive safety applications including electric power steering for improved vehicle efficiency, active suspension for improved dynamics and ride performance, anti-lock braking systems and radar for adaptive cruise control.
The Freescale/STMicroelectronics joint development program (JDP) is headquartered in Munich, Germany, and jointly managed by ST and Freescale.
The JDP is accelerating innovation and development of products for the automotive market. The JDP is developing 32-bit Power Architecture MCUs manufactured on 90nm technology for an array of automotive applications: a) powertrain, b) body, c) chassis and safety, and d) instrument cluster.
STMicroelectronics’ SK Yue, said: “We are developing 32-bit MCUs based on 90nm Power Architecture technology. One unique feature — it allows customer to use dual core or single core operation. The objective of this MCU is to help customers simplify design and to also reduce the overall system cost.
On the JDP, he added: “We will have more products coming out over a period of time. This JDP is targeted toward automotive products.”
Commenting on the automotive market today, he said that from June onward, the industry has been witnessing a gradual sign of recovery coming in the automotive market.
Automotive market challenges
There has been an increasing integration and system complexity. These include:
* Increasing electrification of the vehicle (replacing traditional mechanical systems).
* Mounting costs pressure leading to integration of more functionality in a single ECU.
* Subsequent increase in use of high-performance sensor systems has driven increased MCU performance needs.
There are also increasing safety expectations. Automotive system manufacturers need to guarantee the IEC61508 (SIL3) and ISO26262 (ASILD) system-safety capability. Also, a move from passive to active safety is increasing the number of safety functions distributed in many ECUs.
Finally, there is a continued demand for quality — in form of zero defects, by which, a 10x quality improvement is expected.
MCU family addresses market challenges
The MCU family offers exceptional integration and performance. These include: high-end 32-bit dual-issue Power Architecture cores, combined with comprehensive peripheral set in 90nm non-volatile-memory technology. It also provides a cost effective solution by reducing board size, chip count and logistics/support costs.
It also solves functional safety. The Functional Safety architecture has been specifically designed to support IEC61508 (SIL3) and ISO26262 (ASILD) safety standards. The architecture provides redundancy checking of all computational elements to help endure the operation of safety related tasks. The unique, dual mode of operation allows customers to choose how best to address their safety requirements without compromising on performance.
The MCU also offers best-in-class quality. It is design for quality, aiming for zero defects. The test and manufacture have been aligned to lifetime warranty needs.
The MCU family addresses the challenges of applying sophisticated safety concepts to meet future safety standards. Yue added, “There are two safety standards — we are following those guidelines.” These are the IEC61508 (SIL3) and ISO26262 (ASILD) system-safety capabilities.
The automotive industry is also targeting for zero defects. “Therefore, all suppliers in tier 1 and 2 need to come up with stringent manuyfaturing and testing process that ensures zero defects,” he said.
32-bit dual-issue, dual-core MCU family
Finally, why dual core? Yue said that the MCU helps customers to achieve to achieve safety and motor control. Hence, dual core will definitely help deliver results.
“In many automotive applications, especially in safety-related applications, we want to have redundancy for safety. In the lock-step mode, two cores run the same task simultaneously, and results are then compared to each other in every computation. If the results are not matched, it indicates that there are some problems.”
This MCU family definitely simplifies design. It uses a flexible, configurable architecture that addresses both lock-step and dual parallel operation modes on a single dual-core chip. Next, it complies with safety standards.
A redundant architecture provides a compelling solution for real-time applications that require compliance with the IEC61508 SIL3 and ISO26262 ASIL-D safety standards. It also lowers the systems cost.
Dual-core architecture reduces the need for component duplication at the system level, and lowers overall system costs.
If you have ever been a resident of Hong Kong, you’d know what an e-passport looks like! You would have even used it! For example, if you were crossing over into Shenzhen, China, from Lo Wu, which is on the borders of Luohu district within Hong Kong and the city of Shenzhen in Guangdong province, China, [having reached there via the KCR (Kowloon-Canton Railway)] — you can easily use your Hong Kong e-passport to get past the immigration point and enter China!
It is really easy! Simply drop your e-passport into the e-passport reader slot and place your finger on the fingerprint reader for it to scan and read. Once your e-passport comes out, move over to the other side to another e-passport reader, repeat the same exercise, and you’re done! All it takes is less than a minute!
All Indians could soon have e-passports!
Well, such an e-passport can become a reality in India soon! If you haven’t heard it, Infineon Technologies recently supplied contactless security microcontrollers (MCUs) for India’s electronic passport (e-passport) program! The Indian e-passport rollout started with Indian diplomats and officials being issued e-passports — around 30,000 to be issued in phase one. It is likely that by September 2009, the e-passports will be extended to the general public.
The rollout has started with the issuance of electronic passports to Indian diplomats and officials. It is expected that in this first phase, up to 30,000 electronic passports shall be issued. By September 2009, the program is likely to be expanded to include passports used by the general public. Today, around 6 million passports are being annually issued in India. I believe, the government of India has invited a new tender for interested stakeholders to bid for 20 million e-passports.
So, being a Hong Kong e-passport holder, I was interested in knowing whether the Indian version is as smart as that particular one? By the way, Hong Kong’s e-passport also doubles up as your Hong Kong ID (HKID) card. If you don’t have one, you simply cannot do business in Hong Kong! Your HKID number is unique and remains unchanged!
Dr. Rajiv Jain, Vice President and Managing Director, Infineon Technologies India Pvt Ltd, said that both Hong Kong and India are using the same product family from Infineon. “The security levels of both e-passports are based on the Common Criteria EAL 5+, the highest possible security certification for MCUs. In addition, both comply to ICAO requirements, the international standard for e-passports.”
Infineon’s SLE 66CLX800PE security MCU provides advanced performance and high execution speeds, and was specifically designed for use in electronic passports, identity cards, e-government cards and payment cards. Sounds very interesting!
Highlights of Infineon’s security MCU
The security MCU features a crypto-coprocessor and can operate at very high transaction speeds of up to 848kbits/s even if the elevated encryption and decryption operations have to be calculated.
The SLE 66CLX800PE offers all contactless proximity interfaces on a single chip: the ISO/IEC 14443 type B interface and type A interface, and both used for communication between electronics passports and the respective readers; and the ISO/IEC 18092 passive mode interface, which is used in transport and banking applications. The SLE 66CLX800PE features 80 kilobytes (kb) of EEPROM, 240kb of ROM, and 6kb of RAM.
The SLE 66PE contactless controller family, which includes the SLE 66CLX800PE, is certified according to Common Criteria EAL 5+ high (BSI-PP-0002 protection profile) security certification. Infineon’s security in MCUs used in e-passports builds on the underlying hardware-based integral security, with data encryption, memory firewall system and other security mechanisms to safeguard the privacy of data.
The SLE 66PE product family comprises a whole product portfolio designed for use in basic-security to high-security smart card systems, with the EEPROM sizes ranging from 4kb to144kb, and covering different applications including government ID, transportation and payment.
Infineon’s perception of Indian semiconductor industry
So much about the e-passport! I can’t wait to get my hands on one! Since I was in a discussion with Infineon, it naturally turned toward the Indian semiconductor industry and what needs to be done!
Dr. Jain said: “The Indian semiconductor industry has seen its share of successes and misses. The in-depth technical talent required for design and development is omni-present (TI, Intel, Infineon, Wipro, etc., to name a few). For example, we are doing critical R&D in the areas of automotive electronics, broadband, mobile communications and secured ID solutions at Infineon India, and the fact that it is one of the largest centres in Infineon’s global R&D network, is a testimony to India’s importance as the destination for cutting edge research. This has also led to creation of home-grown design houses offering services to the larger companies.
“We are also seeing in some small, but growing numbers, products and ideas for local markets. As the local markets evolve, so will the ability of these companies to deliver innovation for these local markets, which can then be taken globally.”
He added that an area of debate has been the need for semiconductor manufacturing in India. For example, having fabs, test and packaging plants, and EMS. “There have been government initiatives with a few successes. However, financial, tax-related and custom-related investment in these areas needs to come together and be centrally driven from a long-term perspective, as these institutions, which can provide a stable manufacturing base, need larger efforts to be successful.”
Hopefully, we will finally get to see some action on all of these areas post the Indian general elections due shortly.
PS: Just to let all of my friends know, I am no longer associated with either CIOL or its semiconductors web site.
Folks, here’s the full report on the India Semiconductor Association – Frost & Sullivan study on the Indian semiconductor industry. I’ve already provided my views on the Indian semiconductor industry report in an earlier post, for those who would like to know more.
First, the findings:
• The Total Semiconductor Market (TM) revenues poised to grow from $5.9 billion in 2008 to $7.59 billion in 2010. The market is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 13.4 percent.
• The corresponding period is likely to witness a CAGR of 13.1 percent in the Total Semiconductor Available Market (TAM). TAM revenues is anticipated to climb to $3.24 billion in 2010 from $2.53 in 2008.
According to the study:
• Memory and MPU are the leaders in the TM and TAM revenues, respectively.
• IT/OA, wireless handsets and communications are the top three contributors to the TM revenues.
• IT/OA, wireless handsets and consumer are the mainstay of TAM revenue generation.
• Greater affordability of notebooks, netbooks, government IT initiatives, increased usage of memory cards to drive TM revenues from IT/OA. Ratio of desktops to notebooks reduces to 1:5
• Emphasis on rural mobile telephony and decline in handset pricesto drive demand; economically priced handsets in GSM and CDMA to witness higher growth. Mid priced handset segment, with enhanced features, to benefit.
• Rollout of 3G and WiMAX services to act as harbinger of associated infrastructure equipment TM. SDH 64 to increasingly replace SDH 4 and SDH 16. Increased manufacturing expected to favor TAM revenues.
• Evolving lifestyle expected to assist consumer electronics related semiconductor TM. DTH revolution creates demand for STB like never before. The market is expected to sustain as technology upgrades from MPEG2 to MPEG4.
• Projects like national ID cards, bank cards and kisan cards are likely to favor the semiconductor usage in emerging segment of smart cards.
• Low manufacturing index leads to opportunity loss of $3.37 billion semiconductor market revenues. This loss anticipated to increase to $4.35 billion by 2010.
• Immense, yet untapped, opportunities exist for semiconductors in STBs, LCD TVs, digital cameras and storage Flash memory markets.
• Decline in semiconductor product prices result in lower revenue realization; key semiconductor products impacted are memory, MCU and discrete. Increase in memory usage in a variety of products to offset revenue loss on accountof decline in prices.
• Increased usage of system-on-chip (SoC) leads to decline in the overall revenues. Though the decline is not proportionate to the reduction of components, the impact is significant.
• Higher penetration of notebooks to impact market for desktops and offline UPS
• Current slowdown to impact overall growth and manufacturing investment prospects for 2009; uncertainty in government decision-making adversely affects growth.
Some of the other forecasts of the report indicate that India will likely improve its share to 2.8 percent of the global semiconductor market by 2010. Also, the India market CAGR forecast is at 6.4 times the global market CAGR, over next two years !
Again, do not get carried away by these statistics!
Further, in an update to the 2007 forecast, the previous study had non-inclusion of select products segments such as digital cameras, power supplies, CFL, CCTV, PoS, Weighing Scale, etc., which have been now added. This update sees the entry of new players and an unprecedented expansion of the DTH market. Migration of select products manufacturing outside the country has also taken place.
The total TM and TAM revenue constituents (2008) are: TM revenues: $5,901.8 million; and TAM revenues: $2,531.8 million. Now, for the segment wise break-ups and segment drivers, respectively.
IT/OA semiconductor constituents (2008)
TM revenues: $2,503.4 million; TAM revenues: $1,161.3 million.
* Notebooks, desktops and servers were the key contributors to the MPU, memory and ASSP TM revenues.
* Desktops are key revenue generators for MPU TAM revenues.
* CAGR for IT/OA is TM at 13.5 percent and TAM at 7.4 percent for 2008-10.
* Key drivers for TM are government IT initiatives, low priced notebooks, netbooks and storage flash memory; while low priced desktops and LCD monitors are the drivers for TAM.
Wireless handsets semiconductor constituents (2008)
TM revenues: $1,738.3 million; TAM revenues: $791 million.
* DSP and ASSP to ride on growth of economically priced handsets in GSM and CDMA.
* Smartphones in GSM to drive growth of TM revenues for memory, DSP and ASSP.
* CAGR for wireless handsets is TM at 5.7 percent and TAM at 5.1 percent for 2008-10.
* Key drivers for TM and TAM include GSM handsets priced <$125 and between $125-250, as well as CDMA handsets priced $250 is the key driver.
Communications semiconductor constituents (2008)
TM revenues: $754 million; TAM Revenues: $153.9 million.
* WiMAX BTS is the driver for ASIC market.
* Infrastructure equipment like WiMAX and STM were the key factors behind analog power’s TM and TAM revenues.
* Logic/FPGA rode on the STM and BTS markets.
* Low manufacturing index conspicuous in this key segment.
* CAGR for communications is TM at 27.9 percent and TAM at 64.1 percent for 2008-10.
* Key drivers for TM and TAM include the rollout of 3G, WiMAX and penetration of broadband services. For TAM, BTS, STM and WiMAX are the major drivers.
Consumer semiconductor constituents (2008)
TM revenues: $432.9 million; TAM revenues: $165.6 million.
* ASSP market growth on account of penetration of LCD into CRT TVs, STBs and DVD players.
* Low manufacturing index indicates lost opportunity for semiconductor revenues.
* CAGR for consumer equipment is TM at 12.2 percent and TAM at 18.7 percent for 2008-10.
* Key drivers for TM include STBs, LCD TVs and digital cameras, while those for TAM include STBs, LCD TVs and water purifiers.
Industrial semiconductor constituents (2008)
TM revenues: $144.9 million; TAM revenues: $106.7 million.
* Energy meters, UPS and weighing scales are the contributors to the MCUs.
* Discrete and analog power are omnipresent products across applications.
* CAGR for industrial electronics segment is TM at 12.5 percent and TAM at 14.9 percent for the period 2008-10.
* Key drivers for TM include online UPS, CFL, energy meters and power supplies. Those for TAM include energy meters, CFL and power supplies.
Automotive semiconductor constituents (2008)
TM revenues: $76.5 million; TAM revenues: $50.8 million.
* The MCU market has high dependence on the EMS and body electronics markets
* The Nano car, statutory regulations on emission norms, and safety features are likely to sustain demand.
* CAGR for automotive electronics is TM at 23.1 percent and TAM at 24.8 percent.
* Key drivers include two-wheeler instrument clusters, EMS and immobilizers.
Other electronics semiconductor constituents (2008)
TM revenues: $251.7 million; TAM revenues: $102.5 million.
* Applications like smart cards, and aerospace and defence are driving the ASSP TM and TAM revenues, respectively.
* CAGR for this segment is TM at 16.8 percent and TAM at 23.8 percent.
* Smart cards and government space research programs are the key drivers.