Here's a quick recap of the MCU-related news for November (so far). It's a little early, but so many have accumulated I figured it was time to get them out. If there are a lot more later in the month, I'll put out a second November News blog. Othewise, I'll lump them into a December post.
ARM -- ARM and telecom provider Sprint have joined forces to help developers create Internet of Things applications using an ARM processor and a cellular connection. The companies have created a development kit based on an mbed platform and a USB cellular modem. For those in the Burlingame, Calif. area on December 6, Sprint is conducting a hands-on workshop showing how to get started.
Atmel -- Atmel has created a low-power wireless microcontroller for the 2.4 GHz ISM band -- the ATmegaRFR2 AVR family. Support includes stacks for a variety of Zigbee variations, including RF4CE.
Atmel has also released a new family of LIN microcontrollers for automotive switch scanning and lighting control. The ATA664251/251 devices are system-in-package devices with high voltage switch interfaces and an ATtiny167 MCU.
Crocus Technology -- Using its unique magnetic logic technology, Crocus has implemented a secure MCU targeting applications such as smartcards and access control. The core of their technology is the magnetic tunnel junction, which provides non-volatile storage. First chips and a development kit will be available in January 2013.
Digital Core Design -- The company has released a soft-core version of the popular 8051 8-bit MCU that is area-optimized to keep fabrication costs to a minimum. The DT8051 core runs more than eight times faster than the original 80C51 at the same frequency and can operate at clock speeds up to 300 MHz. Both ASIC and FPGA implementations are possible.
Freescale -- Quad-core technology is coming to automotive applications. Freescale has released the Qoriwa MPC5777M MCU for power-train applications, with hardware security to prevent hackers from tampering with engine control. In addition, the company is partnering with Continental to develop the Quad-core microcontroller for Automotive Safety And Reliability (QUASAR), which will use the four cores to provide redundant lock-step operation for braking control.
Fujitsu -- As if selecting a microcontroller wasn't difficult enough, Fujitsu has announced plans to develop a substantial line of MCUs based on the ARM M4 and M0+ cores, with first devices becoming available in the summer of 2013. Combined with the company's existing FM3 family, the lineup will weigh in at more than 700 devices.
IAR Systems -- On the tool front, IAR systems has some new options available for developers. It has upgraded its Embedded Workbench for the 8051, adding a new text editor and source browser to simplify code writing and project management. It has also enhanced its JTAGjet-Trace in-circuit debugger with the Embedded Workbench for ARM. The probe provides access to the trace capabilities built into all ARM cores.
Renesas -- Three announcements came this month from the MCU giant. First, a new series in the RL78/L13 family is offering LCD control supporting up to 376 segments, and features a full calendar function with operation as low as 0.6 microamperes. Expansions of the RX63T line now provide inverter control for as many as three motors simultaneously. The new RL78/G1C group of devices integrate a USB host/hub function that supports high speed charging of an attached device while handling communications.
STMicroelectronics -- Energy harvesting is the focus of this month's STM release. The company has released its M24LR-Discovery kit for exploring battery-free NFC and RFID applications. The kit modules draw their power from and can exchange data with NFC-enabled smartphones or RFID reader-writers.
Texas Instruments -- The new CC2538 is a wireless network processor that offers three popular Zigbee standards in a single end device. Combining a radio and an ARM CortexM3 MCU, the device can support Zigbee Smart Energy, Home Automation, and Light Link standards, and allows fast switching among the standards to allow the device to effectively support all three standards simultaneously for ease of integration into mixed networks.
Other November new product releases discussed in more depth can be found under Power Wireless Links With Free Energy, 32 Pushing 8-Bits Closer to Obsolescence, and New JVM Targets Limited-Memory MCUs.
If you know of something I missed for November, feel free to post a link to the company's press release.