NEC Unveils Flash Microcontrollers for LCD Readouts

NEC Electronics announced the availability of its new 78K0/Lx3 series of 8-bit microcontrollers (MCUs), which include liquid crystal display (LCD) controllers/drivers on-chip, and deliver extremely low power consumption levels. The devices are ideal for consumer electronics with LCD readouts and strict power consumption requirements, such as home health appliances including scales, blood pressure monitors, and blood glucose meters; HVAC and industrial systems including utility meters; and household appliances such as coffee makers and rice cookers.

Compared to the company’s previous 78K0/Lx2 MCUs, the Lx3 devices have a newly optimized circuit design that cuts standby power consumption by approximately 50 percent, down to just 2.3 microamperes (µA). An 16-bit A/D converter offers a 64-fold improvement in resolution over the previous generation of devices. Additionally, an increase in the number of common signal ports from four to eight now enables support for up to 288 display segments, up from 160 for the previous Lx2 devices. The improvement in features helps support manufacturers of LCD applications create higher resolution products, or alternately, create the same resolution with fewer segment ports. The new MCUs are available in 76 configurations, with 8 kilobytes (KB) to 60 KB of embedded flash memory, in pin counts ranging from 48 to 80.

With the addition of these latest devices, NEC Electronics now offers a comprehensive lineup of 290 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.

NEC Electronics’ 78K0/Lx3 MCUs use 0.15-micron process technology and SuperFlash(R) technology licensed from Silicon Storage Technology, Inc.

Pricing and Availability
Samples of the 78K0/Lx3 devices will be available from March 2007. Pricing varies according to device specifications. For example, the 80-pin 78K0/LF3 device with 60KB flash memory is priced at $6 for 1,000-lot quantities. Volume production is scheduled to begin in April 2007, and monthly production is expected to reach approximately 100,000 units by the third quarter of 2008. Pricing and availability are subject to change.

About NEC Electronics
NEC Electronics Corporation (TSE: 6723) specializes in semiconductor products encompassing advanced technology solutions for the high-end computing and broadband networking markets, system solutions for the mobile handset, PC peripherals, automotive and digital consumer markets, and platform solutions for a wide range of customer applications.

All Flash is a trademark or registered trademark of NEC Electronics Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. SuperFlash is a registered trademark of Silicon Storage Technology, Inc. in the United States, Japan, and other countries.