Freescale Creates S08 Microcontrollers with Integrated LCD Driver

Freescale Semiconductor has introduced a family of highly integrated, power-efficient 8-bit microcontroller (MCU) devices optimized for one of the electronics industry’s most pervasive display technologies: liquid crystal displays (LCDs). The MC9S08LC60 (LC60) family features Freescale’s first S08-based flash MCUs to include an integrated LCD driver module with an internal charge pump.

Freescale’s LC60 family addresses the display, power, memory and communications requirements of portable LCD applications, handheld consumer and industrial devices. Supporting displays with up to 160 (4×40) segments, LC60 MCUs give developers the flexibility to design LCD applications for portable health care devices, thermostats, exercise equipment, personal diagnostics, calculators, metering equipment, alarm clocks, toys, cameras and many other consumer products.

“Developers of handheld and metering devices continually look for ways to drive LCDs while minimizing power demands,” said Mike McCourt, vice president and general manager of Freescale’s Microcontroller Division. “The newest addition to the 8-bit S08 family, Freescale’s LC60 MCUs provide a system-on-chip solution that enables high segment count LCD applications while offering low-power operation.”

The LC60 family combines a high-performance, low-voltage S08 MCU core (operating at 1.8V-3.6V) with an LCD driver module, a rich set of communications peripherals, dual flash memory arrays and an integrated programmable timer. This high level of integration helps reduce total system cost and board space by providing a configurable, flexible single-chip solution that minimizes the need for external display driver, memory and timing components and eliminates the need for off-chip EEPROM.

The low-power LC60 LCD device is capable of driving a display using the high performance, low-voltage operation, C compatibility, single-wire background debug mode and on-chip in-circuit emulator (ICE) of the S08 architecture.

Versatile LCD Driver
The LC60 family’s integrated LCD driver supports both standard 3V and 5V LCD glass applications, giving developers the flexibility to select the ideal glass for display quality, system cost, bill of materials (BOM) and power consumption. An internal charge pump enables the application to run off of a single power supply, a dual supply for sustained contrast, or a customized implementation of contrast control. On-chip integration of an LCD driver and charge pump ultimately means fewer required external components, lower overall system cost, reduced power consumption and faster design time.

The LCD driver is designed to support up to 160 segments for a rich graphical display, without requiring the added cost of dot matrix or “chip-on-glass” capabilities. The LCD driver for the 80-pin LC60 package gives developers the flexibility to configure 4×40 or 3×41 segment displays, including up to 16 alphanumeric displays. In addition, numbers, text and icons can easily be mixed and matched within displays.

The LCD driver can be configured to operate a display even when the MCU core enters STOP or “sleep” mode. The blinking of individual segments in STOP mode is an innovative feature that helps reduce overall system power consumption and preserves battery life.

Memory and Communication Integration
The LC60 family features a dual flash memory block for enhanced EEPROM emulation. Eliminating extraneous EEPROM from the system helps reduce system cost and board space. The dual flash block enables continued execution of code out of one block while programming or erasing the other block.

On-chip integrated serial peripheral interface (SPI), serial communications interface (SCI) and inter-IC (12C) modules make it easy to connect LC60 MCUs to external power measurement ICs or to ZigBee(TM) enabled modules for wireless communications applications.

Broad Set of Development Tools
The LC60 family is supported by a comprehensive ecosystem, including the Processor Expert(TM) rapid application design tool, CodeWarrior(R) Special Edition for HC(S)08/RS08 a demonstration board, compiler, debugger, initialization tool, samples, documentation and application notes for the demo board, enabling faster time to market. A demonstration kit optimized for the LC60 family contains the equipment designers need to develop and evaluate application code, including an integrated background debug module (BDM) and a custom glass LCD that demonstrates LCD segments in an end-application format.

About S08 Architecture
Freescale’s S08 architecture provides an exceptional combination of high performance and low-power operation for cost-sensitive 8-bit embedded applications. Built on Freescale’s 0.25-micron process technology, the S08 architecture is optimized for extreme operating economy with multiple power management modes, making it attractive for battery-powered and handheld applications. Freescale MCUs based on S08 cores also provide an array of advanced features and capabilities, including integrated third-generation flash memory and RAM, multiple serial communication options, on-chip in-circuit emulator (ICE) and high-performance analog functionality.

MC9S08LC60 Family Features

  • 8-bit S08 core operating at up to 20MHz at >2.1V operation
  • Integrated LCD driver supporting standard 3V and 5V LCD glass
  • Up to 60KB of dual flash blocks for enhanced EEPROM emulation
  • Configurable LCD segment offerings in the 80-pin LQFP package:
    • 4/3 x 32/33
    • 4/3 x 40/41
  • Up to 16 keyboard interrupts (KBI) with software-selectable polarity
  • Integrated communications interfaces: SCI, two SPI modules and inter-IC bus module
  • 8-channel, 12-bit analog to digital converter (ADC) with internal reference voltage
  • Internal clock generator
  • Programmable two-channel 16-bit timer/PWM module (TPM)
  • Available in 80- and 64-pin LQFP
  • Operating voltage: 1.8V – 3.6V; -40 degrees to +85 degrees Celsius range

Pricing and Availability
The LC60 family features the MCS08LC60 and the MCS08LC36. Volume quantities of both devices in an 80-pin LQFP are available now, and volume quantities for 64-pin LQFP devices are planned for Q2. The suggested resale price for the MCS08LC60 in 10,000-piece quantities starts at $3.70, and the suggested resale price for the MCS08LC36 starts at $3.14. (All pricing is in USD.)

Demonstration kits for the LC60 family are priced at a suggested resale price of $59 USD. More information

About Freescale Semiconductor
Freescale Semiconductor, Inc. is a global leader in the design and manufacture of embedded semiconductors for the automotive, consumer, industrial, networking and wireless markets. The privately held company is based in Austin, Texas, and has design, research and development, manufacturing or sales operations in more than 30 countries. Freescale is one of the world’s largest semiconductor companies with 2006 sales of $6.4 billion (USD).

Freescale(TM) and the Freescale logo are trademarks of Freescale Semiconductor, Inc.