ST Adds Memory, Features to Microcontrollers

STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), a world leader in 8-bit microcontrollers, completed its ST7 UltraLite family of tiny 8-pin microcontrollers – intended for simple and very cost-sensitive applications – with the introduction of the ST7FLITEU0 series, which adds more memory and valuable system features to the rich peripheral set of the existing devices. Its availability in 8-pin SO, DIP and 0.9mm-thick DFN packages, with temperature qualification up to 125 degrees C, makes the new series an ideal choice for HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning), home appliance, lighting control and power-tool markets.

With a 2-Kbyte Flash program memory, twice as large as previous devices, and 128-bytes of data EEPROM, the new tiny devices have a significantly larger software capacity. In addition they include a trimmable 8MHz RC oscillator, with prescaler ratios down to 500kHz, and a very stable and accurate Low-Voltage and Auxiliary Voltage Detector.

The very small 8-pin MCUs target simple motor drives and include features such as an embedded 12-bit auto-reload timer, operating over a 2kHz to 4MHz range, which can generate four independent PWM (Pulse Width Modulated) signals, with output compare function. The timer also includes programmable Dead Time generation for the half-bridge driving mode in which PWM signals must not be allowed to overlap, plus programmable duty cycles, polarity control and programmable output modes.

Other key system peripherals are an 8-bit Lite timer with prescaler, watchdog, real-time base and input capture; and a very fast, 5-channel, 10-bit ADC with 3.5 microsecond overall conversion time, the fastest in the 8-bit MCU market. Five power-saving modes – Halt, Auto Wake-Up from Halt, Active Halt, Wait and Slow – offer the designer very high flexibility to minimize the overall power consumption in power-critical applications.

Development support is available through a complete set of hardware and software tool chains from ST and from third parties. The inexpensive tools – such as ST’s Stick Programmer and the Raisonance ReVA Evaluation kit and R-link USB Debugging and Programming Tool – will enable developers to rapidly and efficiently create, build and debug low-cost MCU-based systems. These tools, which also provide an excellent introduction for new users to the ST7 development environment, integrate easily with the free ST7 C compiler from Cosmic (up to 16K code-size, free of charge), and are supported by ST’s free STVD7 Software IDE (Integrated Development Environment).

Samples of the 8-pin ST7FLITEU0 are available now in SO8, DIP8, DFN8 and DIP16 (for sampling only) packages, with the development tools; volume production will start during Q2 2007. Pricing for 10,000 units starts at US$0.55.

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STMicroelectronics is a global leader in developing and delivering semiconductor solutions across the spectrum of microelectronics applications. An unrivalled combination of silicon and system expertise, manufacturing strength, Intellectual Property (IP) portfolio and strategic partners positions the Company at the forefront of System-on-Chip (SoC) technology and its products play a key role in enabling today’s convergence markets. The Company’s shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange, on Euronext Paris and on the Milan Stock Exchange. In 2006, the Company’s net revenues were $9.85 billion and net earnings were $782 million.