8051-based MCUs come with analog peripheral circuits

8051-based MCUs come with analog peripheral circuits

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Silicon Labs' EFM8LB1 “Laser Bee” micrcontroller family offers speed, Accuracy, cost-saving integration and small footprint for optical modules – the company presents the devices as having the highest analogue performance and peripheral integration in the 8-bit market.
By eeNews Europe

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They combine a high-speed ADC, multiple DACs, a highly accurate temperature sensor, two comparators and a 72 MHz 8051 core with up to 64 kB of flash. They are packaged in 3 x 3 mm QFN, for space-constrained, performance-intensive applications such as optical modules, test and measurement instrumentation, industrial control equipment and smart sensors.

Silicon Labs suggests using them in high-speed, analogue-intensive optical transceiver modules in telecom and data communications. Optical module applications require small-form-factor MCUs offering analogue performance and integration. Laser Bee MCUs integrate up to four 12-bit DACs, eliminating the need for four external DACs typically required by optical modules.

The on-chip 14-bit, 900 ksample/sec ADC includes an input sequencer and direct memory access (DMA) controller, enabling raw data collection without MCU intervention. This capability frees the MCU for other tasks, providing an increase in overall system performance while enabling the MCU to enter a low-power mode for energy-saving benefits. The MCU’s 72 MHz pipelined 8051-based 8-bit core can execute more than 70% of instructions in 1 to 2 clock cycles, satisfying the processing needs of high-speed optical modules and other computationally intensive applications.

EFM8LB1 MCUs integrate four configurable logic units (CLUs), enabling designers to implement combinational logic and/or synchronisers without using external components. Claimed as the smallest CLU implementation, the logic units support a variety of digital functions such as replacing system glue logic, generating special waveforms or synchronising system event triggers. Each CLU is completely programmable, to interface Laser Bee MCUs with other chips in the system. By reducing the component count and PCB space required to support glue logic, the logic units ultimately minimise BOM cost and time to market.

Many precision analogue applications include sensors or other components that require temperature compensation. For example, laser drivers and other components in optical modules are sensitive to temperature variations. Laser Bee MCUs have a built-in, factory-calibrated ±3°C accuracy temperature sensor, enabling very accurate temperature measurement without any user calibration.

8-bit development with native support for EFM8LB1 Laser Bee MCUs residesin the Simplicity Studio development platform. Simplicity Studio streamlines the process of developing IoT applications by providing MCU and wireless developers with one-click access to everything they need to complete their projects, from initial concept to final product, in a unified software environment. Simplicity Studio includes an Eclipse-based integrated development environment (IDE), graphical configuration tools, energy profiling tools, network analysis tools, demos, software examples, documentation, technical support and community forums.

Samples and production quantities of the EFM8LB1 Laser Bee MCUs are available now in a choice of QFN24 and QFN32 packages. EFM8LB1 product pricing begins at $0.52 (10,000) and varies depending on peripheral features, amount of RAM (ranging from 1 kB to 4 kB) and amount of flash memory (scaling from 16 kB to 64 kB).

The SLSTK2030A EFM8LB1 starter kit with software demonstrations shows how the MCUs can perform temperature and voltage measurements as well as highlighting ADC and DAC capabilities for oscilloscope and function generator applications. The SLSTK2030A starter kit is $29.99.

Silicon Labs; www.silabs.com/EFM8

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