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Hitachi's H8/38004 Super Low Power microcontrollers low consumption in standby mode.

Hitachi Semiconductor (America) Inc. has announced the H8/38004 series 8-bit device with Super Low Power (SLP) technology that extends battery life in portable systems. The new MCU operates with voltages as low as 1.8 volts (V) and consumes just 200 microamperes (uA) at 1 megahertz (MHz) when the CPU and all peripherals are active. The device can further reduce power consumption to 1.2uA by using a 32 kilohertz (KHz) watch mode.

The low-cost 64-pin device is a member of the H8/300L SLP series and is a pin-compatible evolution of the popular H8/3802 MCU. The MCU provides up to 32 kilobytes (KB) of flash or mask ROM and up to 1KB of RAM.

According to Hank Pawlowicz, product marketing manager of the system LSI business unit, Hitachi Semiconductor (America) Inc., "Hitachi has designed this low-cost chip with SLP technology specifically to make portable designs more practical, popular and profitable. The H8/38004 is ideal for glucose meters, heart-rate monitors, and other types of battery operated measuring instruments and embedded systems because it enables engineers to maximize the time between battery recharges or replacements."

System designers can take advantage of seven power-down modes to maintain minimum functionality until more processing power is needed. When active mode is needed, the MCU's fast-start system oscillator, which stabilizes in a short 20 microseconds (us) from a cold start, quickly and efficiently energizes the resources needed for the task to be performed. Additionally, other key MCU design features also combine to enhance the power efficiency of the application. For example, the 16-bit asynchronous event counter (AEC) can be used to count input pulse even when the CPU clocks are turned off.

The F-ZTAT flash H8/38004 version is single-voltage programmable for simplified programming in production and easy field software updates. All H8/38004 MCUs provide an on-chip LCD controller, asynchronous event counter, 8-bit timer, 16-bit timer, 2-channel 10-bit pulse width modulation (PWM) timer, watchdog timer, 4-channel 10-bit A/D converter, serial communication interface, clock oscillator, 32 kilohertz (KHz) sub-clock oscillator and interrupt controller.

For designs that need to generate an analog signal output, the H8/38004's PWM timer can be used with an external filter to provide the requisite digital-to-analog (D/A) converter function. The MCU's watchdog timer can be used to safeguard system operation by automatically resetting the MCU in the event of a program runaway or lock up. System reliability can also be enhanced by using the A/D to monitor battery status and warn the user of low-voltage conditions.

To help shorten system design and debug cycles, Hitachi and the many vendors in the H8 support community offer hardware and software development tools for H8/38004 MCUs.

Hitachi's support products include an inexpensive Board-in-a-Bag evaluation and design kit (EDK), the E10T low-cost on-chip debug emulator, the E6000 real-time in-circuit emulator and HEW v2.1 integrated development environment with software toolchain.
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Publication:EDP Weekly's IT Monitor
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 17, 2003
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