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Hitachi's super-low-power 8-bit flash microcontroller provides for improved utility meters, portable test instruments.

Hitachi Semiconductor (America) Inc., a worldwide microcontroller (MCU) supplier, recently announced the H8/38024F, a low-cost, power-efficient device that expands the Super-Low-Power (SLP) family. The 8-bit MCU is specifically designed to meet the needs of portable, battery operated embedded systems where power consumption is critical. Applications include utility meters, glucose meters, heart rate monitors and other handheld test instruments. The device maximizes battery life by holding power dissipation to as low as typical 1 microampere (1uA) in Standby mode.

The MCU includes 32 kilobytes (32KB) of single-voltage program/erase flash memory for simplified production programming. The flash memory enables on-board modification of control programs and system adjustment data. This allows shorter system development times and easy software updates in the field.

To optimize the H8/38024F for battery powered products, Hitachi builds the MCU with a 0.35-micron CMOS process and an enhanced cell implementation, using a circuit design that incorporates specialized functions. For extended battery life, for example, the chip operates over a wide supply range--2.7 to 3.6V for a flash version and 1.8 to 5.5V for a mask ROM version.

To enhance system performance, the new chip offers two built-in clock systems: a 10MHz system clock generator and a 32KHz sub-clock generator. Both clock generators can be used for peripherals in various power down modes to conserve power. For fast, efficient wake-ups from power-saving modes, the oscillators in the clock generators have very short stabilization times, typically less than 100 microseconds. To further address the need of power sensitive systems, the H8/38024F MCU offers eight power-down modes. A Module Standby mode helps design engineers "fine tune" system dissipation by turning off via software on-chip peripheral functions when those functions aren't needed.

The H8/38024F MCU has a built-in LCD controller/driver with double-buffering capability that interfaces to a liquid-crystal display with up to 32 segments and four common pins. The built-in interfaces allow better integration of systems that have a display monitor such as metering or instrumentation devices, while also helping to save board space and reduce system cost. The MCU device integrates a suite of six 8-bit and 16-bit timers including a watchdog timer (WDT) and a special 2-channel 16-bit asynchronous event counter. The asynchronous event counter is useful in applications such as meter readers. The event counter can count the rising or falling edges of digital inputs, or both. The MCU also provides an 8-channel 10-bit analog-to-digital converter, as well as a 2-channel 10-bit Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) output that can be used as a digital-to-analog converter by connecting a low-pass filter.

The 80-pin H8/38024F has ten I/O ports encompassing 51 I/O pins and 9 input pins, plus the 6 high-current/high-voltage output pins.

Hitachi offers a "Board-in-a-Bag" evaluation/development kit (Hitachi part number US38024-BAG1) that conveniently bundles all the hardware and software that engineers need to quickly evaluate the flash MCU. The kit includes a copy of the HEW (Hitachi Embedded Workshop), a flexible code development environment and Hitachi's Flash Development Toolkit (FDT) support tool, a workspace based environment with advanced messaging. For hardware debugging, Hitachi offers two emulators: the low-cost E10T, an in-circuit debugger, and the E6000, a real-time in-circuit emulator (ICE). The E10T uses the H8/38024F's on-chip debug circuits and enables engineers to fully debug applications in the target system. The more powerful E6000 a 32K trace buffer, supports 256 PC breakpoints and 12 cascadable and complex hardware breakpoints (events). Many other H8-series hardware and software support products are available from third-party suppliers.
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Title Annotation:Hitachi Semiconductor H8/38024F
Comment:Hitachi's super-low-power 8-bit flash microcontroller provides for improved utility meters, portable test instruments.(Hitachi Semiconductor H8/38024F)
Publication:EDP Weekly's IT Monitor
Article Type:Product Announcement
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 2, 2002
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