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Waferscale Integration Introduces $99 Development Kit for 68HC11-Based Systems; Speeds Up Design of Applications That Must Be Reprogrammed During System Operation.

Business Editors & High-tech Writers

Embedded Systems Conference 2000

Booth 228

SAN JOSE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 25, 2000

Waferscale Integration today introduced a development kit for the design of 68HC11-based systems that require in-system programming during system operation (also called in-application programming or IAP). Such systems include automotive diagnostic systems, medical monitoring systems, and remote industrial control systems that must maintain and update large data logs over long periods of time or require remote code updates over a UART or other interface. The DK900-HC11 development kit provides all the hardware and software required to quickly design IAP applications and provides a ready-to-use platform for code development.

IAP -- During in-application programming, a host computer downloads firmware into an embedded flash memory through a communication channel that is controlled by the microcontroller (e.g. UART, CAN, J1850, network, etc.). During IAP, the MCU controls the erase/write process, but must also be able to execute the boot code and flash programming algorithms. Since the code and algorithms are not available from a flash memory that is being updated, a second, separate memory array is required to execute the code. Waferscale's DK900-HC11 development kit provides these two flash memory arrays, as well as all the other hardware and software required to implement an in-application programmable system.

DK900-HC11 Contents -- The DK900-HC11 Design Kit includes a fully populated 68HC11-based development board, Waferscale's FlashLINK(TM) programmer and cables for ultra-fast in-system programming, null modem serial cable, power supply, manual, and CDROM with Waferscale's PSDsoft Express EDA tool and PSDload UART download software. The CDROM also includes programming examples and tutorials on JTAG-based in-system programming (ISP) of blank PSD devices, as well as MCU-driven in-application programming (IAP).The sample design that comes with the DK900-HC11 Development Kit frequently can be used as the basis for the final design.

Speeds up System Development -- According to David Raun, Waferscale's vice president of marketing, "Everything you need for the final system is included in this kit. The only thing missing is the application code itself, which can be merged very quickly and easily using the PSDsoft Express development tool included in the kit. Designers do not need to know anything about HDLs because the tool automatically generates the HDL for the logic design from point-and-click menus. This is an important benefit for the 90% of embedded system designers who don't know any HDL."

"The fact that a designer can begin developing and testing application code immediately in a real system really speeds up time-to-market. But, we're talking about more than quick time to market," Raun emphasized. "In many cases, we are talking about no time to market. Many designers find that the sample IAP design included in the development kit can be used in their application with only minor modification. Others just use the design as-is. This means that virtually no effort needs to go into the design of the microcontroller interface to external memory and logic. The logic design for memory mapping, memory swapping, chip selects, and pin assignments is already done. The DK900-HC11 development can serve as the prototype board, so the designer can concentrate on developing code, rather than designing hardware.

"Some designers have found they can use the board itself as the target system - saving board design cost and development time, as well. Since developing a system board can take several months and cost as much $50,000, using the DK900-HC11 for deployment can be very attractive," Raun concluded.

68HC11 Development Board -- The development board includes a low-cost 68HC11 core microcontroller, a PSD9XX Programmable System Device, a 16 character LCD display, power switch, UART serial port, a JTAG programming port that connects directly to the PSD9XX ISP JTAG interface, reset button, DIP switch, two LEDs for functional annunciation, and pads for additional SRAM.

Supports Two Different PSD Architectures -- The PSD9XX device on the board provides two flash memory arrays for IAP, scratchpad SRAM, extra I/O, a software-configurable MCU interface, and a PLD for memory mapping, address decoding, memory swapping and paging -- essentially all the functionality required for an in-application-programmable system with large code and/or data storage requirements. Two PSD9XX devices with different memory densities are available with the DK900-HC11 development board. The PSD913F2 has a 128 KByte flash array, a second 32 KByte flash array and 2 KBytes of SRAM. The PSD934F2 has a primary flash memory array of 256 KBytes, a secondary flash array with 32 KBytes and 8 KBytes of SRAM. Both PSD9XX devices have the additional logic, I/O and other functionality described above.

Free PSDsoft(TM) EDA Tool -- Waferscale's free EDA tool PSDsoft Express is included on a CDROM in the design kit. PSDsoft Express automatically generates HDL code for the PSD logic design from point-and-click menus. Designers do not have to know or write any HDL. The tool provides a completely automated programmable logic design flow for the PSD's microcontroller interface, memory mapping, chip selects, and pin assignments. The tool automatically cross checks for system and logic errors (a common source of problems in MCU-based designs with external devices), and then merges the logic design with the microcontroller firmware. The CDROM also includes Waferscale's data book, sample designs and other features. PSDsoft Express is also available for free on Waferscale's website, www.waferscale.com.

PSDload UART Download Software -- Also in the DK900-HC11 design kit is PSDload, a Windows(R) 95/98/NT-based UART download program that facilitates in-application programming of the embedded system. PSDload performs erase, fill, read, write, upload and download of data or code to or from either of the two flash memory arrays on the PSD device, using the 68HC11's UART channel. It can be used for the download of data logs from remote locations, such as offshore oil rigs or to upload revised application code to the system.

Price and Availability -- The DK900-HC11 Development Kit is available now and costs $99. It may be purchased directly from Waferscale's web site, or from any of Waferscale's distributors.

Waferscale Integration, Inc. is the leading supplier of highly integrated programmable solutions for high-speed embedded control designs. Its PSD families of single-chip, field-programmable microcontroller peripherals off-load microcontroller functions so that MCUs can operate faster and do more. The power-conserving features of PSD devices can extend system battery life by several hours. The company's family of high performance, non-volatile memory products offers densities of 16 Kbit to 1 Megabit with access times as low as 25 ns and 3.3 volt devices with access times as low as 70 ns. Waferscale is located in Fremont, Calif.

Note to Editors: PSDsoft, EasyFLASH and FlashLINK are trademark of Waferscale Integration, Inc. Windows is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation.
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Date:Sep 25, 2000
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