Infineon rolls 32-bit MCUs otimized for LED lighting applications

January 17, 2013 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
With an entry-level but 32-bit microcontroller product family Infineon addresses the low-end segment of the industrial controls market. The new products are designed to displace 8-bit products, which still are rather popular in price-sensitive applications. In order to lure users away from the entrenched 8-bit technology, Infineon treats the users to a wealth of integrated application-specific peripheral options.

The new XMC1000 complements Infineon's microcontroller offering for industrial applications including Smart Lighting, power conversion and motor control. Like the XMC4000 family introduced a year ago, it is based on an ARM architecture. But unlike the XMC4000 which uses a Cortex-M4, the new microcontrollers are powered by a Cortex-M0. The price level will be comparable to widespread 8-bit products, announced Stephan Zizala, Senior Director for Industrial and Multimarket Microcontrollers at Infineon - between 0.25 € and 1.24€ in high volumes. The chipmaker hopes to achieve this ambitious price level by using a 65nm embedded flash production technology on 300mm wafers - 8-bit microcontrollers typically are manufactured on 200mm wafers at lower productivity.

For the start in March, Infineon announces three flavours of its new product family. They differentiate against each other through performance and the set of integrated, application-oriented peripherals. The XMC1100 which populates the low end of the product range features four 16-bit timers, six DC channels with 12bit resolution and a throughput of 1.88 MSPS, a pseudo random number generator and a number of communication channels including UART, I2C, I2S and SPI. Target applications are smart sensors, actuators, and general-purpose control applications.

The XMC1200 is streamlined to support LED lighting applications: It is equipped with a Brightness and Color Control Unit (BCCU) that enables flicker-free lighting applications with multichannel RGB LEDs. Other integrated peripherals include the wave-shaping logic of a PWM control circuit and the I/O circuitry required by DALI and DMX smart lighting environments.

The top model XMC1300 includes special-purpose timers for motor control and digital power control applications as well as motor control interfaces. For fast numeric computations the XMC1300 is also equipped with am math coprocessor. PWM controls are facilitated through fast analog comparators; an integrated Event Request Unit enables the adaption of peripherals interconnection.

For all XMC1000 models, an IP protection in hardware scheme will be available that protects the software stored in the