PARIS – Pursuing their long-term relationships, Scaleo Chip, French designer of ARM-based systems-on-chip, and Atmel Corp. announced they have concluded a collaboration agreement to develop systems-on-chip (SoCs) based on Atmel's AT91CAP customizable microcontroller.

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PARIS – Pursuing their long-term relationships, Scaleo Chip, French designer of ARM-based systems-on-chip, and Atmel Corp. announced they have concluded a collaboration agreement to develop systems-on-chip (SoCs) based on Atmel's AT91CAP customizable microcontroller.

Note: The above text is the public part of the press release obtained from the manufacturer (with minor modifications). EETimes Europe cannot be held responsible for the claims and statements made by the manufacturer. The text is intended as a supplement to the new product presentations in EETimes Europe magazine.

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Silicon Laboratories Inc.has announced the expansion of its best-in-class small form factor microcontrollers (MCUs) with the C8051T610 family of low cost 8-bit MCUs. Pin-for-pin compatible with Silicon Laboratories’ C8051F310 family, the T610 offers customers a cost-effective alternative in the same small footprint. The C8051T610 family is ideal for consumer and industrial applications that are under increasing cost pressure, including toys, camera modules, cell phone accessories, portable devices, home appliances and motor controllers.

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The T610 features byte-programmable EPROM that can be initially programmed while still leaving room for programming memory at a later time, making the T610’s EPROM more flexible than traditional one-time programmable memory. The T610 is based on a patented, pipelined, single-cycle 8051 core that delivers up to 25 MIPS of CPU bandwidth while providing high functional density per square millimeter with on-chip high-performance features such as a highly accurate ADC for analog measurement, voltage regulator and precision internal oscillator ultimately reducing the number of external components and reducing the size and cost of the end-product.

Silicon Laboratories’ small form factor MCUs provide four-corner operation,” which means they do not require special operating conditions to achieve the optimal datasheet specifications. The CPU is designed to operate at 25MHz over the entire allowed operating temperature and power supply voltage ranges. ADC speed and accuracy is also guaranteed over the entire allowed temperature and voltage supply range with the CPU operating at full speed. The on-board precision oscillator is designed and calibrated to two percent for worst case temperature and supply voltage so the accuracy always meets the minimum specification.

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Systems using the T610 family can be designed and prototyped using the F310 family Flash memory equivalent and then switched to T610 without any hardware changes. A full-featured development kit is available containing all the hardware and software required to develop an embedded system using the T610 including a socket to program EPROM memory.

The C8051T610 product family adds to Silicon Laboratories’ portfolio of more than 70 high performance small form factor MCUs, giving customers the broadest range of options for their space-constrained applications,” said Derrell Coker, vice president of Silicon Laboratories. Pin compatibility with our other popular devices allows engineers to migrate between different features and capabilities when upgrading performance or reducing system cost.”

Freescale's experience is instructive. The transaction closed less than a year ago, but at least one credit-rating agency has already soured on the deal, mainly because of the huge debt load that the Austin, Texas-based IC maker assumed when a consortium took it private.

Another negative for Freescale is its dependence on former parent Motorola for a weighty chunk of its revenue, according to S&P analyst Bruce Hyman, who on Nov. 20 lowered the chip company's corporate credit rating to B+ from BB–.

The ratings on Freescale reflect high debt leverage, which is not likely to materially improve over the intermediate term,” Hyman said. Freescale's revenue and profitability levels have been well below expectations. This reflects an unanticipated, substantial decline in key customer Motorola's cell phone business since early 2007.”

The Freescale transaction could still prove over the long term to have been the right move. The company has solid technology offerings, and at the close of the September-ended quarter it had $772 million in cash and short-term investments, enough to continue funding operations for now.

Still, S&P's Hyman rated Freescale's outlook as negative, noting that the chip company has very limited flexibility within the rating for any further deterioration in its financial profile.”