By implementing an 8-bit "Flash" microcontroller, Italian appliance manufacturer Elmarc S.r.l. has reduced time-to-market and given OEM end-users the ability to adapt the final product to specific market requirements. Used for motor control, Motorola's 68HC908GRB MCU extends embedded Flash memory to typically 100,000 write/erase cycles and 50-year data retention. As a result, most embedded systems that require non-volatile storage of temporary or changing data no longer need separate electrically erasable read only memory (EEPROM) chips. Improved write/erase cycling also permits use for full data storage as well as program storage. "One of the problems with traditional electronic timers that employ maskable microcontrollers," says Elmarc's Giorgio Testa, "is the large quantity of masks necessary to cover our needs. The flexibility of writing and rewriting the microcontroller's memory gives us an efficient way to create many kinds of electronic timers with only one electronic architecture." For further details, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Independent science safety company Underwriters Laboratories is providing new guidance for manufacturers about how to follow the latest IEC standards for implementing safety features in programmable logic controllers.
Automakers are adding greater digital capabilities to their design and engineering activities to promote collaboration among staff and suppliers, input consumer feedback, shorten product development cycles, and meet evolving end-use needs.
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