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Floating-point DSP costs $5

TI's new TMS320VC33 doubles performance for one of the world's most widely used family of floating-point DSPs and is one of the first such device to sell for $5, say company officials. The 'C33 offers 1 Mbit of RAM and delivers 120 million floating-point operations per second (MFLOPS). "The price and features of the TI 'C33 make it attractive for use in many consumer audio products," says Dr. Paul Beckmann, senior research engineer at Bose Corp. (Framingham, MA). "Floating-point processing simplifies development of our proprietary audio algorithms, and the $5 price will bring the benefits of digital signal processing to a wider range of Bose products." Texas Instruments: Product code 4698

Celeron makes move to embedded

Following in the footsteps of the x86 family and the Pentium and Pentium II, the Celeron microprocessor with MMX technology is now available for embedded applications. Intel promises to support the chip for embedded-product life cycles, and has introduced three Celeron-type embedded platforms based on the 300- and 366-MHz processors. Both chips feature the P6 microarchitecture core with a 66-MHz system bus and L2 cache interface. The new scalable 370-pin plastic PGA package suits embedded design requirements. The new platforms target data and telecommunications, transaction terminals, and industrial computing. Each platform comprises a core set of hardware and software building blocks to provide different configurations for each market. Prices for the 300- and 366-MHz versions are $61 and $101 (1,000), respectively. Intel Corp.: Product code 4693

PowerPC-based chip wins auto award

Motorola became the first semiconductor supplier to win the PACE (Premier Automotive Suppliers' Contributions to Excellence) award this spring. The award is cosponsored by Automotive News and Ernst and Young LLP. The winning product, the MPC555, is based on the PowerPC architecture, and is the most highly integrated microcontroller Motorola has produced, sporting 6.7 million transistors, a floating-point unit, numerous peripherals, and 448 kbytes of flash memory. The judges noted that the chip delivers flexibility and high performance to address fuel efficiency and emissions in powertrain control. Corporate Vice President and General Manager of Advanced Vehicle Systems Brian Wilkie--clad in his formal Scottish kilt--accepted the award. "We're up to about 25 automotive customers in Europe and the US who've designed in the MPC555 for engine control and safety applications," said Wilkie. "The MPC555 is also adaptable to industrial applications." Motorola Semiconductor Products Sector: Product code 4694

80C51 controller targets 'net apps

A new series based on the industry-standard 8-bit 80C51 microcontroller offers low power consumption and low overall system cost, according to Philips Semiconductors. The 51LPC family also has its sights set on emerging Internet applications--its $79.95 LINK-51 evaluation kit includes emWare's Internet-capable software. Features of the 87LPC764 member include brownout detection, analog functions, and an on-chip RC oscillator, which can reduce the need for external components. In 2x speed mode, the device divides the system clock by 6 instead of 12. Thus, at 20 MHz, the controller has throughput equivalent to an 80C51 running at 40 MHz, which the company says minimizes EMI and power consumption. Price is $1.10 (10,000). Philips Semiconductors: Product code 4695

Microcontroller experiences revival

The increasing use of Windows CE for embedded applications has rejuvenated AMD's 32-bit Elan microprocessors, says the company's Tom Kehoe. The ElanSC400 microcontroller offers a low-power Am486(R) processor core, PC/AT compatibility, a sophisticated memory-management unit, and all common logic and I/O functionality normally needed for an embedded or mobile computing system. Recent design wins include the Nokia 9110 digital phone/PDA, Brother GeoBook, Avicor Digital Photo Album, Loewe Internet TV, and Microtek Imagedeck Scanner. AMD's new muforCETM (pronounced "microforce") demonstration board lets engineers develop systems for the ElanSC400 and Windows CE operating system. Advanced Micro Devices Inc.: Product code 4696

8-bit controller hits 100 MIPS

The 100-MHz version of Scenix's SX Series 8-bit microcontroller can deliver up to 100 MIPS, say company officials. The device also has 2k by 12 words of flash/EEPROM. By combining processing power with on-chip programmable memory, the SX Series lets designers trade off MIPS for software "virtual peripherals"--code modules that execute functions usually accomplished in hardware. For example, by using "virtual peripherals" the chip can execute complex digital signal processing and similar parallel processing tasks in software, which can reduce silicon real estate and custom silicon development while shortening design time. A virtual-peripheral library is located on the company's website: www.scenix.com. Scenix Semiconductor Inc.: Product code 4697

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