Freescale Semiconductor has released a microcontroller roadmap with a new eight-bit core at its low end and a range of pin-compatible eight-bit and 32-bit devices that share peripherals and development tools.
Mike McCourt, vice president and general manager of Freescale’s Microcontroller Division, described the firm’s RS08 “ultralow-end” core as a simplified version of its HCS08 architecture, using the same bus structure and, thus, the same peripheral and memory modules. The RS08 is 30% smaller, and features a condensed instruction set for coding most embedded applications in small-pin-count devices with less than 16 Kb of flash memory.
McCourt said the core is suited for traditional electromechanical designs that require additional functionality. It introduces a “tiny and short” addressing mode that is said to allow for more efficient access and manipulation of commonly used variables and registers. A shadow program counter is said to enable more efficient subroutine calls. Freescale is developing a new version of the CodeWarrior development studio to support the RS08. In the 32-bit space, Freescale plans to reduce end-user cost in its ColdFire families, “bringing 32-bit performance well within lower architecture price points,” according to McCourt. Freescale plans pin-compatible devices that will allow eight-bit designs to upgrade to 32-bit performance while maintaining the same peripheral interfaces.