Freescale's Flexis line spans the company's 50-MHz 8- and 32-bit cores, starting with the MC9S08QE128-based S08 core and MCF51QE128-based ColdFire V1 core. Flexis microcontrollers have common peripherals and pinouts and represent Freescale's idea of a Controller Continuum, enabling easy migration between 8- and 32-bit platforms. With Freescale's $99 Demoqe development board from PE Micro, developers can quickly start development with the two chips (see the figure). Chip pricing starts at $3.
The key success for Flexis isn't just the hardware compatibility. The unified version of Freescale's CodeWarrior development tools is critical. It allows developers to move an application between platforms with minimal reconfiguration. Developers can take advantage of a common Processor Expert with Bean Wizard support regardless of the target platform. Each processor still has its unique assembler, but the C/C++ compiler provides a smooth migration path.