Electronic Design

Updated 8-Bit Processor Drives System-On-A-Chip Web Server

The Z80, almost as legendary as the x86, has evolved into the eZ80 Webserver SoC (eZ80190) from ZiLOG Inc. No longer memory-limited, the eZ80's 16-bit registers have grown into 24-bit registers that provide a linear 16-Mbyte address space without a memory management unit (MMU). This capacity is greater than most competing 8- and 16-bit processors.

Code-compatible with the Z80, the eZ80's new instructions support the larger registers. Other enhancements include a 16- by 16-bit multiplier with dual 40-bit accumulators. Operating at 50 MHz, the eZ80 isn't as fast as most high-performance 32-bit processors. Yet it's more than adequate for the control and monitoring environments it targets.

A respectable complement of on-chip peripherals comes with the processor. These include two DMA channels, two Universal ZiLOG serial interfaces, six 16-bit timers, a 32-bit GPIO with interrupt support, and an on-chip oscillator. Additionally, the SoC boasts 8 kbytes of on-chip SRAM and the ZiLOG Debug Interface. Overall, this respectable peripheral complement only requires an external ROM or Flash memory to be a usable system.

More than just an SoC, the eZ80 is a collection of software as well. The webserver software supports over a dozen Internet protocols, such as DHCP, SMTP, TFTP, SNMP, and Telnet. Of course, the HTTP 1.1-based web-server support is featured as well. The evaluation board includes an Ethernet connection. This board is available with a number of reference designs, an HTML-to-C conversion utility, a C compiler, and network drivers.

Witnesses spotted a penguin around the eZ80 at the Embedded Systems Conference, but the bird didn't make any announcements. Priced at $8.15 each in 10,000-unit batches, production quantities will be available in January.

ZiLOG Inc., 910 East Hamilton Ave., Campbell, CA 95008; (408) 558-8500; fax (408) 558-8300; www.zilog.com.

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