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Microcontrollers Deliver Highly Accurate Temperature Sensing

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A family of high-performance 8-bit microcontrollers (MCUs) features the latest mixed-signal breakthrough, an integrated temperature sensor with best-in-class accuracy over an extended temperature range and without the need for calibration. Offering a unique mix of integrated high-performance analog peripherals and a very fast 8051 CPU (up to 50 MIPS) in a compact package, the new C8051F39x/7x MCU family from Silicon Laboratories provides an attractive solution for optical transceiver modules, sensor interfaces and brushless dc motor applications for fans, dryers, vacuum cleaners and remote control toy vehicles.

Many consumer and industrial applications require highly accurate temperature sensors to adjust for behavior shifts over temperature for onboard components such as sensors, lasers or power sources. The C8051F39x/7x MCUs’ on-chip temperature sensor provides ±2°C accuracy through an extended temperature range up to 105°C without the need for calibration. The temperature sensor reduces manufacturing cost by eliminating the need for the factory calibration step required by other MCUs. 

C8051F39x/7x MCUs are more than 30 percent smaller than other solutions, and the high level of integration eliminates the need for external components such as a temperature sensor, a crystal, a differential analog-to-digital converter (ADC), a voltage reference and two digital-to-analog converters (DACs), further reducing bill-of-materials (BOM) cost and PCB footprint. These on-chip analog peripherals enable developers to minimize discrete components and reduce the BOM cost by more than $0.30 (USD). In addition, the family’s crossbar technology gives developers the flexibility to assign peripherals to specific pin locations, thereby easing system layout and eliminating pin conflicts.

Finer resolution pulse-width modulation (PWM) offers the ability to execute more complex algorithms, enabling a greater range of motor speeds and higher efficiency in motor control applications. The C8051F39x/7x MCUs are also designed to consume 160 µA/MHz in active mode, enabling up to an 80 percent power savings compared to competing devices. 

The C8051F37x devices are the first Silicon Labs MCUs with 512B of EEPROM, supporting ten times more write/erase cycles (1M vs. 100k typical) and faster programming times (3.5 ms vs. 112 ms) compared to standard flash implementations. These increased write/erase cycles are useful for applications such as wireless sensor nodes and data loggers that must constantly write to memory. The faster programming times often are needed for applications such as industrial controls and optical modules that require tight calibration loops. 

Silicon Labs’ development kits for the C8051F39x/7x MCU family provide everything embedded developers need to evaluate hardware and develop code including C8051F390 or C8051F370 target boards, USB debug adaptor/programmer, power supply, cables, quick-start guide and complimentary downloadable software tools. 

Silicon Laboratories, Austin, TX. (512) 416-8500. [www.silabs.com].