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Silicon Labs launches fast, cheap USB microcontrollers

Enables adding USB functionality
Thu Apr 14 2011, 11:17

INTEGRATED CIRCUIT MAKER Silicon Labs has launched two USB microcontroller ranges that offer fast and cheap ways to add USB connectivity to devices.

There are 22 USB microcontrollers in the C8051F38x and C8051T62x/32x scalable families, all of which are intended to simplify adding USB ports to embedded designs.

They feature full-speed USB 2.0 interface engines, high processing performance and USB throughput and strong precision analogue functionality.

The addition of a clock recovery mechanism allows crystal-less USB operation, which reduces the number of components required. This in turn lowers the overall bill of materials cost, making it cheaper to add USB functionality to devices.

The microcontrollers also feature multi-point control units with high performing analogue-to-digital converters. In addition to the up to five times faster speeds that Silicon Labs claims these offer compared to competitors, it also points out that external converters are not needed, further reducing costs.

Silicon Labs said that over two billion USB devices are sold every year, making it an essential market for the technology industry and one that can benefit from reduced prices.

The microcontrollers are aimed at a variety of devices, including thermostats, USB dongles, smart card readers, GPS localisers, touch panels, medical devices, speakers, serial communication bridges, games and toys.

The devices are currently available and retail for £1.30 each in lots of 10,000. Development kits for the microcontrollers range in price from £60 to £79. µ


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