Austin, TexasSilicon Laboratories Inc. has created a simple, low-cost, and innovative way for you to evaluate the company's 8-bit MCU development tools: a stick, or more precisely, The ToolStick. A fully contained evaluation system packed into a small rectangular plastic package with a USB connector, The ToolStick plugs into a PC without the need for drivers. The unit gives the experience of Silicon Lab's software development environment, including on-chip debugging hardware that gives full, nonintrusive access to the CPU, memory, and peripherals of the company's C8051F family of mixed-signal MCUs.
Within the ToolStick is a C8051F300 target MCU, which in turn connects to a C8051F320 MCU that serves as the debugging interface between the target and the PC. Two digital I/O pins on the target C8051F300 microcontroller are connected to two pairs of LEDs that provide user feedback.
The ToolStick comes with a CD-ROM containing Silicon Lab's integrated development environment (IDE), Keil Software, Inc. development tools, source code examples and register definition files, documentation, and demonstration software. One of the demonstration programs lets you view and change the contents of internal registers and memory, while another lets you set breakpoints in the code and single-step through disassembled code.
The actual software development tools for Silicon Lab's analog-intenstive, mixed signal MCUs consist of the IDE, editor, debugger, flash programmer, and an evaluation copy of a Keil Software, Inc. compiler. Silicon Lab's C8051F family of mixed signal MCUs include a 100-MIPS 8051 CPU, up to 128 Kbytes of flash memory, and high-precision analog peripherals. The MCUs come in packages as small as 3-by-3 mm.
The ToolStick is available now and sells for $10.99. You can purchase it on line by going to www.silabs.com/toolstick
Silicon Laboratories Inc. , 1-512-416-8500, www.silabs.com.