Microchip Technology Inc. has begun volume production of two 16-bit dsPIC Digital Signal Controllers (DSCs) that offer designers performance speeds of 20 and 30 Million Instructions Per Second (MIPS), self-programming capabilities via Flash memory, and industrial and extended temperature ranges.
Applications for the new DSCs include: glass-break detection, automotive knock detection, interface to MEMS sensors and gyroscopes, and gas-detection systems.
The dsPIC30F3012 and dsPIC30F3013 sensor family devices feature 24 Kbytes of Flash program memory and can operate at full speed using an internal oscillator. The devices are offered in 18-pin (dsPIC30F3012) and 28-pin (dsPIC30F3013) packages as small as 8×8 mm QFN, for sensor processing or other applications that can benefit from high performance in a small form factor.
According to Sumit Mitra, vice president of Microchip's Digital Signal Controller Division, the devices are designed for use in distributed sensor processing, which is becoming popular as a means to offload tasks from aging 32-bit central processors, or to move processing closer to the sensor for reducing noise induced between the sensor and processor.
Microchip's dsPIC DSCs combine the high performance of a 16-bit Flash microcontroller with the computation and throughput capabilities of a digital signal processor (DSP). The single-instruction-stream MCU and its robust set of peripherals deal with fast interrupt handling chores while the DSP handles the high-computation activities.
The dsPIC30F3012/3013 are able to operate from 2.5 to 5.5 volts, which is valuable for noise immunity or minimizing voltage translation logic. Microchip's Enhanced Flash self-programming capability permits remote upgrades to the Flash program memory, allowing code revisions in end-users' applications.
The 24 Kbytes Flash program memory can withstand typically 100,000 erase/write cycles and has 40-plus years of data retention over a wide operating voltage and temperature range. The devices also incorporate two Kbytes of SRAM and one Kbyte of high-endurance EEPROM data memory.
Peripheral functions on the chips include a 12-bit analog-to-digital converter with up to 10 signal channels and 200K samples-per-second; three 16-bit Timers; both SPI and I2C interfaces and up to two UARTs (1 UART on dsPIC30F3012)
All of the dsPIC30F DSCs use the same MPLAB Integrated Development Environment (IDE) shared by Microchip's PIC microcontroller family, and are supported by Microchip's development systems, including: MPLAB C30 C Compiler, MPLAB SIM 30 Software Simulator, MPLAB ICD 2 In-Circuit Debugger, MPLAB ICE 4000 In-Circuit Emulator and MPLAB Visual Device Initializer.
The dsPIC30F3012 and dsPIC30F3013 are available now for general sampling and volume production. Pricing for the dsPIC30F3012 is $4.38 each in 10,000-unit quantities, and the dsPIC30F3013 is $5.11 each in 10,000-unit quantities. The dsPIC30F3012 is available in 18 pin DIP or 18 pin SOIC while the dsPIC30F3013 comes in 28 pin SPDIP or SOIC, and 44 pin QFN.