SST's single-chip controller targets mobile apps - Embedded.com

SST’s single-chip controller targets mobile apps

The SST79LF008 controller from Silicon Storage Technology (SST) integrates 8 Mbits of LPC Firmware Flash and a mobile platform controller for human input devices.

SST's Mobile Platform Controller adds to its line of SuperFlash-based BIOS solutions and helps designers reduce system cost, enhance reliability and increase security.

The single-chip controller also features an Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI)-compatible embedded controller for power management and system configuration controls.

The controller delivers higher performance than a standard 8051 microcontroller and enables significantly higher efficiency. Utilizing SST’s proprietary SuperFlash technology, the SST79LF008 features an 8-Mbit LPC Firmware Flash and an SST-enhanced high-performance 8051 microcontroller core with three or six-clock machine cycle and 33-MHz max operating clock frequency.

An SST three-wire Alternate LPC (aLPC) interface allows for rapid factory programming of the entire flash memory with Auto Address Increment Mode (AAI).

The 8 Mbit on-chip shared SuperFlash memory in the controller provides storage for system BIOS as well as keyboard and embedded controller firmware. The 4-KByte sectors and 64-KByte blocks allow flexible erase capabilities. All standard LPC Firmware memory functions are supported in addition to advanced features such as LPC 1.1 multi-byte read/write protocols.

Enhanced security
For increased security, the SST79LF008 features a 4-KByte secure area with lock-down capability that can be unlocked in hardware only. System software utilizes these advanced security features by selectively restricting access to different blocks of the flash memory, and protecting the flash memory from accidental or malicious code modifications.

The on-chip integration of the microcontroller core and firmware flash memory enables notebook PC designers to implement cryptographic BIOS flash protection mechanisms in embedded controller firmware.

The on-chip keyboard controller modules in the SST79LF008 offer a number of features for the management of human input devices. The device includes an industry standard 8042 compatible host interface, matrix keyboard scanner, and three generic PS/2 ports for internal pointing device, external keyboard and mouse.

Through the integrated SMBus, ADC, DAC, PWM and other ACPI embedded controller modules, SST’s Mobile Platform Controller can manage thermal sensors, the CPU fan, platform power planes as well as battery usage and charging operation.

The expanded set of configurable LPC I/O host interfaces (one 8042 style interface, two ACPI style interfaces, and one mailbox interface) eliminates synchronization problems in system driver communication with the embedded controller firmware. The device’s GPIOs provide system wake-up capability, removing design limitations imposed by dedicated wake-up inputs, common with competing solutions.

Pricing and availability
The SST79LF008 is available now in both LQFP and TFBGA 176-pin packages priced at $3.50 in 10K unit quantities. More information is available at www.sst.com.

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