MCU delivers ‘best-in-class’ temperature sensing accuracy, according to Silicon Laboratories

The latest family of high-performance 8-bit microcontrollers (MCUs) from Silicon Laboratories feature the company’s 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 mix of integrated high-performance analogue peripherals and a very fast 8051 CPU in a compact package, the C8051F39x/7x MCU family provides a 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 behaviour shifts over temperature for on-board 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 oC) without the need for calibration. Providing five times higher accuracy than competing in-class MCUs, the C8051F39x/7x family has been designed to improve temperature compensation routines, resulting in better end-product reliability. In addition, the temperature sensor reduces manufacturing cost by eliminating the need for the factory calibration step required by most competing MCUs.

The C8051F39x/7x MCUs are more than 30 percent smaller than usual, making them suitable for space-constrained applications such as optical transceiver modules. The MCU family”s high level of integration eliminates the need for external components such as a temperature sensor, a crystal, a differential analogue-to-digital converter (ADC), a voltage reference and two digital-to-analogue converters (DACs), further reducing bill-of-materials (BOM) cost and the PCB footprint.

The C8051F39x/7x MCUs are based on a patented, pipeline 8051 core that provides 2.5x faster CPU performance (up to 50 MIPS) than competing devices. 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. Support for four interrupt priorities allows fast interrupt handling for real-time applications.

Addressing the industry need for low-power operation and green energy compliance, these MCUs have been designed to consume an ultra-low 160 µA/MHz in active mode, enabling up to an 80 percent power savings compared to competing devices.

The 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.


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