New MCUs deliver greater processing power plus floating point hardware support

Fujitsu Semiconductor Europe (FSEU) has introduced the new FM4 family of 32-bit RISC microcontrollers, which are based on the ARM Cortex-M4F processor core. The MCUs are designed for applications that require advanced, high-speed computing performance – ranging from general-purpose inverters, servomotors, PLCs and other industrial equipment to energy-efficient, inverter-based consumer appliances.

The new FM4 family consists of a total of 84 MCUs and samples will be made available from July. The devices build on Fujitsu’s popular FM3 family, offering increased computational performance, enhanced peripheral functionality and an easy-to-use design.

FM4 MCUs in the MB9B560R/460R/360R/160R series can operate from 3 V or 5 V power supplies, and offer a range of memory options that includes SRAM, NOR flash, NAND flash and SDRAM. The MCUs feature an ultra-wide bus for on-chip flash memory that enables read access with no CPU wait state, so as to accelerate processing and reduce power requirements.

The Cortex-M4 core incorporates DSP and FPU functions that provide the power required for advanced computation. Algorithms for operating on-chip flash memory have been redesigned for greater speed and lower power consumption. The current required to run the real-time clock (RTC) and power the device via the dedicated VBAT pin can be limited to approximately 1.5 µA, making these high-performance MCUs useful even for standby power-conscious applications. The devices support a total of 100,000 rewrite cycles and data retention of up to 20 years.

The FM4 family includes new peripheral functionality and enhances existing functions. The analogue circuitry in previous versions has now been redesigned. New trimming functions deliver internal oscillator accuracy of ±2 percent. The D/A converter can achieve 12-bit resolution and the 12-bit A/D converter operates at twice the speed of previous versions. The multifunction timer for three-phase motors also features a number of enhanced functions, such as support for asymmetric PWM waveform output and multiple A/D start triggers.

To accelerate SPI communications, clock rates of up to 20 MHz are supported, and MCUs can also support variable data lengths of up to 16 bits. Redesigned communications IP with DSTC (Descriptor System data Transfer Controller) improves high-speed serial data communications, and DSTC functionality also reduces the CPU’s workload and software overhead.

Functional safety is becoming increasingly important for industrial and consumer applications. To support software design in this field and facilitate certification, FM4 microcontrollers feature a range of hardware functions such as ECC (Error Correction Code) Flash, CRC and MPU (Memory Protection Unit).

The new FM4 series versions will be packaged in LQFPs and BGAs, with bulk volumes available later this summer. The FM4 line-up will be expanded throughout 2013, with new devices featuring lower pin counts, higher-capacity flash, Ethernet MAC for networked automation devices, and I2S/HDMI-CEC for consumer applications.

Later this year, Fujitsu Semiconductor plans to release the FM0+ family of microcontrollers for low-cost, ultra-low power applications. Since the FM4, FM3, and FM0+ families are equipped with the latest Cortex-M series cores, users can select products optimised for a very wide range of applications, with transitioning between device types supported by the compatibility of the instruction sets.

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