CIRCUITS and DEVICES
10 May 2014
Honey, I Shrunk the MCU
Billed as the world's smallest and most energy-efficient ARM-based MCU, the new Kinetis KL03 from Freescale Semiconductor
( www.freescale.com) builds on the older KL02, adding more features,
advanced integration, and easier implementation (a ROM-based boot
loader allows factory programming and only firmware upgrades) that is
stuffed into a 1.2 x 2.0 mm package. This makes it 15 percent smaller
than the KL02 and 35 percent smaller than other competing 32-bit
chips. The product is aimed at space-sensitive applications in
consumer, healthcare, and industrial markets, including Internet of
Things devices. Among other things, the device integrates a 48 MHz
Cortex-M0+ core (1.17V to 3.6V operation), 32 KB of Flash memory,
and 2 KB of RAM, 8K ROM, a 12-bit ADC, and an internal voltage
reference for high ADC accuracy. It also features a secure real time
clock and timers for applications including motor control. Samples are
available now, with full production scheduled for June. Buy 100,000 of
them, and they'll run $0.75 each. Prices are likely to be considerably
higher in smaller quantities. ;
More Noise, Please
If one of the things you like about your electric or hybrid car is the pleasant lack of engine noise, don't get too used to it. Toshiba ( www.toshiba-components.com) recently announced the TB2909FNG — a
single-chip amplifier designed to add the sound of an internal combustion engine to EVs and HEVs. Yes,
you read that right. You see, in 2011 the European Commission adopted a measure stating that
manufacturers shall be required to install an "acoustic vehicle alerting system" (AFAS) in these hybrids,
that the sound should be variable to reflect vehicle behavior, and that they should sound similar to a
vehicle of the same category equipped with an internal combustion engine. It is, of course, intended to
enhance safety and prevent drivers from
running over cyclists, pedestrians, billy goats,
and whatever else strays into the roadway.
Even though the requirement has no
legal status in the US, it is not clear that
imports won't come equipped that way, that
it will be simple to disable the devices, or
that the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration won't decide it's a great idea.
In any event, the TB2909FNG will run on 6V
to 16V, delivering a maximum output of 5W.
(Is this enough to simulate engine noise for a
Tesla springing from 0 to 60 in 4. 2 seconds?)
Total harmonic distortion is rated at 0.08
percent, so you should be able to detect
those ersatz valves pinging. ;
; Toshiba's new power amplifier, designed to create
simulated engine noise.
; Freescale's KL03
MCU — smaller than a
dimple in a golf ball.
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