Small footprint, big control

02 June 2009

The C8051T606 reduces BOM, increases design efficiency and flexibility.
The C8051T606 reduces BOM, increases design efficiency and flexibility.

World’s smallest MCU offers integrated voltage monitor and precision oscillator for space constrained applications.

Claiming to be the world’s smallest microcontroller, the C8051T606 8-bit mixed-signal MCU from Silicon Laboratories provides functional density for programmable embedded systems in a 2 x 2 mm2 footprint. The CPU enables design flexibility, and the integration of a voltage monitor and precision oscillator make the C8051T606 suitable for space-constrained applications such as portable consumer products and accessories, gateways, and LED lighting.

The C8051T606 offers integrated on-chip hardware peripherals giving customers design flexibility while reducing system complexity and cost. For example, the hardware implementation of I2C and UART on-chip leaves valuable code space for customer application code unlike competing solutions that require a software implementation of these features, wasting code space and CPU MIPs. An integrated 24.5 MHz precision internal oscillator and flexible UART baud rate generator allow UART communications over the full temperature and supply voltage range without the addition of a crystal. This saves cost, board space, and increases reliability.

Additionally, with a 25 MHz CPU, the C8051T606 offers the highest level of processing power in its class, enabling real-time control, high-speed serial communication, fast interrupt servicing, and real time conversion between two different communications ports. The CPU combined with the Programmable Counter Array (PCA) also allows a customer to implement proprietary and custom interface protocols without requiring an ASIC.

The C8051T606's small footprint does not limit a customer's design flexibility; in fact, the high level of integrated functionality enables customers to also do the following:
*Implement UART- I2C bridges without relying on slower and less reliable software implementations.
*Perform brightness control, colour mixing and thermal management required for LED lighting.
*Efficiently implement a system supervisor solution in applications that need warning of low power supply to safely shutdown or switch to battery backup.

The C8051T606's comparator has the unique capability to select multiple inputs with a software controlled multiplexer enabling it to monitor more than one voltage. The on-chip voltage supply monitor ensures the MCU is operating with sufficient supply voltage without the addition of an off-chip supervisor reducing the cost and footprint of the solution.

"Silicon Labs offers small footprint MCU solutions that don't compromise on important features and performance, providing customers tangible benefits in the form of system cost savings, reduced complexity and improved design flexibility," said Mark Thompson, vice president of Silicon Laboratories. "The C8051T606 is the industry's smallest 8-bit MCU, packing a powerful mixed signal feature set into a very small footprint."

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