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NEC Electronics Introduces 8-Bit Microcontrollers With Integrated Constant High-Current Drivers

NEC Electronics today introduced a new 8-bit All Flash™ general-purpose microcontroller (MCU), the µPD78F8025, with integrated constant high-current drivers, and 32 kilobytes (KB) of flash memory, which expands the μPD78F8024 product line. The new device is suitable in applications such as home electric cookers, battery chargers, and light-emitting diode (LED) lighting. Based on the µPD78F8024 MCU, an NEC Electronics’ all flash 78K0/KB2 MCU with integrated constant high-current drivers, the µPD78F8025 has expanded memory of 32KB to meet increasing software requirements.

NEC Electronics’ new µPD78F8025 MCU features: (1) integration of an All Flash MCU and constant current driver in a single-chip for smaller board space and fewer off-chip components; (2) NEC Electronics’ All Flash MCU with an A/D convertor, and I2C and UART interfaces, offering precise sensing and flexible communication interface; and (3) built-in current drivers with protection circuits for efficient and highly reliable drive systems. Both the new µPD78F8025 and µPD78F8024 devices offer higher performance in a compact single-chip design.

Recently, due to their small profiles, lower power consumption and longer life, LEDs have been used increasingly in many lighting systems such as general lighting for home and office, indoor/outdoor signs and displays, and backlight systems in LCD panels. Most systems are designed with separate MCUs and discrete components, such as transistor diodes and voltage control driver ICs. Manufacturers are concerned about performance, power consumption and increasing compact board design. To address these concerns, NEC Electronics introduced the µPD78F8024 device last year, combining its low-power 78K0/KB2 MCUs, with constant current drivers, and following the success of the µPD78F8024 MCU, the new µPD78F8025 expands the flash memory to 32KB to meet the increasing software requirement.

Key features of the μPD78F8024 and μPD78F8025 solutions:

(1) Integration of an All Flash MCU and constant current driver in a single chip

Both chips integrate NEC Electronics’ 78K0/KB2 MCU and a 4-channel constant current driver in a single flat package. The μPD78F8024 and μPD78F8025 chips merge two components into one, providing approximately a 10-percent board space savings and making system development easier.

(2) More precise control of multiple functions

Both the μPD78F8024 and μPD78F8025 devices have several interfaces, such as an I2C and UART, offering flexibility to communicate with other components. The on-chip 10-bit A/D converter can be used in light sensing, temperature sensing and fine-grained control of a power supply. The on-chip flash memory makes it easy to save any system-control or user data.

(3) Built-in constant current control circuits and integrated circuit protection

In addition to constant-current circuits, the chips integrate protection circuits such as over-current, thermal shutdown and voltage lockout to improve power control, efficiency and reliability of the overall system.

(4) Integrates buck/boost converter

Both the μPD78F8024 and μPD78F8025 chips can be used in voltage booster topology or buck topology, giving flexibility to designers to construct optimal systems.

NEC Electronics sees these chips as the first in a series of new power-control devices that can provide development of compact and energy-efficient LED lighting systems and other applications, and plans to market them actively. A full evaluation kit is also available, along with comprehensive development tools.

More information about NEC Electronics’ µPD78F8024 and µPD78F8025 MCUs can be found at http://www.am.necel.com/micro/applications/lighting.html.

Pricing and Availability

Samples of NEC Electronics’ μPD78F8025 device are available now, starting at US$5 per unit. Mass production is slated to begin in 2010, with expected monthly mass production of 4,000,000 units. (Pricing and availability are subject to change without notice.)

About NEC Electronics

NEC Electronics Corporation (TOKYO: 6723) specializes in semiconductor products encompassing advanced technology solutions for the high-end computing and broadband networking markets, system solutions for the mobile handset, PC peripheral, automotive and digital consumer markets, and multi-market solutions for a wide range of customer applications. NEC Electronics Corporation has 24 subsidiaries worldwide including NEC Electronics America, Inc. (www.am.necel.com) and NEC Electronics (Europe) GmbH (www.eu.necel.com). For additional information about NEC Electronics worldwide, visit www.necel.com.

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