Scaling down its ColdFire microcontrollers allowed Freescale to improve performance and add features while also lowering its price. Look for mobile devices to get extended battery life and touch-to-awaken convenience by switching to Freescale's ColdFire+ microcontrollers. R.C.J.
Freescale Semiconductor has capitalized on its unique thin-film storage (TFS) technology for the 90-nanometer node, scaling down its ColdFire processors to the 90-nm node, also—over a four-fold shrink to just five millimeters square for under a dollar. The new ColdFire+ family includes 40 new 32-bit MCUs with ultra-low power requirements for long battery life, integrated analog converters, touch pad sensing, display support, cyber security accelerators and TFS that can be configured as either flash or EEPROM. FlexMemory is nonvolatile storage based on Freescale's nanocrystalline thin-film floating gate memory cells that enable write speeds as fast as 100 microseconds and up to 4.4 million write/erase cycles over the full voltage range of 1.71-to-3.6 volts. Freescale also claims its power consumption is the lowest in the industry at 150 microAmps per MHz, with stop currents under 500 nanoamps and wake-up times under four microseconds from 10 different low-power modes. When the touchpad sensing capability is used, the ColdFire+ processors can be awakened with a touch even from the lowest power modes in just four microseconds, which appears instantaneous to mobile device users yet extends battery life.
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