Infineon Expands its 16-Bit Microcontroller Offering With New Low Cost Devices; Provides the Industry’s Most Scalable Real-Time Signal Controller Portfolio

Mar 1, 2011 | Technology Media

Neubiberg and Nuremberg, Germany – March 1, 2011 – At the Embedded World Show 2011 in Nuremberg today, Infineon Technologies AG (FSE: IFX / OTCQX: IFNNY) announced additions to its successful 16-bit XE166 Real-Time Signal Controller portfolio to address low-end and ultra low-end industrial applications. The new XE16xL and XE16xU Real-Time Signal Controllers provide 16-bit performance at 8-bit cost, supporting design of cost-effective electric drive systems for energy efficiency and mass market applications. With these products Infineon in particular supports industrial customers seeking to offer solutions over a wide performance and cost range using a common microcontroller platform. Featuring excellent real-time performance, high computing power and optimized peripherals, the new 16-bit devices further broaden the huge application bandwidth of the XE166 16-bit MCU family, reaching from low-cost to high-performance with the industry’s most scalable Real-Time Signal Controller portfolio.

Many manufacturers of electric drives are adding variable speed systems to product portfolios in response to demand for improved energy efficiency. This applies both to low-cost consumer market producers and providers in the high-end segment that are looking to apply technological expertise in innovative solutions for the low-end segment with correspondingly high volumes. With its new XE16xL and XE16xU real-time signal controllers, Infineon is exactly addressing these needs, while the customers will benefit from a high degree of hardware and software reuse with significant cost savings.

The new MCU series aim at cost-efficient motor control units (i.e. 3-phase BLDC motors) which, to date, have mostly been addressed by high-end 8-bit MCUs or low-end DSPs. Typical applications include solar inverters, low-end drives, intelligent sensors (factory and building automation), fitness equipment and home appliances, and low-cost blowers and fans. Performance-wise, the new devices extend Infineon’s 8-bit microcontroller family thanks to an efficient MAC unit for DSP operations, accompanied by a powerful peripheral set.

“With more than 500 million units sold, the Infineon C166 device family sets the standard for 16-bit architectures with the highest aggregate volume share of all available 16-bit devices,” said Peter Schaefer, Vice President and General Manager, Microcontrollers, Infineon Technologies. “The extension to the low-end with new derivates optimized for energy and cost efficient designs further increase the application spectrum of the highly scalable XE166 family.”

Features of the new 16-bit XE16xU and XE16xL series

Key features of the XE16xU and XE16xL derivates include a high DSP performance, a superfast 12-bit A/D converter with up to 19 channels and a conversion time below 1µs and an efficient capture/compare unit (CCU6) to drive any industrial 3-phase motor. The new low-end series from the XE166 family deliver a computing power of up to 80 MIPS, 32KB to 160KB embedded flash, up to 12KB RAM and up to four universal serial interface channels (USICs) which can be configured as UART, LIN, SPI, IIC or IIS. The package offering comprises versions with 38, 48 and 64 pins. All family members of the XE16xU and XE16xL series are opcode and peripheral compatible and thus permit simple scalability and the re-use of existing software.

The main differences between the XE16xL (L for low-end) and XE16xU (U for ultra-low-end) series are the maximum flash capacity (160KB vs. 64KB), the 12 bit A/D converter (up to 19 channels vs. 10 channels), PWM units (two vs. one) and USICs (up to four vs. two). What is more, the XE16xL microcontrollers feature a high-speed MultiCAN module with 2 nodes and 32 message objects.

Complete tool chain

The new XE166 devices are supported by comprehensive development tools and software solutions, which include evaluation boards and application kits, debuggers, compilers and corresponding documentation. In order to provide an easy start for new customers, Infineon puts a specific focus on free development tools and related software. A free complete tool chain including C compiler, debugger and Eclipse-based, easy-to-use Integrated Development Environment (IDE) has been developed in collaboration with Altium. Peripheral configuration software and low-level drivers can be created with DAvE (Digital Application Virtual Engineer). With the DAvE Drive auto-code generator it is possible to generate even the most complex motor control code automatically and quickly. In conjunction with customizable application kits, it is possible, for example, to generate the code for sensorless field-oriented control of a PMSM motor in just 15 minutes.

Prices and Availability

Engineering samples of the new XE166xU and XE166xL series are available, with volume production scheduled for Q3 2011. The XE160FU (TSSOP-38), XE161FU (QFN-48), XE161FL (QFN-48) and XE162FL (QFP-64) are specified for an ambient temperature of -40 °C to 125 °C. Prices are planned to start below 1 Euro for volume orders. A complete tool chain to support the XE166 16-bit microcontroller family is available by Infineon and its partners. Easy Kits are also available at the Infineon distribution partners Arrow, EBV, Rutronik und Silica.

Further information on Infineon’s XE166 families is available at

About Infineon

Infineon Technologies AG, Neubiberg, Germany, offers semiconductor and system solutions addressing three central challenges to modern society: energy efficiency, mobility, and security. In the 2010 fiscal year (ending September 30), the company reported sales of Euro 3.295 billion with approximately 26,650 employees worldwide. With a global presence, Infineon operates through its subsidiaries in the U.S. from Milpitas, CA, in the Asia-Pacific region from Singapore, and in Japan from Tokyo. Infineon is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (ticker symbol: IFX) and in the USA on the over-the-counter market OTCQX International Premier (ticker symbol: IFNNY).

Information Number