Fujitsu Semiconductor today announced the launch of the new FM4 Family of 32-bit general-purpose RISC microcontrollers based on the ARM Cortex-M4 processor core, as well as the new FM0+ family, which utilises the Cortex-M0+ core. Fujitsu plans to start releasing sample quantities of products in these new families in summer 2013. Combined with the current FM3 Family of microcontrollers, the Cortex-M4, M3, and M0+ processor core product group will comprise a broad-based line-up of more than 700 different products, whose consistent architecture and flexibility will now be an even better fit for growing customer needs in the areas of higher performance and lower power consumption.
Fujitsu Semiconductor first released its FM3 Family of 32-bit general-purpose RISC microcontrollers based on the ARM Cortex-M3 processor core in 2010, and has developed 463 products within the line-up to date. While continuing to expand the FM3 Family with new products that feature high-capacity flash memory and lower pin-counts, Fujitsu Semiconductor will be further enhancing its microcontroller line-up from 2013 with the addition of two entirely new families: the FM4 Family and the FM0+ Family. The FM4 Family will cover the high-end product range, featuring higher performance and enhanced functionality, as well as offering a DSP (digital signal processor) and FPU (floating-point unit). The FM0+ Family will cover the low-end product range, featuring products that are more compact and which offer greater energy efficiency and lower leakage current compared to the FM3 Family.
“The market launch of new products featuring the latest three types of Cortex-M processor cores means that customers will not only be able to select products to suit a broader range of applications, but will also be able to utilise the enhanced scalability of each core to smoothly transition from low-end to high-end equipment, or vice versa” said Wolf Fronauer, Manager Embedded Marketing and Application at Fujitsu Semiconductor Europe.
The FM4 Family (new products)
The FM4 Family is based on the Cortex-M4 processor core, which features DSP and FPU functionality not included in the Cortex-M3 core, plus enhancements to the CPU’s overall processing power. Furthermore, while the FPU is a core option, Fujitsu Semiconductor plans to equip all products in the FM4 family with this feature. While maintaining the abundant peripheral functions of the FM3 family, the FM4 family will be further strengthened with the addition of SDRAM and SD card interface functions and an expanded package line-up. The family will also feature a wide range of timers and serial communication functions – all supplied with flash technology, which has a solid track record in automotive applications in particular. In addition to inverter control functions and various communication functions, plus CAN, USB2.0 and Ethernet support, the FM4 Family will also be equipped with high-speed serial communication functions and high-speed, high-performance A/D converters. Such features make these products ideal for motor and network controls in factory automation applications, as well as for inverters and other industrial equipment.
The FM0+ Family (new products)
The FM0+ Family is a product group of energy-efficient models employing a low-power Cortex-M0+ core and featuring the abundant peripheral functions of the FM3 Family, all supplied with flash technology. Compared to the previous Cortex-M0 core, the Cortex-M0+ core achieves a 10% increase in processing performance while reducing power consumption by a third. Nor is it just the core that is power-efficient: since functions that reduce power consumption are built into the microcontrollers, the product line-up in this group is specialized for low-power operation. The FM0+ Family has a target operating current of 70 μA/MHz and a standby current of just 0.7 μA (in RTC mode), which makes the products ideal for instrumentation applications that require low-power consumption – such as battery-operated devices and electronic meters – as well as in a variety of sensor controls.
The FM3 Family (enhancements to existing product line)
Fujitsu Semiconductor originally intended to expand its current line-up of 463 products in the FM3 Family to comprise over 500 products. As development progressed, however, it revised its original estimate upward and now intends to offer a total of 570 products by 2013. Fujitsu will continue to utilize low-power technology – the key characteristic of the FM3 family – to develop new products offering features not in the existing line-up. Fujitsu will add products equipped with more than 1 megabyte of flash memory, as well as low pin-count models with minimal peripheral functions. Fujitsu Semiconductor will thereby offer a range of products that are optimized for applications requiring low power consumption and a large memory – such as A/V equipment, multifunction printers, flow meters and other industrial equipment – as well as for applications that require space-saving technology, such as compact and modular devices.
Aiming to provide optimal solutions for a wide range of customer applications, Fujitsu Semiconductor plans to develop the line-up to include 700 or more industry-leading products within all three of the latest global standard Cortex-M core series.