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New Freescale RS08 Low-End 8-bit Core

By Bill Giovino
Mar 13, 2006 - 8:52:00 PM

The Freescale RS08 is a simplified version of the HCS08 core. The core on these 6-pin and 8-pin devices is the size of a grain of pepper.
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AUSTIN, Texas - March 13, 2006 - Freescale Semiconductor is introducing the Freescale RS08, an ultra-low-end 8-bit microcontroller (MCU) core to meet demand for smaller, more cost-effective solutions. Ideal for traditional electro-mechanical designs that require additional functionality, the new core is designed to allow increased integration while staying at a low price point.

New Freescale RS08 Low-End 8-bit Core
The low cost Freescale RS08 ultra-low-end core is a simplified version of its higher-performance HCS08 architecture. The core is 30 percent smaller and features a condensed instruction set, allowing compact and efficient coding of most embedded applications in small-pin-count devices with less than 16K of flash memory.

The inexpensive Freescale RS08 8-pin microcontroller clearly competes with successful 8-pin and 6-pin microcontrollers from Microchip and ZiLOG.

While Microchip, Atmel, Renesas and STMicroelectronics aggressively market their 8-bit microcontrollers, despite the introduction of the RS08 Freescale seems to be losing focus on 8-bit microcontrollers.

As 8-bit microcontrollers move into more compact battery-powered systems, optimized power-efficient cores become crucial to the end product's success. The Freescale RS08 core is a stripped-down version of their S08 microcontroller core and targets emerging compact battery powered applications, replacing simple electro-mechanical devices that are better served by simplified microcontroller cores.

The Freescale RS08 core is 30% smaller than the S08 core. Differences between the RS08 and the S08 core include:

  • A 14-bit address bus,
  • One global interrupt instead of vectored interrupts,
  • Eliminated the multiply and divide instructions,
  • Arithmetic shifts have been removed (logical shifts are rotates are retained),
  • A simplified condition code register,
  • A shadow program counter has been added,
  • Short and Tiny addressing modes have been added,
  • A paging addressing mode has been added

Freescale RS08 Core Registers
Freescale RS08 Core Registers
Freescale is also developing a new version of the CodeWarrior™ Development Studio to support the RS08 core. The RS08 is the starting point of Freescale's new performance roadmap that will provide completely compatible peripherals and tools from 8- to 32-bit.

"We have focused on providing 8-bit solutions that are an easy-to-use alternative to simple logic," said Mike McCourt, Vice President and General Manager of Freescale’s Microcontroller Division. "We are surrounding the silicon with a support environment that delivers the training, tools and software that will help accelerate our customers’ time to revenue."

The RS08 uses the same internal bus structure as the HCS08, which allows integration of HCS08 peripherals, memory, and debug hardware.

Freescale plans to introduce the first family of RS08-based microcontrollers in the Spring of 2006. Preliminary pricing starts at under 50¢ (USD) resale.

About Freescale Semiconductor
Freescale Semiconductor, Inc. (formerly known as Motorola Semiconductor) is a global leader in the design and manufacture of embedded semiconductors for the automotive, consumer, industrial, networking and wireless markets. Freescale became a publicly traded company in July 2004 after more than 50 years as part of Motorola, Inc. The company is based in Austin, Texas, and has design, research and development, manufacturing or sales operations in more than 30 countries. Freescale, a member of the S&P 500®, is one of the world’s largest semiconductor companies with 2005 sales of $5.8 billion (USD)

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New Freescale RS08 Low-End 8-bit Core

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