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Specialist semiconductor distributor Silica has announced a comprehensive design support package for a new range of highly compact, ultra-competitive 8-bit Flash microcontrollers. The Nitron Family of 8-bit HC08 Microcontrollers are the smallest and most economic Flash-enabled 68HC08 microcontrollers ever produced by Motorola and promise to reduce the cost and complexity of a host of price sensitive consumer and industrial applications. In addition to readily accessible technical assistance via a team of manufacturer-trained field application engineers (FAEs), Silica is offering designers free-of-charge development tools that will speed time to market.

The new Nitron 68HC908QT and QY devices combine space saving 8 or 16 pin packaging with a powerful set of on-chip peripherals. In addition to up to 4K of fast, flexible Flash, these components offer the option of a high speed, 4-channel, 8-bit ADC. A Timer Interface Module common to Motorola's entire HC08 family is also incorporated. Such a powerful feature is rare on microcontrollers of this size; it supports much faster and more accurate timing functions than are possible using software routines, and greatly simplifies system development.

Ease-of-use is a key characteristic of the Nitron family. As with all of Motorola's 68HC08 microcontrollers, the new devices employ a C-optimised architecture. Easy upward migration to Motorola's existing family of industry-leading flash microcontrollers is assured.

"With pricing as low as $0.70 per unit, the Nitron family sets a new industry benchmark for performance, size and value for money in Flash-enabled microcontrollers," says Miriam Murphy, Silica's PBG director for high end products. "To ensure that developers can derive the full benefits of these devices quickly and efficiently, Silica's FAEs are on hand to provide design-in and application assistance. We are also offering customers demonstration kits and a special edition of the CodeWarrior Development Studio, free-of-charge (limited availability). As a result, design teams working with Silica can achieve significant reductions in time to market."

The 68HC908QT4 demonstration kit incorporates an evaluation board that features a 4K Flash QT 8-pin microcontroller, and offers the opportunity to understand the new Nitron series quickly using tutorial and demonstration code. The Metrowerks CodeWarrior Development Studio Special Edition supports full chip simulation and Flash programming, automatic initialisation and driver code generation, and an assembler, linker, 4K limited C-compiler and a C-source level debugger. Other design tools available for the Nitron family include a range of sophisticated emulators.

Silica, a division of Avnet Electronics Marketing EMEA (Europe, Middle-East, Africa), is a highly specialised semiconductor distributor. Silica has sales & marketing offices throughout Europe and provides a broad portfolio of semiconductor products and solutions from world leading suppliers to all market segments in the electronics industry. The company's Web site is located at

Serving customers in 63 countries, Avnet Electronics Marketing is the largest operating group of Phoenix, Ariz.-based Avnet, Inc. (NYSE:AVT). Avnet Electronics Marketing markets, inventories and adds value to electronic components and provides world-class supply-chain management and engineering design services. Avnet, with fiscal year 2002 sales of $8.9 billion (year ended June 28, 2002), is the world's largest distributor of semiconductors, interconnect, passive and electromechanical components, embedded subsystems and enterprise computing products from leading manufacturers.

Press contact:

Eileen Preston

European Marcom Director, Silica

Tel: +44 1628 606284

Mobile: + 44 7976 606005


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