Embedded Systems/Freescale Microcontrollers

Freescale Semiconductor (formally Motorola Semiconductor Products Sector) spun-off from Motorola in July 2004. Freescale makes many microcontrollers (MCU's) and also a whole host of other devices such as sensors, DSP's and memory, to name a few.

The Freescale Microcontrollers come in 5 families.

  • 6800 descendents: 8 bit or 16 bit
  • 68000 descendents: 32 bit
  • MCORE: 32 bit
  • PowerPC family: 32 bit
  • ARM family: 32 bit. We discuss ARM core Freescale microcontrollers in another chapter, Embedded Systems/ARM Microprocessors.

8-bit MCUs edit

Freescale HCS08 edit

Freescale HC08 edit

There are many variations on the HC08 CPU core; The 68HC908JL8 is one example. the HC908Jl3 offer 256 bytes of RAM (random access memory) and 4K bytes of Flash ROM (Read only memory). The HC08 cores offer a maximum bus speed of 8 MHz, a 20 MHz crystal may be used as the external clock source(as the oscillator is internally divided by 4 to give 8 MHz bus speed). Typical peripheral components of the microcontroller include:

  • Two 16 bit, free running timers.
  • SCI (serial communications interface,(RS232))
  • 12 channel 8-bit Analogue to digital converters (A/D)

The HC08 microcontrollers are usually supplied in 28 pin or 32 pin DIL packages, but can also be obtained in serface-mount SOIC footprints

Freescale HC05 (Legacy) edit

Freescale HC11 (Legacy) edit

16-bit MCUs edit

Freescale HC12 (Legacy) edit

Freescale HCS12 edit

Freescale HC16 edit

32-bit Embedded Processors edit

68k/ColdFire edit

The 68k family and the nearly-binary-compatible ColdFire family are 32 bit processors capable of running Linux.

There is a Debian Linux port to 68k processors with a MMU. A Debian Linux port to ColdFire processors with a MMU is "in progress".

There are several ColdFire chips that, as of 2008, are available for under $5 (in qty 1). Those low-cost chips do not include a MMU, and so cannot run a full version of Linux. w:uClinux runs on chips without a MMU, and has been ported to some ColdFire chips [1] on platforms with at least 1 MB of RAM.

Yes, but does uClinux actually run on a chip that costs less than $5 ?

Most (all?) currently manufactured ColdFire and 68k chips are available only in surface mount packages, not in any DIP package.

M*CORE edit

PowerPC edit

  • First Generation: G1 (601)
  • Second Generation: G2 (603, 603e, 604)
  • Third Generation: G3 (750, 750CX, 750CX3, 750FX, 750GX)
  • Fourth Generation: G4 (7400,7450)

Further reading edit