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Microcontrollers combine data transmission security with power management

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article image Features 128 bytes of RAM.

MICROCHIP Technology Inc. has released a Flash, 8-bit PIC microcontroller with a 3-channel, transponder analogue front end and an integrated Keeloq cryptographic peripheral, the PIC16F639. The combination of this new transponder analogue front end, Keeloq peripheral and low power consumption via nanoWatt Technology provides a total solution for passive-keyless-entry (PKE) and other wireless authentication applications.

Designers of wireless security systems and authentication products require an integrated solution for communication, security, and reliable low-power operation. The new PIC16F639 microcontroller meets these needs by providing engineers with the three-channel low-frequency (LF) transponder analogue front end, the Keeloq cryptographic peripheral, nanoWatt Technology and the power of a PIC microcontroller, all in a small 20-pin SSOP package.

"Microchip is building on its technology leadership in microcontrollers, analogue and secure-data ICs by combining our PIC microcontroller core with an analogue front end and the proven Keeloq security technology," said vice president of Microchip's Security, Microcontroller and Technology Development Division, Steve Drehobl. "This new microcontroller provides a complete solution for PKE and authentication systems."

Applications for the PIC16F639 include - automotive (PKE, tyre-pressure monitoring systems), authentication (intelligent RFID, property and identity, hospital systems, computer access), security systems (door locks, gate openers, doggie doors, remote sensors and their intercommunication) and other general purpose applications.

The three-channel transponder analogue front end provides bi-directional LF communication, commonly used in PKE and RFID applications. Keeloq technology is based on a proprietary, non-linear encryption algorithm that creates a unique transmission on every use, rendering code capture and resend schemes useless.

Features of the PIC16F639 include:

* Precision 8MHz internal oscillator with software clock switching

* Up to 3.5 Kbytes of Flash program memory

* 128 bytes of RAM

* 256 bytes of EEPROM

* Two analogue comparators

* One 8-bit timer, one 16-bit timer.

NanoWatt low-power and reliability features include:

* Ultra low power wakeup (ULPW)

* Software-selectable brownout reset (BOR)

* Programmable low voltage detect (PLVD)

* Wakeup reset (WUR) feature

* Enhanced watchdog timer (EWDT).

LF analogue front end features include:

* Three channels for omni-directional 125kHz wireless communications

* 3mV input sensitivity

* Programmable antenna tuning

* Supports battery-less operation.

The PIC16F639 is supported by Microchip's world-class development tools, including - the MPLAB Integrated Development Environment (IDE), MPLAB ICE 2000 in-circuit emulator, MPLAB PM3 universal device programmer, PICSTART Plus low-cost development system, MPLAB ICD 2 in-circuit debugger/programmer and the new PICkit 2 Starter Kit (expected to be available in August). In addition, a complete PIC16F639-based Passive Keyless Entry Reference Design (part APGRD001) is expected to be available later in 2005.

The new PIC microcontroller is available today for sampling in a 20-pin SSOP package.

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