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Freescale helps energize the portable device market

Cost-saving 8-bit MCUs extend battery life and ease the development of embedded applications with LCDs

AUSTIN, Texas – Nov. 19, 2009 – Freescale Semiconductor is expanding its 8-bit microcontroller (MCU) portfolio with devices ideal for personal diagnostic and portable health care products that require low-power operation and advanced display capabilities. An extension of its liquid crystal display (LCD) S08LL microcontroller (MCU) families, the advanced S08LL64 allows engineers to quickly develop dependable, flexible and low-cost medical, industrial and consumer devices.

The S08LL64 MCUs are well-suited for applications such as glucose meters and pulse oximeters due to their best-in-class standby power consumption, enabling devices to continue functioning for approximately six years using two AAA batteries. The LL64 can be powered down to 1.8V and still operate at 20MHz, offering high performance even at low voltage levels for battery-operated applications. The LL64 devices enable smaller PCB designs with higher segment count – offering up to 288 segments on an 80-pin package – which also makes them a good fit for portable consumer and metering applications.

Freescale’s broad portfolio of software-configurable LCD devices offers pin-compatibility options and shared peripherals to enhance design flexibility. With the addition of the LL64 devices, the S08LL family provides flash memory options from 8K to 64K. The LL64 MCUs are pin-compatible with the LL16 family and share peripherals with RS08 and S08 families, enabling a seamless transition from one device to the next.

“The growing number of portable applications with LCD displays is driving the need for longer battery life and more memory options,” said Aiden Mitchell, director of industrial and multi-market microcontrollers at Freescale. “Freescale’s LL64 MCU family meets this need and widens the range of cost-effective, ultra-low-power solutions within Freescale’s extensive LCD MCU portfolio, giving customers tremendous freedom of choice in addressing their application needs.”

The S08LL family eliminates the need for separate display driver ICs for standard 3V and 5V LCD glass applications. On-chip LCD drivers support up to eight backplanes, enabling developers to drive more segments with fewer pins, reducing system cost and design complexity. The S08LL family supports an LCD blink mode that operates without waking up the controller core, which helps reduce overall power consumption.

MC9S08LL64 device features include: 

  • Two ultra-low-power stop modes
  • New low-power run and wait modes
  • Six microsecond wake-up time
  • Ultra-low-power oscillator
  • Configurable 8 x 36 or 4 x 40 segment display
  • Internal charge pump
  • Software selectable frontplane and backplane

About the Tower System
The modular, cost-effective Freescale Tower System development platform provides a comprehensive and customizable embedded design environment that reduces development and final system costs by eliminating the need for additional boards when designing a portfolio of applications. It enables developers to mix and match MCU and peripheral boards to create reconfigurable development platforms that suit their design needs. Interchangeable expansion cards promote reuse of hardware across multiple architectures, which help speed time to market. The modular design scales down overall costs, while providing an inexpensive entry point. Additional information is available at

Tower System features:

  • Modular evaluation platform with easy-to-use, reconfigurable, open-source hardware
  • Customizable system with off-the-shelf modules available individually or as kits
  • Single MCU/MPU module serves as the main control board and functional development board
  • Modules plug into backplane boards
  • Connections on all modules are through PCB edge connectors

LCD design made easy
Freescale S08LL family MCUs are backed by a comprehensive ecosystem of development tools, reference designs, application notes, software examples and webcasts. The S08LL family devices are supported by a complimentary version of CodeWarrior® Development Studio for Microcontrollers v6.3, an integrated tool suite that supports software development for Freescale’s 8-bit or 32-bit MCUs. Designers can further accelerate application development with the help of the Processor Expert™ tool, an award-winning rapid application development tool in the CodeWarrior tool suite.

To help developers explore the features and capabilities of the S08LL family devices, Freescale offers the TWR-SO8LL64 (the first 8-bit Tower System) and TWR-SO8LL64-KIT evaluation systems.

The S08LL16 and S08LL64 MCUs are included in Freescale’s product longevity program, with assured supply for a minimum of 15 years. See for details.

Pricing and availability
The MC9S08LL36/64 devices are sampling now. Suggested resale pricing (USD) in 10,000-piece quantities starts at $1.96 for the LL36 and $2.31 for the LL64. The TWR-S08LL64 is available at a suggested resale price of $69 (USD). The TWR-S08LL64-KIT (including the S08LL64 MCU module, two elevator boards and an advanced prototyping module) is available at a suggested resale price of $99 (USD).

For more information or to view an overview and demonstration video of Freescale’s S08LL family MCUs, visit

About Freescale Semiconductor
Freescale Semiconductor is a global leader in the design and manufacture of embedded semiconductors for the automotive, consumer, industrial and networking markets. The privately held company is based in Austin, Texas, and has design, research and development, manufacturing or sales operations around the world.

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