Microchip Technology Launches MEC14XX Family of Highly Configurable Low-Power Embedded Controllers

By CIOReview | Tuesday, September 29, 2015
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FREMONT, CA: Microchip Technology launches the MEC14XX family of highly configurable low-power embedded controllers customized to the needs of x86-based notebook and tablet platform designers. The family of MEC14XX device supports both the Intel's new Enhanced Serial Peripheral Interface (eSPI) and the existing Low Pin Count interface (LPC).

In order to ease the mobile computing industry's transition to the new interface and lower-voltage designs Microchip's MEC14XX family also offers a flexible arrangement, which lets multiple I/O signals to be configured to support either 3.3V or 1.8V. This reduces the system bill-of-materials cost by eliminating the need for external voltage translators.

The aforementioned features of the MEC14XX family also allow for a seamless migration of intellectual property (IP) reuse across multiple x86 computing platform architectures, such as Intel Atom, Intel iCore and AMD-based systems. 

The MEC14XX devices are presented with an option of 128 KB, 160 KB or 192 KB of closely coupled SRAM for code and data that loads from SPI-flash.  Designers can leverage the host SPI-flash for non-volatile EC firmware storage, as a cost-effective system solution.  The additional option of either the MEC140X LPC interface devices or the MEC1418, which supports both the LPC and eSPI interfaces, allows the designer to select the most cost-effective device for a particular platform and enables manufacturers to preserve their investments as the industry transitions.  All members of the Microchip MEC14XX family are pin and register compatible.

"Microchip's work with Intel in development and co-validation has helped ensure that the new eSPI interface will be available on schedule in future generations of Intel platforms," says Ahmad Zaidi VP/GM, Embedded IP Subsystems and Chipsets Group, Intel.