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MCS 96 Microcontroller Overview
Intel® MCS 96 microcontroller family of products are popular for 16-bit embedded microcontrollers. The 8XC196 products are found in a variety of embedded applications. The high-performance register to register architecture is well suited for complex real-time control applications such as hard disk drives, modems, printers, pattern recognition and motor control. Our broad portfolio of 8XC196 microcontroller products has been designed to meet your varying peripheral, memory size, addressability and performance requirements.

The 8XC196 family shares a common core architecture which is register based. The MCS 96 microcontroller register architecture eliminates the accumulator bottleneck and enables fast context switching. All devices have bit, byte, word and some 32-bit operations. The table below summarizes the capture and generation of high speed signals on the HSIO and EPA.

OPERATION 16 MHz 20 MHz 25 MHz 50 MHz
HSI (High speed input) 1.125 us 900 ns    
HSO (High speed output) 1 us 800 ns    
EPA (Event processor array) 250 ns 200 ns 160 ns 80 ns

The 8XC196 Bus Controller features programmable wait state generation. 8- or 16-bit bus width and features a HOLD/HLDA protocol for multiprocessor systems. The 8XC196NP/NU have dynamically selectable multiplexed/demultiplexed bus and a chip select unit.

The MCS 96 microcontroller product family has three distinct product lines. The most recent products form the EPA Family. This family of devices has the advanced peripherals which include a flexible input/output system and EPA (Event Processor Array). The HSIO Family consists of devices that have the High Speed Input/Output sub-system. The Motor Control Family is comprised of devices that support motor control applications. This family also uses the EPA system for I/O control.

16-bit CPU High Performance. Up to 50 MHz.
On-chip memory Low cost. Cost-effective solution
Register-to-register architecture Efficient. More compact code than accumulator-based architecture, which allows more efficient use of memory
Unlimited usage. Minimum of 232 registers can be directly addressed at any time
Three operand instructions Create efficient code. Preserve the source data
Bus controller features programmable wait-state generation and 8- or 16-bit bus widths Economical. Efficient usage of wide variety of memory and peripheral devices
Flat addressability of large register files Fewer barriers. Avoids artificial limitation of barriers of segmented files
Three distinct product lines:
- Event Processor Array
- High Speed Input/Output
- Motion Control
Advanced. Peripherals include configurable input/output ports and modular event processor array structure
Speed. Devices with high-speed input FIFO and output system
Waveform. Uses waveform generator and event processor array system for input/output

MCS 296 Microcontroller Overview
Intel's MCS 296 microcontroller is the latest addition to the Intel MCS 96 microcontroller family. The 80296SA is performance enhanced from the 8XC196NP and 8XC196NU controllers while maintaining binary code compatibility. Hence, the 80296SA can be dropped into a 8XC196NP/NU socket and immediately boost system performance.

The 80296SA exhibits improved math performance over previous architectures making it suitable for embedded digital signal processing and feedback control systems. The 80296SA can perform 12.5 DSP MIPS and 16 general purpose MIPS. The 80296SA has 512 bytes of register RAM and 2 Kbytes of code/data RAM. The 80296SA utilizes the same peripherals as the 8XC196NP/NU. Additionally, like the 8XC196NU, the 80296SA includes a phase-lock loop. With the phase lock loop, an external clock drives the device at one half or one quarter the maximum internal clock frequency. Therefore, the system is designed for lower frequency external clock or oscillators while maintaining the maximum internal operating frequency. Enhancements to the chip select unit, the interrupts, and the timers were also implemented. The windowing scheme was enhanced to include the windowing of some external memory locations for direct addressing.

The 80296SA is available in 100L QFP which is pin compatible with the 8XC196NU/NP for ease of upgradability. For existing 8XC196NU/NP users, the 80296SA provides an easy performance upgrade which translates to faster time to market. For customers who are looking for 16 bit microcontroller with an extra boost to performance, the 80296SA provides the performance edge required at an affordable price.

50 MHz Operation Higher Performance
Binary-code compatible with Intel's 8xC196NU/NP microcontrollers Protect existing software investment
Pipelined architecture/reduced execution states Up to 5 times faster than the 8xC196KC20
6 Mbyte of address space More memory headroom for high level language compilation
2 Kbytes code/data RAM High speed code memory, more space to store data
40-bit accumulator Added signal processing capability
Multiply and accumulate executes in 80 ns using 40-bit hardware accumulator Useful in signal processing and feedback control system
512 bytes register RAM Fast data manipulation within register space

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