Farewell to the C167

Aurix and XMC, the new C167

11. April 2018, 9:44 Uhr | Joachim Kroll
Overwiew on Infineon‘s XMC- and Aurix families.
© SYS TEC electronic

Infineon’s C167 is one of the most popular and widely used microcontrollers in the world. But even for such a long-runner the end has to come eventually. However, with a little planning, the change can be made quickly and painlessly.

The foundation for one of the most successful microcontroller families in history was laid by Siemens in 1989 with the C166 micro­controller architecture. The C167 is not only the most successful microcontroller from Infineon, but also the MCU device with the greatest longevity in the market. After 25 years, however, the time has come to change course. Infineon will discontinue the C167 at the end of 2019, albeit not yet completely. In consultation with Infineon or an Infineon regional distributor, an extension until 2025 is possible to ensure a successful change.

The reason for the change is that the C167 is powered by 5 volts and the surrounding 5V devices are becoming harder and harder to obtain. This is especially true for flash memory, because the C167 has no internal reprogrammable memory. So it may be that the C167 remains available for some time, thanks to the extended grace period, but this is not necessarily guaranteed for other non-Infineon peripheral components.

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XMC – the universal one

A new beginning is therefore inevitable sooner or later. Candidate Number One for this is the XMC, a 32-bit ARM cortex microcontroller with fast ADC. Depending on the model, the chip, for applications in the lower to middle power segment, clocks at 32 to 144 MHz and can access 16 to 352 KB SRAM as well as 8 KB to 2 MB Flash. The XMC is particularly suitable for lighting, motor control, industrial fieldbuses and power supplies. Depending on the model, it comes equipped with special features and peripherals for the respective application.

Aurix – the safety conscious one

Candidate number two for the role as C167 successor is the Aurix, which is characterized by its integrated security and safety features. The Aurix is based on Infineon‘s TriCore architecture with up to six cores, each clocking at 80 to 300 MHz. A special feature is the lockstep functionality whereby, with a slight delay, one of the cores verifies the calculations of the main core.The integrated Aurix Safety Library is responsible for ensuring greater safety. Thanks to its high level of security, the Aurix achieves the highest safety level in the automotive sector meeting ASIL D (Automotive Safety Integrity Level/ISO 262). In addition, the Aurix complies with IEC 61508 on Safety Integrity Level (SIL) 3.

Even though powerful development tools are available from Infineon – the system change can still lead to a redesign. This is where Sys Tec’s many years of experience can help. Sys Tec analyzes the existing application, proposes suitable replacement elements and can then calculate the costs for hardware design and layout prototyping as well as the porting of the software. Such a service package designed to help users make a smooth transition is being prepared by SYS TEC electronic.

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