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8bit, 16bit GPIO devices feature 'Agile I/O'

23 Oct 2012

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NXP Semiconductors N.V. has introduced a family of 8bit and 16bit GPIO devices featuring 'Agile I/O'—what the company describes as an innovative option integrating the most commonly needed functions in embedded systems. The GPIOs expand the two wires of the I2C-bus into 8 or 16 general-purpose I/O pins that can interface to keyboards, switches, LEDs, displays, or even stepping motors, saving valuable pins on the microprocessor or custom ASIC, noted the company.

The Agile I/O GPIO expanders reduce the BoM by eliminating external components and minimising the PCB space required, and simplify firmware development by capturing real-time events and eliminating software latencies, thus improving reliability, indicated NXP.

The 16 devices include eight industry-standard I2C GPIO expanders, as well as eight devices with additional Agile I/O functions. Providing a wide voltage range including level-shifting capabilities and support for voltages as low as 1.65V, the GPIO expanders offer significant cost savings as replacements for existing 2.3-5.5V GPIO devices, stated the company. With the same pin-out and register sets as industry-standard PCA95xx devices, the GPIOs can also easily be interchanged in the same sockets, even in mid-cycle refresh.

Incorporating many highly useful functions commonly added in system applications, the I2C Agile I/O expanders offer standard integrated hardware features such as an interrupt pin that reports back to the�control processor when an input has changed state, a hardware reset pin to return the device to its�default state without powering down the part and two power-supply pins to enable simple�level-shifting between different voltage domains.

In addition, the Agile I/O includes important software-programmable features including an input latch to retain the input state, internal pull-up and pull-down resistors, an interrupt mask that cuts interrupt�traffic to the MCU and improves interrupt service response, interrupt register reports to identify which�input actually caused an interrupt and an output drive strength control to cut�system noise when multiple outputs switch simultaneously.

The GPIO expanders will be offered in TSSOP, as well as 0.5mm pitch QFN package options, with the first product types available immediately.

The PCA(L)6408AHK is also released in a smaller 0.4mm pitch QFN and the PCA(L)6416AEV in 0.5mm pitch BGA. The Agile I/O version of both of these devices will also be released in a 0.4mm pitch BGA package for the growing thin portable market.

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