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ZX-24u Microcontroller


ZX-24u Microcontroller
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The ZX-24u is a "native mode" ZX device based on one of the new Atmel xmega processors. Since it is largely source code compatible with the other 24-pin ZX devices, it provides an excellent upgrade path for more demanding applications, especially for those based on the ZX-24x.

The heart of the ZX-24u is the Atmel AVR ATxmega128a4U microcontroller running at 29.5MHz. It is accompanied by some support circuitry on a 24-pin DIP module that is pin-compatible with the other 24-pin ZX devices, the Parallax Basic Stamp and the NetMedia BX-24 microcontrollers. However, it is important to note that since it runs at 3.3V it is not electrically compatible with those devices. The ATxmega128a4U microcontroller internally has 8192 bytes of RAM, 2016 bytes of EEPROM and 128K of internal Flash memory available for your programs.

The xmega128a4U has other resources available to your program including five high-speed serial ports, analog-to-digital converters, digital-to-analog converters, timers and other sub-systems that may be accessed using routines in the ZBasic System Library. Alternately, some of these resources may be accessed directly using built-in registers.

You may download a schematic of the ZX-24u as a PDF.

ZX-24u Technical Featuresı
Package 24-pin DIP
Operating Temperature -40 to +85°C
Processor Atmel AVR ATxmega128a4U
Power Requirements 2.6-3.6VDC regulated or 5-9VDC
Processor Speed Up to 29.5MIPS (29.5MHz)
Program Execution Speed Up to 5.8 million instructions/sec²
User RAM 8K bytes
Non-volatile Data Memory 2016 bytes
Program Memory 128K bytes
Digital I/O pins 16+3³
Analog-to-Digital Channels Up to 8 channels, 12-bit resolution
Digital-to-Analog Channels Up to 2 channels, 12-bit resolution
PWM Channels Twelve 16 bit (four timers)
I2C Support 1 HW channel, 4 SW channels
1-Wire Support Bit and byte level
SPI Support 4 HW channels
Synchronous Serial I/O Support 1-16 bits, MSB or LSB first
Asynchronous Serial I/O Ports 5-HW, up to 4 SW full duplex
X-10 Command Support Yes
Multi-tasking Support Yes
Pin Change Interrupts All I/O lines
Analog Comparator Interrupt Yes
Interval Timer Yes
Exception Handling Support Yes
Floating Point Math Yes - IEEE 32-bit
Advanced Floating Point Functions (sin, cos, log, etc.) Yes
Programming Interface Serial - 115.2K baud
Field Upgradeable System Software No
Supports Inline Assembly Code Yes
Supports Interrupt Handling Code Yes
  1) Items in boldface indicate differences from the ZX-24x.
  2) Speed based on the instruction b = b + 1.
  3) The additional 3 I/O lines are outside of the standard 24-pin DIP format.
  Specifications subject to correction and change without notice.

A standard serial port is required to download code to the ZX-24u. If your computer does not have a standard 9-pin serial port but does have a USB port, you may use a USB to serial adapter. Note, however, that some USB to serial adapters are too slow to be useful with the ZX microcontrollers. We have found that adapters based on the second generation FTDI chips seem to work well.

The ZBasic IDE, compiler and documentation may be obtained free of charge via the Download page. See the menu at the left.

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