Tekmos Talks
A Newsletter for the Semiconductor Industry 
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June 2014
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Tekmos Featured Product
Hi-Tec 2014
Inside Tekmos
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Applications for Tekmos Products:
  • Automotive
  • Industrial
  • Military
  • Medical
  • Telecommunications  
The following are standard generic microcontroller devices available from Tekmos.
If you need a similar product not listed, contact Tekmos:  


Intel replacements by Tekmos 




TK80C186EC - samples now! 

TK80C188EC - samples now!


NXP replacements by Tekmos





Freescale replacements by Tekmos





TK68HC711B16 and B32




TK68HC05 series

TK68HC705B series

 TK68HC811E2 - Feature product 

TK68020 - samples soon!


Intel, NXP and Freescale are registered trademarks by these respective companies.

Welcome to Tekmos Talks June. The Hi-Tec 2014 "International Conference on High Temperature Electronics" was a great success for Tekmos.

This month's newsletter we will talk about the Hi-Tec Conference, share news "Inside Tekmos," and talk about a new product.

Tekmos High Temperature ASIC and High Temperature Micros 175/250C for Extreme Environments...hot chips!
Featured Product
puzzle pieces
Tekmos Success

The TK68020 Works!

We received news that our first pass TK68020 was working in the customer system.  A first pass success.


This has been a huge project that has taken us over two years to complete.  It started with extracting the design from the original layout as a spice netlist.  The design was converted into spice primitives, and then into Verilog, and all of the components were converted from dynamic logic to static logic.  It was then simulated, and modified to remove race conditions.  Next, it went into layout.  The data path structure of the chip required months of manual floor-planning.  We also had to re-implement the microcode ROMs as true ROMs instead of logic.  During this process, our original fab closed, and all work had to be transferred to a new fab.  We also had to deal with the original BQFP132 package becoming obsolete.  The package problem was resolved by using a 144 pin TQFP package and an adapter card.


Recognition is due to Lynn Reed for the original circuit extraction, John Hoenig for the design conversion and simulation, and James Betts for the floor planning and other layout tasks.


Tekmos Product Page...  

 For more information on inventory sales or orders, please contact Bob Abrams, Vice President of Sales & Development or call 512-342-9871512-342-9871

Tekmos Hi Tec Conference 2014
Lynn Reed at Hi-Tec 2014


Last month, Tekmos presented a paper at the  HiTec conference. HiTec is dedicated to high temperature electronics, ranging from the relatively cool 175C up to the 1200C range for Silicon Carbide.  It also covers high temperature materials and passive components.


The Tekmos paper investigated the use of refresh cycles to assist with data retention in EEPROMS.  We are developing a new 256K, high temperature, and high reliability EEPROM.  At elevated temperatures, the charge stored in the memory leaks away, and must be replenished.  While an EEPROM at 85C can be expected to hold the data for 10 years, at higher temperatures (~200C), the data retention time is measured in days.  Restoring the data is made more complicated since the number of times that an Erase-Write cycle can be used also decreases with temperature.  The 100,000 cycles guaranteed at lower temperatures becomes 100s of cycles at high temperature.


We get around this by using a refresh cycle.  A refresh cycle does not do an erase prior to the write, and so can only be used to re-write the same data.  We were concerned that repeated refresh cycles could also cause damage, but our experiments showed that a refresh cycle is safe.


To prove this, we set up a system using our TK68HC11E1 devices, which contain 512 bytes of EEPROM.  This is the same basic EEPROM cell that we will use in our 256K EEPROM.  We attached 77 of the microcontrollers to a board, and configured them so that we could communicate with a specific microcontroller.  Then we downloaded programs into the microcontrollers, and ran experiments.  The experiments included such things as determining the number of Erase-Write cycles it took to burn out an oxide, or just giving the part a fixed number of refresh cycles.  This made it easy to collect a large amount of high quality data that was the basis of our paper.


For the first time, Tekmos had an exhibit at HiTec.  We showed our TK68HC811E2 high temperature microcontroller, and our 250C ASICs.  We also provided a preview of our 256K EEPROM, our 250C TK80H51 microcontroller, and theTKH4003 FPGA.  These last three products are under development, and we will be introducing them over the next year.

One advantage of exhibiting at a conference is that it provides feedback about what customers really want to see in products.  It also shows what the competition is doing.  Together, that provides invaluable marketing guidance for our own efforts.


The conference is small, with about 300 attendees.  Still, this was one of the best shows that we have ever exhibited at.  The crowd what highly focused, and almost every booth conversation was of high quality.  We have been to shows that were 30 times larger, and gone away with a fraction of the leads we got from HiTec.


We will definitely be exhibiting at the HiTen conference next year in England.



The Effects of Repeated Refresh Cycles on the Oxide Integrity of EEPROM Memories at High Temperature 

Presented by Lynn Reed and Vema Reddy 



 For more information on product sales or manufacturing, contact Bob Abrams,

Vice President of Sales and Business Development in our main office at 512-342-9871512-342-9871 


Inside Tekmos


Business trips are usually intense.  You work hard, and are frequently up late in the evening.

To compensate for this, we try to add a little extra to each trip.  This month, four of us went to the HiTec conference in Albuquerque.  We had free time for dinners, and 5 hours at the end of the conference between the show closing at noon, and having to be at the airport at 5.  That was plenty of additional time for something extra.


Albuquerque has a 10K foot mountain in the city limits, called Sandia Peak.  There is a restaurant located on top of it, which you access by a tram.  We decided to have our Wednesday dinner on top of the mountain.  It was a beautiful 20 minute tram ride up there.  Once there, we were unable to eat due to lack of reservations, so we went to the bar, and ate off of the bar menu.  I also had a conference call while up there, which I took while standing on a rock ledge, overlooking Albuquerque 5,000 feet below.  It was cold up there, and there was still snow on the ground.  But the views were incredible, and well worth the cold.  We stayed up there until dusk, and then took the tram back to the car.


After the conference ended we went to see the Petroglyph    National Monument. This monument contains a number of Indian petroglyphs dating from 1300 AD that are carved into blocks of lava on the west side of Albuquerque. We walked along several of the trails checking out the petroglyphs. There were hundreds of them to view. Being an amateur geologist, I was also impressed by the lava flow. We were in a small canyon that at one time had been a hill. The lava had flowed on either side of the hill. In a mere 200,000 years, the hill had eroded, leaving the the canyon we were in. 

After checking that out, we toured the
National Museum of Nuclear Science & History.  This is much better suited for engineering nerds, with its collection of rockets, old airplanes, bomb casings, and old radios.  I particularly enjoyed studying the engines of a Titan II rocket.  I had seen a detailed description of the SpaceX rocket engine, and so I knew what I was looking at.  It was also interesting to study the avionics and wiring harnesses used in the planes and rockets.    


We have done a number of these "extra" events, but this was definitely one of the best.


The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center  offers 1 hour guided tours of the museum. If you want to visit some of the Pueblos near Albuquerque please find the interactive map  and note pueblos are on tribal land.




Thank you for reading Tekmos Talks. Contact  Bob Abrams, Vice President of Sales & Business Development, call (512) 342-9871 or email Sales for more information on our most recent "tape outs", our high temperature ASIC, or our other quality products.

We appreciate our customers. Tekmos is meeting innovation every day for tomorrow's challenges.




Lynn Reed, President
4120 Commercial Center Drive, Suite 400
Austin, TX 78744
Phone: (512) 342-9871
Fax: (512) 342-9873