A week or two back, National Semiconductor Corp was saying that control applications rather than workstations and business computers would make up 50% of the 32-bit microprocessor market (CI No 801), and Zilog Corp must be hoping it is right. The company’s 32-bit contender, the Z80000, is nowhere in the battle for design wins in the commercial microprocessor market, and is currently offered in ceramic packages that are pitched primarily at the military market. But now Zilog has come up with a new strategy to get the part established more widely, planning to offer it for the embedded control market at a rock-bottom $25.95 in quantities of 5,000 or more. The commercial Z80320 version will come in a 68-pin plastic leaded chip carrier and will be offered in 8MHz and 10MHz versions, with samples of a 15MHz version planned by year-end. The 8MHz version carries the $25.95 tag in large lots – the price for 100-up will be $40.48, while the 10MHz version is $33.51 for 5,000-up, $52.28 when you order 100. That compares with a very cheap $80 for 1,000 or more of the ceramic version, and $300 for a Motorola 68020, $850 for a 25MHz NatSemi NS32532. Zilog believes that high prices have inhibited the embedded controller market from follow the computer market up to 32 bits from 16.
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