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Single-core MCU allows faster design in industrial control

28 Aug 2014

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Texas Instruments (TI) has announced the C2000 Delfino 32bit F2837xS MCUs for industrial real-time control design. According to the company, the single-core MCUs are the first in the industry to offer four 16bit ADCs, enabling precision feedback in power control applications. They are pin- and software-compatible with the recently introduced dual-core C2000 Delfino F2837xD MCUs and help speed development when scaling from higher performance industrial control applications to mid-tier control designs.

The Delfino F2837xS MCUs are also the next-generation, single-core solutions for those using the preceding Delfino F2833x MCU series. Developers can use existing investments from the F2833x MCUs and transition to the software-compatible F2837xS MCUs, which provide greater CPU performance and more advanced analogue and control peripherals, TI added.

The Delfino F2837xS MCUs boast a powerful combination of C28x and real-time control accelerator (CLA) that provides a combined 400MIPS of floating-point performance, enabling quick and efficient management of multiple control tasks simultaneously. The C28x CPU is further accelerated for trigonometry and complex math operations. It can swiftly execute trigonometric-based algorithms used in transforms and control functions with the new trigonometric math unit (TMU) hardware accelerator integrated in the C28x core and automatically executed in the compiler. In addition, it can accelerate complex math operations common in encoded communication applications with the Viterbi Complex Unit (VCU II) hardware accelerator, also integrated in the C28x core and automatically executed in the compiler.

The MCU features intelligent system partitioning by offloading demanding control loop analysis from the main CPU (C28x core) to the CLA, creating additional bandwidth and allowing the main processor to focus on other tasks such as system diagnostics, applications management or lower frequency control loops. It also includes precision feedback in power control applications with four 16bit ADCs, a first in the industry for single-core MCUs, according to the company.

The devices claim to deliver increased system throughput such as monitoring voltages and currents of three phases of a motor while simultaneously software decoding high-frequency resolver feedback; maximise system-level integration and save on BOM costs with other high-integrity analogue and control peripherals including sigma delta demodulators, comparators, DACs and an abundance of control and communication peripherals; and can simultaneously process eight sigma-delta modulated channels, each with threshold comparators and a seamless interface to the TI AMC1204 isolated delta-sigma modulator.

Using the same C28x core and many of the same peripherals, previous high-performance C2000 MCUs are software compatible with the Delfino F2837xS MCUs, which offer more signal processing bandwidth, faster flash performance, and premium analogue and control peripherals, TI stated. The devices can likewise speed time to market and reduce development costs by creating products of varying performance levels within the F2837xS MCU series, which provides a pin- and software-compatible architecture to the dual-core Delfino F2837xD MCUs and future devices. Centralized software development with examples, header files, application libraries and much more can be found in controlSUITE software, which is a free download on

Because the Delfino F2837xS MCUs are scalable and compatible with the Delfino F2837xD MCUs, they share the same development platform, the Delfino F2837xD Experimenter Kit. The Delfino F2837xD Experimenter Kit is based on the familiar C2000 controlCARD form factor, allowing designers to use this controlCARD with previously released C2000 application kits.

Fully featured C2000 Delfino F28377S 32bit MCUs (TMX320F28377S) are sampling. TI also provides designers with more variants in this generation with different memory and peripheral mixes in the TMS32028376S, TMS320F28375S and TMS320F28374S configurations, which will start at $11.34 in 1K unit orders. Developers can evaluate the Delfino MCUs using the Delfino F2837xD Experimenter Kit docking station (TMDXDOCK28377D) for $219, which includes the modular controlCARD (TMDXCNCD28377D), or purchase the controlCARD separately for $159.

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