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Freescale expands choices to DSC products

Posted: 29 Sep 2006     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Freescale Semiconductor  56F8000  DSC  more memory  Freescale 

Freescale Semiconductor has expanded its 16-bit 56F8000 digital signal controller (DSC) line with the launching of four new members. The 56F8037, 56F8036, 56F8025 and 56F8023 add more analogue integration, memory and package choices. They are available now. Production quantities are planned for the first quarter of 2007.

Like the earlier devices that were introduced in May 2005, these units also address motor control for appliances, as well as digital power conversion.

With the 56F8000 family, consumer and industrial products that previously required both digital and analogue control algorithms and circuits now can be controlled digitally through flexible, intelligent embedded software running on a DSC. Freescale's latest DSCs provide optimal digital control solutions for three application areas: motor control (refrigerator compressors, dishwashers, conveyor belts); digital power conversion (AC-DC power supplies, uninterruptible power supplies, frequency inverters); and advanced lighting control (high-brightness LED arrays for architectural lighting and LCD backlights).

Single core architecture
The 16-bit DSCs employ a single core architecture that combines the programming ease of a microcontroller (MCU) with the signal processing power and efficiency of a digital signal processor. Similar devices were launched earlier this year by Texas Instruments and Microchip Technology.

The newest 56F802X and 803X series devices are available in four lead-free package options, ranging from 32 to 64 pins, with flash memory sizes from 12Kbytes to 64Kbytes. The increased flash memory array enables easier implementation of complex loop control algorithms and system control features.

Other additions to the DSC peripheral set include a digital-to-analogue converter and analogue comparators. These features enable reduced design costs through the elimination of external components and associated circuitry. An optional Multi-Scalable Controller Area Network (MSCAN) 2.0 A/B module also is available on the higher memory devices, providing robust, high-performance connectivity for industrial and automotive applications.

The latest DSCs also embed 96MHz PWM with programmable fault capability, 12-bit ADC with a 1.125 microsecond conversion rate, ADC/PWM synchronisation, Inter-IC bus interface, Integrated voltage regulator and power supervisor and tunable relaxation oscillator. There are four 16-bit timers, computer operating properly (COP), SPI and serial communications interface (SCI) as well as up to 26 general-purpose input/output (GPIO). Temperature range is from -40°C to 125°C.

The need for accurate, low-cost motor control is prevalent in household appliance applications. Recent regulatory requirements are driving appliance manufacturers to increase the system integrity/safety of their control circuitry. The new 56F8000 family members address these latest regulations with advanced features, such as an independently clocked watchdog timer and the capability to verify flash memory contents. Both features allow system designers to guard against conditions such as code runaway that could potentially induce unsafe conditions in their end products.

"Sophisticated control algorithms and high-performance processors are often beyond the budget scope of high-volume, cost-sensitive embedded applications," said Will Strauss, president and founder of Forward Concepts. "Freescale's 56F8000 family changes the game by combining the performance and fast calculation of a digital signal processor with the ease-of-use and control capabilities of an MCU " all on a single chip. DSCs offered at attractive price points have the potential to drive application innovations, such as sensorless motor control in appliances."

In 10,000-unit quantities, the 56F8023 and F8025 are priced at Rs.148.24 ($3.19) and Rs.152.89 ($3.29) respectively. The 56F8036 and F8037 are priced at Rs.171.47 ($3.69) and Rs.185.42 ($3.99) respectively.

A complimentary CodeWarrior permanent licence for up to 16Kbyte application code (sufficient for the MC56F801x products) is available through simple Web-based registration. Freescale also provides Processor Expert rapid application design tools, training materials, application notes, hardware tools and reference designs to expedite system development with Freescale DSCs.

- Marty Gold

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