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TI expands 32bit MCU platform

Posted: 27 Oct 2006     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Texas Instruments  32bit  TMS470  microcontroller  MCU 

Texas Instruments Inc. (TI) has announced an expansion of the 32bit TMS470 microcontroller (MCU) platform, offering new devices for instrument cluster host controller applications. As the amount of information displayed in vehicles increases — from enhanced vehicle diagnostics and driver assistance features such as rear park assist cameras, to digital media and full real-time navigation systems — drivers demand higher performance graphics and more highly integrated displays.

To meet this challenge, the TMS470PLFx MCUs are targeted for systems with up to six stepper motors and are tightly coupled with TI's OMAP33x and DaVinci TMS320DM64x based graphics controller to drive high resolution liquid crystal display (LCD) and Thin-Film Transistor (TFT) displays.

With the recent advances in vehicle digital display technology, traditional analogue gauges complement, and in some instances, are being entirely replaced by digital displays. Consumers who are accustomed to high-performance graphics in their personal computers and handheld devices demand no less from their vehicles displays — high quality graphic is a must.

The TMS470 generation of MCUs for cluster applications will help developers build highly integrated cluster solutions that use a colour graphics display controller with the real-time performance and versatility inherent in OMAP and DaVinci technology. TMS470PLFx MCUs can directly drive small segment LCDs through its embedded 128-segment LCD controller, while the use of peripheral modules such as the High-End Timer, Direct Memory Access Controller, and Multi-Buffered SPI allow the TMS470PLFx instrument cluster MCU family to directly drive some other types of digital displays with no CPU load impact. The TMS470PLFx MCUs can also drive up to 6 stepper motors directly through the use of its intelligent peripherals, and supports modulated frequency and slew rate control to reduce electromagnetic interference (EMI).

TI's OMAP Platform is comprised of high-performance, power efficient processors, a robust software infrastructure and a comprehensive support network for the rapid development of differentiated multimedia-enhanced devices. Based on an ARM926 processing core, the OMAP33x applications processor platform includes advanced multimedia performance, an 18-bit LCD controller, a 2D graphics accelerator engine, robust frame buffer performance, a high-throughput DMA interface and several other features for graphics and streaming video applications.

The DM64x architecture is a highly integrated SoC that has absorbed many external components required for digital video. Based on TI's DaVinci technology, this architecture includes multimedia codecs, multiple display output types, and robust frameworks for rapid development of high-performance graphics systems, giving cluster manufacturers powerful capabilities to bring new digital graphic and video products to market.

Developers can start designing with TMS470 MCUs, OMAP or DaVinci DM64x processors with evaluation modules, starter kits and demonstration platforms along with compatible software from TI and leading third parties, including Lauterbach, iSYSTEMS, TES, Altia, Sophia, ETAS, and Vector. Automotive manufacturers and original equipment manufacturers can obtain pricing, hardware and software tools pricing from their local TI sales office. TMS470PLFx and OMAP33x devices are available in samples today with the DaVinci DM64x processors available in fourth quarter 2006.

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