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CML's Function Image aids global marine AIS

Posted: 07 Dec 2007     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:microcontroller; C-BUS serial interface 

CML microcircuits has announced new and unique functionality for its CMX7032 marine AIS (Automatic Identification System) processor, to address growing market requirements.

The CMX7032 utilises CML's proprietary FirmASIC component technology, which configures on-chip sub-systems via a Function Image; this is a data file that is uploaded during device initialisation configuring the device's function and feature-set. Function Image FI-2.0 is the latest market driven release, offering manufacturers of marine AIS receiver devices dual-channel Rx-only functionality for the CMX7032. The Function Image can be loaded automatically from an optional external EEPROM or from a host microcontroller over the built-in C-BUS serial interface, facilitating in-the-field upgrades.

The CMX7032 includes two on-board auxiliary RF synthesisers along with two parallel Limiter-Discriminator Rx paths and an RS232 style / NMEA 0183-HS compatible output (38400 baud). The device performs signal demodulation with associated AIS functions, such as training sequence detection, NRZI conversion and HDLC processing (flags, bit de-stuffing, CRC check). Integrated Rx data buffers are also provided which removes the need for a host IC. Provision of a number of user-programmable areas in the Function Image allows the RF synthesisers of the CMX7032 to be programmed directly, which simplifies the system hardware design, reducing the overall equipment cost and size, which are major market drivers. Auxiliary DAC and ADC functions are provided to further simplify system hardware design and an allowance is made in the RS232 interface for an external GPS device to be connected to reduce the proliferation of interface connections in the final product design.

To fully evaluate the CMX7032 and CML's CMX7042 AIS processor (which excludes RF circuitry), CML offers the DE70321 - a complete AIS Class B (IEC 62287) technology demonstrator aimed at speeding-up manufacturers' design and development of AIS Class B transponders and AIS receiver products, using the CMX7032 and CMX7042 ICs.

The DE70321 offers a flexible platform to allow users to configure and evaluate with ease. All necessary RF circuits, such as VCOs, a 2-watt PA, harmonic filter, antenna switching and LNA, are provided on the DE70321 to facilitate easy evaluation and demonstration of the design as a Class B unit. The provision of a C-BUS interface is made, for control of the CMX7032 by a host microcontroller (required to perform the higher level protocol functions on a Class B implementation). The design is production engineered for low cost, with a minimum number of component types and values.

CML's highly integrated baseband signalling processors fulfil the requirements of all marine AIS transponders, AIS Rx-only units and Aton (Aids to Navigation) systems, on both large and small vessels. Operating from a single 3.3V supply, the CMX7032 is available in either a 64-pin VQFN or a 64-pin LQFP package. The CMX7042 is available in a 48-pin VQFN or 48-pin LQFP package.

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