Processors reduce power consumption in industrial applications

Freescale Semiconductor announces the new i.MX28x application processor and MCF5441x ColdFire microprocessor families for use in low-power, cost-sensitive industrial applications. Consuming less than half a watt and priced starting at less than $6 suggested resale price, these devices are suitable for a wide range of applications, including appliances, portable and diagnostic medical devices, energy distribution equipment, meters, human machine interfaces, motor control, and industrial controllers. These applications can benefit from the processors’ extensive on-chip connectivity and analog features, which reduce system-level discrete components, power consumption, board size, development effort, and system cost.

The MCF5441x provides benefits tailored for motor control, and the i.MX28x offers benefits for display applications. These two processor families introduce an embedded three-port Layer 2 switch that can replace up to $4 of external component cost. Applications such as elevator and assembly line controllers may use this feature to eliminate network equipment and reduce cable costs by daisy-chaining between Ethernet-connected nodes. In addition, both processor families integrate popular cores with dual 10/100 Ethernet ports containing IEEE 1588 hardware timestamp support for accurate clock synchronization of networked devices. These features are combined with many other industry-standard connectivity options, such as multiple UARTs, controller area network (CAN) controllers, and USB interfaces to provide system design flexibility.

The i.MX28x applications processor family is based on a 454 MHz (500 MIPS) ARM9 core and integrates a rich feature set including an on-chip display controller with touchscreen for a rich user interface; a power management unit to power sequence the device and external components in the system; two USB modules with PHYs; analog to digital converters (ADC); and low-power modes for low standby current and secure boot.

The i.MX28x is enabled by Freescale’s i.MX28 evaluation kit, multimedia codecs and complete board support packages for Linux and Windows Embedded CE. In addition, integrated development environments and tool chains, industrial network protocols, additional operating systems, development boards and System on Modules are supported by a vast i.MX ecosystem.

The MCF5441x ColdFire microprocessor family integrates a ColdFire V4 core that offers a high level of connectivity with up to 10 serial ports. Serial connectivity provides designers increased flexibility to meet current and future development needs.

These devices allow designers to reduce system costs with multiple analog peripherals built in to simplify system architecture. Analog features include high-speed precision pulse width modulators and dual high-speed ADCs.

For more information, contact Freescale Semiconductor Inc., 6501 William Cannon Dr. West, Austin, TX 78735. Phone: (800) 521-6274.

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