Enhanced connectivity on MCUs enable system-level flexibility

Posted By : Alex Lynn
Enhanced connectivity on MCUs enable system-level flexibility

Texas Instruments has introduced new communications capabilities on its C2000 microcontrollers (MCUs). C2000 F2838x 32-bit MCUs enable designers to use a single chip to implement connectivity, including EtherCAT, Ethernet and Controller Area Network with Flexible Data Rate (CAN FD), in AC servo drives and other industrial systems.

Systems with communication interfaces often require an external application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) or dedicated host control microprocessor, which limits the flexibility of the design architecture, adds complexity and takes up space on the board. The new C2000 F2838x MCUs do not require an external ASIC, therefore reducing overall solution size and bill of materials.

By integrating three industrial communication protocols, the F2838x MCUs give designers the ability to tailor one MCU to the unique needs of each system. A key component in achieving this is a new connectivity manager, an Arm Cortex-M4-based subsystem, which offloads processing-intensive communications and optimises connectivity. In addition to these capabilities, C2000 F2838x MCUs offer enhanced real-time control performance and higher flexibility than previous C2000 series MCUs.

Features of the C2000 F2838x series:

  • Integrates EtherCAT, Ethernet and CAN FD: For electrically isolated architectures, the new MCUs use a fast serial interface with eight receiving channels to facilitate chip-to-chip communication at up to 200 Mbps using minimal pins. Designers can build on this high level of integration in CAN FD designs and quickly increase the number of available CAN FD ports by pairing the F2838x with a TI system basis chip (SBC), such as the TCAN4550 SBC with integrated CAN FD controller and transceiver.
  • Maximises real time control performance: With a 64-bit floating-point unit and fast integer division hardware, the C28x central processing unit-based control allows for differentiated capability and high-precision designs. For servo drive applications, the fast current-loop technology processes field-oriented control in less than 500 ns to enable more precise position control.
  • Flexible integration of sensing facilitates real time control: The C2000 F2838x series also integrates a single-ended 16-bit analog-to-digital converter, which doubles the number of available channels compared to previous C2000 MCUs to minimise external components, minimise system latency and maximise control-loop accuracy. An expanded configurable logic block enables designers to customise peripherals and removes or reduces the need for a field-programmable gate array.

Pre-production samples of the C2000 TMS320F28388D are now available through the TI store in a 337 ball-grid-array package. Pricing starts at US$14.00 in 1,000-unit quantities. Developers can get started with the C2000 TMDSCNCD28388D development kit, available through the TI store for $249. Software development kits for motor control and digital power will be released by the end of June.

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