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ARM7 MCU family touts full range of flash

Posted: 28 Jan 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:texas instruments? ti? microcontroller? mcu? general purpose mcu?

Texas Instruments Inc. (TI) has joined the growing number of microcontroller chip vendors that offer general purpose MCUs based on the 32bit ARM7 Thumb extension debug module multiplier interface core (ARM7TDMI).

The new ARM7-based TMS470 MCU platform offers up to 60MHz of performance for general purpose applications that include industrial, medical instrumentation, consumer electronics and data processing. There are seven devices in the family ranging from 64KB up to 1MB of on-chip flash memory. Among the growing number of vendors that offer general purpose ARM-based MCUs are Atmel, Philips, ST Microelectronics, OKI and Sharp. TI is not new to the ARM architecture, having used ARM cores in application-specific devices developed for safety critical automotive devices, wireless handsets, IAG imaging, video and digital signal processors and dual core processors for telecommunications.

The single cycle access to embedded flash at up to 60MHz in pipeline mode in the TMS470 line allows for faster code execution, according to TI. These MCUs also offer the first programmable high-end timer (HET) that lets designers customize devices for pulse width modulation (PWM), capture and compare functions or as 32 programmable input/output channels.

Along with this HET, the TMS470 MCU also includes an analog-to-digital converter with a 1.5?s conversation time and a variety of industry standard peripherals that offload the CPU to provide a higher level of system performance. They include the System Architecture Reference (SYS), standard CAN controller (SCC), high end CAN controller (HECC), MultiBuffer analog to digital converter (MibADC), Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI), MultiBuffer (MibSPI SPI) and the Serial Communications Interface (SCI).

The ARM7-based TMS470 MCU and open roadmap let developers leverage code portability to develop scalable platforms rather than individual products, saving time for future design efforts. The compact core provides a cost effective solution for space-constrained applications and includes both a 32-bit instruction set for fast execution as well as 16-bit instructions for high code density. TMS470 MCUs allow unlimited switching between these instruction sets and provide run-time decompression to give designers flexibility when designing for high-speed operation or high density code.

The ARM7 core is supported by a variety of third-party integrated development environments (IDE) as well as by a complete IDE from TI that contains all hardware and software needed to design, develop, implement and test an application directly on-chip. The TMX-SK470R1A256 is available from TI and authorized distributors for only $395. The kit includes development board with TMS470 device, JTAG debugger with USB connector, Kickstart version of IAR Embedded Workbench for ARM including IDE, 32-KB C-compiler and Simulator and a power supply.

The A64, A128, A256 and A288 versions of the TMS470RI MCUs have 64-, 128-, 256- and 288KB of on-chip flash, respectively. The A512, A768 and A1024 have 512KB, 768KB and 1MB of flash, respectively.

Running at 48MHz, the TMS470R1A64, A128 and A256 are immediately available from TI or authorized distributors. Pricing in 1,000-unit quantities for the A64, A128 and A256 are $4.95, $5.95 and $6.85, respectively. The 60MHz TMS470R1A288, A512, A768 and A1024 will be available by mid year. Pricing in 1,000-unit orders for the A288, A512 and A788 are $8.95, $9.95 and $13.95, respectively. Pricing for the A1024 has not yet been set.

- Marty Gold


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