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DSCs offer single-precision floating-point-units

Posted: 06 Jun 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:floating-point DDCs? flash? single-precision FPU? power conversion?

Texas Instruments Inc. has introduced its first floating-point digital signal controllers (DSCs), the F28332, F28334, and F28335. The F2833x DSCs have the same 32bit fixed-point architecture as TI's existing C28x DSCs, but the new parts introduce a single-precision floating-point-unit (FPU) and other architectural enhancements. The new parts run at 150MHz, range in price from $13-20, and target digital motor control, advanced sensing, and digital power supply applications.

In addition to the FPU, other major new features include up to 512Kbytes of flash and up to 86Kbytes of RAM (existing C28x DSCs contain no more than 256Kbytes of flash and 40Kbytes of RAM). The new products also feature a six-channel DMA controller; existing C28x DSCs lack a DMA controller, said TI. Moreover, the F2833x DSCs contain 18 PWM channels, including six high-resolution PWM (HDPWM) channels, compared to existing C28x devices which have no more than 16 channels, and many of which lack HDPWM.

TI says its FPU gives the F2833x a 50 performance performance advantage over fixed-point DSCs. For example, TI reports that the square root function, which is common in many control applications, can be performed in 31 cycles on F2833x devices compared to 70 cycles on existing TI 32bit fixed-point DSCs.

TI positions the F2833x as enabling "greener" industrial applications, largely due to their usefulness for variable-speed motor control. According to the ABB group, about two-thirds of industrial electricity is used to power electric motors, and only 5 percent of these motors are equipped with variable speed drives. This presents a large opportunity for energy savings because variable speed drives require one-eighth the energy of fixed speed drives. TI also says the F2833x DSCs are useful for emerging power conversion applications, such as those found in solar power installations.

The F2833x devices will range from $13-20 in 1,000-unit quantities and will be available in September.

- Kenton Williston
DSP DesignLine

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