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TI floating point DSCs enable power savings

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

Keywords:floating point digital signal controller? DSP? fixed point DSP?

Touting better energy efficiency and improved performance in industrial controller applications, Texas Instruments will start sampling in September a floating point digital signal controller (DSC) that provides 300MFLOPS performance at 150MHz.

The part, dubbed the 320F2833x, combines MCU peripherals with a 32bit DSP that, the company says, will boost performance by 50 percent when compared with previous DSCs powered by a fixed point DSP at the same 150MHz clock rate.

TI says simplified software development common to floating-point processors and the performance boost allows solar power inverters to more efficiently convert energy from photovoltaic (PV) panels, offers better power efficiency and performance to variable speed AC drives and provides greater performance for automotive radar applications.

Jean-Marc Charpentier, business development manager for DSP products at TI EMEA, says the device, the first in a range of DSCs with floating point processors, meets the increasing time to market needs of developers of industrial control gear that has been evident for many years in the consumer sector.

"Developers can save months by using the simpler software associated with floating point optimization processes," said Charpentier.

Software developers typically begin creating algorithms in a floating-point environment for validation, and then convert the code to run on fixed-point devices. By deploying the latest DSCs, they can now eliminate the weeks or months spent contending with scaling, saturation and adjustment of numerical resolution required in fixed-point implementations, he adds.

Some algorithms, such as a FFT used for complex calculations, will see a 200 percent improvement over an equivalent 32bit fixed-point implementation. Overall system bandwidth is also increased with the addition of a six-channel DMA controller that offloads the CPU from servicing the on-chip ADC along with user-configurable 16- or 32bit external memory interface and high-speed serial ports.

The on-chip 12bit, 16-channel ADC operates at 12.5MSps, said to be the fastest on-chip ADC operation of any digital signal controller in the industry today. The F2833x controller series features up to 18 PWM channels, six of which include TI's high-resolution PWM (HRPWM) technology with 150ps resolution. Communication interfaces include CAN, I2C, UART, SPI and TI's Multi-channel Buffered Serial Ports (McBSP).

The F2833x devices will also be supported by TI's TMS320C2000 Digital Motor Control and Digital Power Supply software libraries.

There will be two frequency ranges, 100MHz and 150MHz, and three on-chip memory options ranging from 128Kbyte flash and 52Kbyte RAM to 512Kbyte flash and 68Kbyte RAM. Prices will range from $13.50 to $19.95 in quantities of 1,000 units.

- John Walko
EE Times Europe

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