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C2000 MCUs' enhanced math engine increases speed by 7x

Posted: 13 Jan 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:C2000 32-bit Piccolo MCUs? floating-point core? viterbi complex math unit? control law accelerator?

Texas Instruments (TI) recently launched more than 15 C2000 32-bit Piccolo MCUs that combine a floating-point core, complex math engine and control-oriented peripheral options to deliver considerable speed increase. The TMS320C2000 MCU platform seeks to address the challenges of real-time motor control in low-end drive, renewable energy and hybrid electric vehicle applications. Overcoming these challenges will help customers improve performance and reduce system costs.

At the heart of the new low-cost MCUs is an enhanced math engine made up of an 80MHz floating-point C28x core, Viterbi Complex Math Unit (VCU) and Control Law Accelerator (CLA). This math engine computes such control law algorithms as PID 2P2Z and 3P3Z, processing complex algorithms quickly while fast ADCs keep up with the speed of the math engine core. Floating-point performance results in up to 40 percent fewer cycles and ease-of-use, while the CLA adds an extra 80MIPS of performance and parallel control loops. Furthermore, the new CPU extension (VCU) provides more than 75 added math instructions. The combination delivers speed that is 7x faster than that of software-only solutions.

Ordinarily, power line communication is added to systems through an expensive and external PLC module. Adding the Viterbi Complex Math Unit (VCU) to the C2000 MCUs eliminates the need for a separate processor, resulting in substantial savings.

Features of the F2806x Piccolo floating-point MCUs include:

-Cutting-edge math engine
-Floating-point core
-VCU complex math unit provides 75 tailored math instructions, accelerating the processing of communications algorithms such as those for power line communications by a factor of up to 7x
-USB 2.0 full-speed host and device, CAN and DMA
-An increased memory range of 52 to 100KB RAM, 128-256KB flash, and 80 and 100-pin package options
-Control-oriented peripherals_high-resolution PWMs (150ps), 3msPS 12-bit ADC, and 3 analog comparators with 10-bit reference.

It comes with free controlSUITE software with application and math libraries with source code and detailed documentation, and the IQmath Library for code compatibility scaling throughout the C2000 platform including the Piccolo family and high-performance Delfino floating-point-series, enabling designers to get to market faster.

When asked "What's next?", Sangmin Chon, director of C2000 marketing at TI, pointed to the trends of increased connectivity, energy efficiency and real-time control. Where the 2806x power line communications kit is available today, continuing application-specific kits will likely be rolled out in the future.

Carolyn Mathas
EE Times

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