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Hercules MCUs accommodate safety-critical systems

Posted: 23 May 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:TI? Hercules? safety? MCU?

Texas Instruments Inc. has launched its 32bit dual-core lockstep MCU additions designed specifically for IEC 61508 and ISO 26262 safety critical applications.

The Hercules RM57Lx and TMS570LCx MCUs use ARM Cortex-R5 cores in a cached memory architecture with speeds up to 330MHz that delivers 550 peak DMIPS, 660 peak MIPS and up to 330MFLOPS. They offer a 50 per cent increase in computational performance over any of the company's current ARM Cortex R-based devices, allowing system designers to utilise a single Hercules MCU to replace several discrete MCUs or an FPGA-MCU combination.

The devices have a built-in self test (BIST) for the CPU, detecting latent defects without complex safety software and code-size overhead. Hardware comparison of CPU outputs provides nearly instant safety response time without any additional performance impact. ECC logic is integrated in the CPU to protect both memories and busses. All RAM memories can be tested using HW BIST for high diagnostic coverage and an integrated Memory Protection Unit (MPU) helps protect against deterministic errors in application software.

The devices are software- and pin-compatible with TI's existing Hercules MCU portfolio. The RM57Lx series helps developers meet IEC 61508 functional safety standards for a variety of applications, including railway signalling, aviation anti-skid, programmable logic controllers, motors and drives and medical equipment. The TMS570LCx series, on the other hand, likewise helps designers meet the ISO 26262 functional safety standard for transportation applications like advanced driver assistance systems, domain control, electric propulsion systems and off-road vehicles.

The RM57Lx MCUs are priced at $28.32 in 10KU quantities, while TMS570LCx MCUs are at $32.15. Both are immediately available for sampling.


Figure 1:Block diagram of the TMS570LCx series, automotive-grade microcontroller family for safety systems. Source: TI

Overview video of Hercules MCU platform and safety feature. Source: TI

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