Control Engineering Embedded Control eNewsletter for August 2003


Texas Instruments—
TI's Perfect Solution for Your Space Constrained Applications


The new LF2401A digital signal controller from Texas Instruments, part of TI's TMS320C2000 control-optimized DSP platform, is ideal for space constrained applications that require the control peripherals and ease-of-use of a traditional microcontroller and the processing power of a DSP.evaluate and begin developing code for embedded applications.


Visit LF2401A website for more information or to get started today.



Stealth Computer: Small, fanless PC for embedded microcomputing

LittlePC eliminates the need for cooling fans and associated noise via an extruded aluminum chassis that acts as a heat sink to dissipate internal heat.

''A breakthrough in embedded microcomputing'' is what Stealth Computer Corp . calls its newly introduced fanless, noise-free computer system. Model LPC-301FL represents a continuum of solutions for space-sensitive applications from this manufacturer of specialized computers and peripherals, located near Toronto, Canada.

LPC-301FL reportedly combines rugged design and high functionality to suit embedded control, human-machine interface, thin-client, and other applications. ''It's one of the smallest full-featured personal computers available anywhere,'' says Stealth. The compact unit measures just 10 x 5.7 x 2.8 in.—about the size of a hard-cover novel.

LPC-301FL (LPC is short for ''LittlePC'') features an Intel ULV Pentium-III 400 MHz processor; up to 60 GB of hard-disk storage space; and ample built-in I/O connectivity, such as LAN, serial, parallel, three USB, FireWire, VGA, and PS/2 mouse/keyboard ports. An optional solid-state hard drive or Flash drive accommodates extra high-shock/vibration applications. CD-ROM is standard with optional DVD and CD/RW drives available. Systems are compatible with Microsoft Windows 9x/NT/2000/XP, Linux, etc., and can be preconfigured if desired.

Metrowerks toolkit speeds development cycle on Motorola MPC500 processors

Metrowerks’ new studio integrates the whole development cycle for MPC500 processor architectures, from bare board bring-up to code development and analysis.

Metrowerks (Austin, TX), a Motorola company, has simplified development of complex applications for Motorola's MPC500 family of processors with the release of CodeWarrior Development Studio-MPC5xx Edition, Version 8.

The new version of the toolkit allows ''developers to accelerate time to market and ensure creation of quality software applications for the Motorola MPC500 product family,'' says Dr. Kevin Klein, standard products marketing manager for Motorola's 32-bit Embedded Controller Division. ''CodeWarrior studio is a cost-effective, feature-rich toolset that eases the design process across the portfolio of Motorola MCUs.''

Motorola MPC500 processors, containing PowerPC cores, target computationally intensive control and automation applications, such as industrial control, automotive, avionics, and networking service processors.

Development Studio-MPC5xx Edition, Version 8 toolkit merges key features and components into one intuitive, integrated development environment to deliver a complete solution, according to Metrowerks. Comprehensive software tools in the kit include hardware diagnostics, search engine and text editor, debugger, and an instruction-set simulator. Key features are:

  • Efficient C/C++ compiler with optimized technology for fast, compact code;

  • Enhanced debugger with integrated logic analyzer interface;

  • Integrated hardware diagnostics for board-level testing; and

  • Fast, intuitive Flash programming supporting the latest devices.

The toolkit is available now, priced at $5,995 per license, including support and maintenance for the first year.

Advantech: 2.5-in PXA-255 RISC platform for faster integrator development

Don’t let the compact 78 x 104 mm (3 x 4 in.) form factor fool you. PCM-7220 offers a complete list of functions and features, running Microsoft Windows CE.Net or Embedded Linux,

Hardware and software solutions developer for the e-world, Advantech Co. Ltd . (Irvine, CA; Taipei, Taiwan) now offers a new 2.5-in. RISC platform (PCM-7220) to help customers more quickly build low-power and space-critical embedded applications.

PCM-7220 platform expands Advantech's existing 3.5-in. RISC product line. It uses Intel XScale technology to add capability and expansion flexibility. ''All functionality has been completely certified and can be leveraged to customize various hardware specifications and system optimization needs based on customers' requests,'' says Advantech.

High performance of PCM-7220 comes from an Intel PXA255 processor—a 32-bit SoC engine operating at up to 400 MHz. A variety of I/O interfaces (RS-232/485, SM bus, USB client, CompactFlash interface, audio, SD/MMC, etc.) are available along with reserved interfaces for such functions as an LCD and memory. A complete hardware/software Evaluation Kit is included for project evaluation and development.

Architecture and advanced semiconductor technology of PCM-7220 embedded platform makes it an ideal choice for critical applications requiring low power and cost, limited space, and mobility, according to Advantech. Next generation industrial, mobile, and handheld devices for distribution data management, human machine interfaces, and in-vehicle telemetry are among intended applications.

New PICMG ePCI-X products from DTI

Interfaces for ePX-L520 SBC include four Universal Serial Bus (USB 1.1) ports, two serial ports, parallel port, and a floppy.

Diversified Technology Inc . (DTI, Ridgeland, MS) has introduced ePX-L520, a single-board computer (SBC) compliant with PICMG 1.2 embedded PCI-X open standard. [ PICMG refers to a consortium of companies known as PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturers Group (Wakefield. MA).]

Scaleable ePX-L520 SBC is based on Intel's E7501 chipset, which supports a 533 MHz Front Side Bus and features either single or dual Xeon processors. This makes a single processor appear as two logical processors, according to DTI. Rapid execution engine, execution trace cache, and 512 MB of L2 cache are included. The ePX-L520 is part of the company's ePIX Generation product family.

Also onboard are a PCI video controller with 8 MB SDRAM for high display resolution and 2D/3D performance, dual 10/100/1000 Base-TX Ethernet interfaces (either copper or fiber), and dual-channel Ultra ATA/100 EIDE controller. Other features include a serial ID tag (for unique board identification), hardware monitor (input voltages, temperature, and fan speed), programmable watchdog timer, battery-backed real-time clock, power fail circuit, and a 2-year limited warranty.

A low-profile chassis in 2U format complements the single-board computer. Rack-mount ePC-2194 is designed for OEMs interested in maximizing board density for embedded computing applications. Available now, ePX-L520 pricing starts at $1,795 (excluding memory) with a 2.0 GHz processor—and ranges through $3,695 with dual 3.06 GHz Xeon processors. Chassis ePC-2194 carries a starting price tag of $695, configured with a single power supply.


Timely educational course

Embedded control professionals require continual upgrading of their skills. An upcoming short course offers one such opportunity.

''Embedded Processor Application Design,'' offered by UCLA Extension (Los Angeles, CA), will run Monday-Wednesday, Oct. 20-22, 2003, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The course focuses on such topics as embedded processor architecture, operating systems, device drivers, and application development and its impact in today's market. ''This course is designed for developers who are planning to build an application using embedded processors and need to decide which processor and operating system is best for their particular application,'' says the school. Cost is $1,395.

For more information, click here or call UCLA Extension's Department of Engineering, Information Systems and Technical Management, Short Courses, at 310/825-3344.

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