ESC 2005: Texas Instruments’ 100 MIPS digital signal controllers

Among offerings from Texas Instruments (TI) at Embedded Systems Conference (ESC)-San Francisco (March 8-10, 2005) were the first three members of a new digital signal controller (DSC) family that combine real-time performance of DSPs with integrated peripherals and microcontroller ease-of-use.

03/10/2005




A/D conversion speeds up to 6.25 Msamples/s in F2808 controllers satisfy highest performance embedded control requirements.

Among offerings from Texas Instruments (TI) at Embedded Systems Conference (ESC)-San Francisco (March 8-10, 2005) were the first three members of a new digital signal controller (DSC) family that combine real-time performance of DSPs with integrated peripherals and microcontroller ease-of-use. By reducing external parts count through a mix of integrated peripherals, these devices (TMS320F2801, TMS320F2806, and TMS320F2808) give users a complete embedded control system with 100 MIPS of 32-bit DSP performance, says TI. The devices are intended for motor control, digital power supply, and intelligent sensing applications.

Peripherals integrated in the TMS320F28x family include a pulse-width modulator (PWM) reportedly having 64x higher resolution than competing devices. PWM technology is said to deliver 16-bit accuracy in a 100-kHz control loop or 12-bit accuracy at 1 MHz. Higher resolution PWM gives users faster transient response with smaller ripple amplitude useful, for example, in digital power applications. A 12-bit A/D converter (16 channels), quadrature encoder pulse (QEP) interfaces, enhanced timers, and capture units are among other onboard features.

Signal output is provided through independent PWM channels that allow multiple simultaneous control tasks. For example, F2808 and F2806 devices come with up to 16 time-independent PWM channels, enabling the control of up to five independent three-phase motors, according to TI. F2801 controller boasts eight PWM channels. Developers can use PWM channels, timers, QEPs, etc., either independently or in synchronized mode, as the application requires. Communication features include an intelligent interface controller (I

”The F28x family offers an optimal combination of performance, memory, and peripheral options,” explained Andrew Soukup, worldwide C2000 marketing and application manager for TI, in an interview with Control Engineering . He considers the “digital power supply space” especially important for these controllers that allow high-performance power supplies to migrate from analog to digital operation. “PWM resolution of 10-bits or more is mandatory for high-switching frequency power supplies,” said Soukup.

Available for sampling, the new digital signal controllers sell for $4.95 (2801), $7.45 (2806), and $9.95 (2808), respectively—in production quantities. Pricing reflects increased memory, flash, and interface capabilities. Package options for the three DSCs are 100-pin LQFP (low-profile, quad flat package) and 100-ball BGA (ball-grid array), with volume production slated for third-quarter 2005.

Also available is F2808 eZdsp Starter Kit priced at $495 (reduced to $395 through April 15, 2005). It contains hardware tools, TI’s integrated development environment (IDE) called Code Composer Studio, and application software with expert training and extensive online support materials, says Texas Instruments. Free software—modular algorithms, application frameworks, and flash programming utilities—are available on line. Click here to go to the site .

—Frank J. Bartos, executive editor, Control Engineering, fbartos@reedbusiness.com

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