Freescale Semiconductor: New ColdFire devices range to motor and embedded control apps

Freescale Semiconductor, a wholly owned subsidiary of Motorola Inc., has just introduced four new ColdFire families (MCF547x, MCF548x, MCF523x, and MCF527x) that incorporate more than 20 different processors.


Freescale Semiconductor , a wholly owned subsidiary of Motorola Inc. , has just introduced four new ColdFire families (MCF547x, MCF548x, MCF523x, and MCF527x) that incorporate more than 20 different processors. These embedded 32-bit devices reportedly offer higher level of connectivity, control, and security while cutting memory requirements, power dissipation, system board size, and costs. Particularly, the MCF548x and 523x families cater to factory automation, robotics, machine vision, and motor control applications.

MCF548x devices, based on the high-performance V4e ColdFire core, deliver up to 308 MIPS performance at 200 MHz. They meet industrial temperature demands (-40 to 85 deg C) and reportedly feature the only on-chip dual-CAN (controller area network) and dual-Ethernet processor available today.

MCF523x devices, based on V2 ColdFire core, are designed specifically for embedded industrial control and motor/motion control requiring connectivity. They provide 144 MIPS performance at 150 MHz. These are the first ColdFire devices to offer the complex enhanced Time Processing Unit (eTPU)—a real-time control coprocessor dedicated to high-speed, complex timing, and I/O tasks that free up the central processing unit for other duties. On-chip features include 10/100 Ethernet controller with optional dual CAN 2.0B interfaces

Freescale also has developed a low-cost companion power management integrated circuit (MC34710) to support these ColdFire devices. Operating system support, evaluation boards, and other hardware/software development tools are available from independent suppliers like Green Hills, Metrowerks, and Wind River.

Suggested resale prices (in 10,000 units) range from $20 to $27 for MCF548x devices and from $10 to $15 for MCF523x devices.

—Frank J. Bartos, executive editor, Control Engineering,

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