Freescale Semiconductor, the operation that's being spun-out from Motorola soon, is nearly doubling the number of products in its ColdFire line. The mainstays of the 20 new microprocessor devices are the MCF547x and MCF548x, higher-end parts that have more communication capabilities than previous family members, as well as data encryption and improved timing control.
The latest members of the ColdFire family all have CAN, Ethernet and USB on-chip, as well as a new CPU core. That core, the V4e, runs at up to 266 MHz for the 547x line, with a peak of 200 MHz for the 548x (http://rbi.ims.ca/3851-515).
In addition to such clock rates, measured on another scale with speeds up to 410 Dhrystones, the line has two CAN 2.0B modules and one or two 10/100 Ethernet controllers. Those are the two mainstay networks in factory automation, medical instrumentation, and the important HVAC and building control field, which is the largest industrial segment for ColdFire devices.
Crestron Electronics Inc., a Rockleigh, NJ maker of control systems for lighting and HVAC control makers, picked the line for a forthcoming upgrade of its Isys touch sensitive control systems (http://rbi.ims.ca/3851-516). "Having multiple Ethernet, USB, and serial ports in a low-cost processor simplifies the design," says Fred Bargetzi, Crestron's vice president of technology.
The company also notes that data encryption is becoming increasingly important in a variety of fields. Designers want encryption even at the node level. For example at a college, encryption could thwart a mischievious hacker who might want to »change an air conditioning node to heat, says John Sansing, standard products operation manager at Freescale's Transportation and Standard Products Group in Austin, TX.
Freescale is also upgrading its V2 core, adding 100 MHz to take performance
up to 166 MHz. On the MCF523x, that core is integrated with an enhanced timing
processing unit, which Sansing dubs "the mother of all timers. It's
non-intrusive to the CPU, so the CPU can do other things." Most other timers
require much interaction with the CPU, he adds.
Connections: The USB, fast Ethernet, and
CAN links (optional modules, upper left) make the latest ColdFire products