Microcontroller boosts floating point performance for real time control

Paul Boughton

Designers can also reduce complexity by consolidating multiple embedded processors into a single MCU for applications requiring real-time signal analysis. Nick Flaherty reports.

Texas Instruments has launched a new C2000 Delfino 32-bit F2837xD microcontroller (MCU) in its F2837x series.

With dual-core C28x processing capabilities and dual real-time control accelerators, also known as control law accelerators (CLAs), these new MCUs provide 800 MIPS of floating-point performance, enabling designers to develop low-latency systems in computationally demanding control applications.

Designers can also reduce complexity by consolidating multiple embedded processors into a single MCU for applications requiring real-time signal analysis, such as high-end servo drives, solar central inverters, industrial uninterruptable power supplies (UPS) and more.

Customers can precisely control and monitor multiple feedback inputs simultaneously with the Delfino F2837xD MCU using powerful analogue peripherals integrated on-chip.

By providing four independent 16-bit analogue-to digital converters (ADCs), the F2837xD MCU is able to precisely and efficiently manage multiple analogue signals, which enables overall system throughput for solutions such as the monitoring of three-phase motors.

Designers can also safely shut down their motors with the integrated windowed comparators, which provide critical power stage protection, while the sigma delta demodulators allow direct interface to isolated converters providing noise immunity for the MCU.  

The Delfino F2837xD MCUs are the first devices in a series of C2000 MCUs. All the MCUs in these series are pin- and software-compatible and provide varying performance ranges capable of addressing different performance requirements in a product line - from a servo drive for factory automation to an elevator drive. Changing the way product platform decisions are made, the Delfino F2837xD MCUs and future single-core derivatives allow customers to decrease hardware and software development time and cost.

The MCU eliminates the need for multiple embedded processors with 800 MIPS combined performance from dual C28x cores and dual CLAs so that designers can offload main CPUs (C28x cores) from demanding control loop analysis with two real-time control accelerators, or control law accelerators (CLAs), creating additional bandwidth and allowing the main processor to focus on system diagnostics or applications management.

Trigonometric-based algorithms used in control functions, such as torque loops traditionally done in FPGAs, can be handled in the new trigonometric math unit (TMU) accelerator included on the C28x cores while better prediction of motor failures is possible by performing vibrational analysis with the viterbi complex unit (VCU II) accelerators.

System designers can fine-tune control and monitor multiple feedbacks using four 16-bit ADCs to improve system accuracy in industrial applications such as solar central inverters and high-end industrial UPS systems and reduce MCU input noise and enable isolated current shunt measurements with a seamless interface to the TI AMC1204 isolated delta sigma modulator.

Fully featured Delfino F2837xD 32-bit microcontrollers are now sampling and start at approximately $18 USD in 1K unit orders. Developers can evaluate their new Delfino <MCUs using the F2837xD docking station (TMDXDOCK28377D) for $219 USD and the modular controlCARD (TMDXCNCD28377D) for $159 USD.

For more information, visit www.ti.coms