TI Introduces First Floating Point Digital Signal Controller

Helping industrial control designers increase energy efficiency and system performance, Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (NYSE: TXN) announced the industry’s first floating point digital signal controllers (DSCs). The new TMS320F2833x devices provide 300 million floating point instructions per second (MFLOPS) performance at 150 MHz while providing the lower costs typically associated with fixed point processors. Simplified software development common to floating-point processors and the performance boost allows solar power inverters to more efficiently convert energy from photovoltaic (PV) panels, offers better power efficiency and performance to variable speed alternating current (AC) drives and provides greater performance for automotive radar applications.

Motor Control, Alternative Energy Look for Greater Efficiency and Performance
According to the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA), solar capacity will grow 397 percent to 5550 Megawatts from 2005 to 2010. The world’s leading solar inverter manufacturers – the majority of which use TI DSCs – maximize their systems to peak efficiency through Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) algorithms and dynamic algorithm adjustments during various load conditions, including cloudy and low light days. F2833x controllers have the performance headroom to maximize these MPPT algorithms and dynamic adjustments while also integrating additional system features like data logging, power line communications (PLC) or inverter synchronization to the utility grid.

With the high integration and performance enabled by floating point F2833x controllers, robotics and computer numerical control (CNC) machines using AC induction motors will see both finer control and increased dynamic range. Systems designers using AC servo motors can now specify smaller, more energy efficient motors which, along with AC induction motors, IMS Research states, will drive an approximately eight percent yearly revenue growth for the industrial drive market. IMS Research also states that drives used in the AC induction motor segment are growing largely due to their ability to significantly lower the energy costs associated with running the motor. Demand for servo drives is linked to growth in precision applications such as machine tools, packaging machinery and semiconductor machinery, where the need for faster production cycles is leading to increased use of servo systems at the expense of mechanical ones.

New Controllers Increase Performance by an Average 50 Percent
The new F2833x floating point controllers will increase performance by an average of 50 percent over TI’s previous leading digital signal controllers while operating at the same 150 MHz clock rate. Some algorithms, such as a Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) used for complex calculations, will see a 200 percent improvement over an equivalent 32-bit fixed-point implementation. Overall system bandwidth is also increased with the addition of a six-channel direct memory access (DMA) controller that offloads the central processing unit (CPU) from servicing the ultra-fast, on-chip analog-to-digital converter (ADC) along with user-configurable 16- or 32-bit external memory interface and high-speed serial ports.

Simplified Development and Complete System Integration
Software developers typically begin creating algorithms in a floating-point environment for validation, and then convert the code to run on fixed-point devices. Now, however, developers can eliminate the weeks – and often months – of time spent contending with scaling, saturation and adjustment of numerical resolution required in fixed-point implementations.

All F2833x controllers offer exceptional system integration for single-chip control applications from signal input to high-resolution control output. The on-chip 12-bit, 16-channel ADC operates at 12.5 mega-samples per second – the fastest on-chip ADC operation of any digital signal controller in the industry today. The F2833x controller series features up to 18 pulse width modulation (PWM) channels, six of which include TI’s unique high-resolution PWM (HRPWM) technology with 150 pico-seconds (ps) resolution. Communication interfaces include CAN, I2C, UART, SPI and TI’s Multi-channel Buffered Serial Ports (McBSP).

Floating Point Controller Specifications

TMS320 MHz Flash KB RAM KB PWM / HRPWM CAP / QEP SCI Sampling Availability Suggested Resale Price (1Ku)
F28335 150 512 68 18/6 6/2 3 September 2007 $19.95
F28334 150 256 68 16/6 4/2 3 September 2007 $17.65
F28332 100 128 52 16/4 4/2 2 September 2007 $13.30

Silicon and Tools Availability
F2833x controllers are fully software compatible with all previous TMS320C28x(TM) controllers. Samples of the F28335, F28334, and F28332 devices will be available in September 2007 and will be fully AEC Q-100 qualified for automotive applications. Hardware and software development tools, including the Code Composer Studio(TM) Integrated Development Environment will be available with F2833x controllers. Developers can start programming today using any available F28x based eZdsp development tool and IQ Math, TI’s ‘virtual’ floating point software library. Software written with IQ Math will automatically run on the F2833x controllers.

The F2833x devices will also be supported by TI’s TMS320C2000(TM) Digital Motor Control and Digital Power Supply software libraries. This free, fully documented software provides aides developers in quickly prototyping a motor control or digital power system using C2000(TM) controllers and can be downloaded.

About TI
Texas Instruments Incorporated provides innovative DSP and analog technologies to meet our customers’ real world signal processing requirements. In addition to Semiconductor, the company includes the Education Technology business. TI is headquartered in Dallas, Texas, and has manufacturing, design or sales operations in more than 25 countries. Texas Instruments is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol TXN.

Code Composer Studio, TMS320C28x, TMS320C2000 and C2000 are trademarks of Texas Instruments. ARM7 is a trademark of ARM Ltd.