Freescale Creates Power Architecture Platform for Industrial Networking

Freescale Semiconductor introduces an all-in-one platform for industrial markets featuring Power Architecture(TM) technology and delivered in the COM Express form factor. Underscoring Freescale’s increased focus on the industrial space, the platform is designed to speed and simplify the creation of intelligent industrial equipment that runs demanding industrial networking protocols and requires precise, highly accurate communications. The platform is ideal for a broad range of applications including industrial automation, network communication, healthcare monitoring, robotics and manufacturing automation equipment.

The solution’s MPC8360E PowerQUICC(R) II Pro processor supports control and communications processing tasks on a single device, thereby lowering overall system costs. It also integrates QUICC Engine(TM) communications controller technology that delivers programmability on par with FPGA technologies and offers the flexibility to support evolving communications standards.

“Freescale’s streamlined platform for industrial markets provides the kind of flexibility, programmability and price points that solutions relying on ASICs and multi-chip solutions can’t deliver,” said Tony Massimini, chief of technology for Semico Research. “The security and reliability that made PowerQUICC technology pervasive in networking markets should translate well to industrial markets as Freescale continues to penetrate the space. Industrial markets continue to migrate from customized processors to established, off-the-shelf SoCs like the PowerQUICC MPC8360E, and equipment manufacturers can look forward to lower costs, enhanced flexibility and greater software reuse.”

The Freescale platform supports industrial network protocols including PROFIBUS, a widely popular field bus, ETHERNET Powerlink, a deterministic Ethernet protocol and the IEEE(R) 1588 clock synchronization protocol. Optimized binaries of these protocol stacks may be obtained from Freescale Open QUICC Engine(TM) partners including IndusRAD, Inc. and IXXAT Automation GmbH.

The COM Express form factor has emerged as a preferred standard for industrial markets due to its modularity, compact size, ruggedness and rich set of high speed serial and I/O interfaces.

“Every connection matters in the industrial space, and the proven performance of PowerQUICC technology from Freescale is exceptionally suited for the demanding requirements of these markets,” said Jeff Timbs, marketing director for Freescale’s Network Systems Division. “Blending industry-leading integration, production-ready enablement options and compatibility with the full spectrum of Power Architecture ISA devices, this solution dramatically simplifies development of next generation industrial equipment.”

With a suggested price under $1,000 (USD), the MPC8360E-RDK development platform features graphics and touch-screen functionality, the MPC8360E processor, a carrier board and evaluation copies of PROFIBUS from IndusRAD and the IEEE 1588 protocol from IXXAT. It leverages advanced technology from several of the foremost players in the industrial marketplace.

The platform is supported with pre-tested, production-ready code, a broad spectrum of enablement technology including award-winning CodeWarrior(R) tools, as well as Wind River’s market-leading VxWorks(R) and Wind River Linux operating systems.

In addition to the MPC8360E-RDK development platform, a production-ready COM Express module based on the MPC8360E is manufactured by Logic Product Development. This module meets industrial temperature requirements, operating between -40°C to 85°C.

The development platform and production-ready COM module are scheduled to ship beginning Q3 2007, and are planned to be available from Freescale’s distribution channel.

Freescale will demonstrate the platform at the upcoming Freescale Technology Forum taking place in Orlando, June 25th – 27th in booth #213.

About Freescale Semiconductor
Freescale Semiconductor is a global leader in the design and manufacture of embedded semiconductors for the automotive, consumer, industrial, networking and wireless markets. The privately held company is based in Austin, Texas, and has design, research and development, manufacturing or sales operations in more than 30 countries. Freescale is one of the world’s largest semiconductor companies with 2006 sales of $6.4 billion (USD).

Freescale Technology Forum
The Freescale Technology Forum (FTF) has become the developer event of the year for the embedded semiconductor industry. The Forum, which debuted in 2005, has been enthusiastically received by the global developer community, drawing more than 12,000 attendees at FTF events worldwide since its inception.

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