Freescale Launches 12 ColdFire Microprocessors for Linux Applications

Continuing to expand the range of price-performance options within its Controller Continuum, Freescale Semiconductor has introduced a ColdFire(R) microprocessor family designed to enable low-power, high-performance embedded systems running the Linux(R) operating system (OS). Delivering 410 Dhrystone MIPS (DMIPS) core performance at approximately 380 mW, these latest ColdFire microprocessors are designed to be easy on the developer’s system power budget, while enabling exceptional system-level performance.

Freescale’s MCF5445x family includes 12 advanced microprocessors that integrate a rich set of connectivity peripherals. The MCF5445x devices include an on-chip memory management unit to support protected memory operating systems, such as the Linux OS. The MCF5445x family supports 10/100 Ethernet, USB On-The-Go (OTG), advanced technology attachment (ATA) and peripheral component interconnect (PCI), enabling easy integration of any PCI-based peripheral.

“Freescale has expanded its ColdFire MCU portfolio by an impressive 25 percent with the launch of these 12 high-performance microprocessors, combined with the addition of 10 ColdFire MCUs for entry-level applications,” said Tony Massimini, chief of technology at Semico Research Corporation. “The MCF5445x devices’ high level of performance at less than 400 mW is impressive makes them compelling solutions for power-sensitive applications that require flexible connectivity options.”

The wide range of price, peripheral, power and performance options makes the MCF5445x family an ideal solution for consumer applications, such as network-attached storage and Ethernet gateways. The processor family also fits well in a broad array of embedded control applications, such as industrial control, embedded voice over IP (VoIP), factory automation, point-of-sale terminals, test and measurement equipment, and health care equipment.

“The MCF5445x family hits the sweet spot in value, performance and integration for 32-bit microprocessors,” said Mike McCourt, vice president and general manager of Freescale’s Microcontroller Division. “Embedded system designers who previously thought this level of processing performance was unaffordable are now able to enhance their system designs by adding more performance and higher-speed connectivity.”

About the MCF5445x family
The MCF5445x microprocessors are based on the high-performance V4 ColdFire microarchitecture featuring an enhanced multiply-accumulate (eMAC) unit, hardware divide and a memory management unit (MMU). The MMU allows embedded designers to run protected-mode operating systems, such as Linux OS as well as other third-party real-time OSs (RTOSs).

The MCF5445x family devices feature an on-chip DDR memory controller that supports DDR1, DDR2 and mobile DDR memory. Affordable DDR1/2 memory support combined with a cost-effective, non-volatile memory serial interface enables a serial boot capability designed to minimize system cost while maintaining exceptional system performance. The inclusion of a dual-role master/slave serial peripheral interface (SPI) allows other SPI devices to communicate with the MCF5445x as a master or slave, giving developers greater control in integrating other low-cost peripherals.

MCF5445x family summary

  • Performance of up to 410 Dhrystone 2.1 MIPS at 266 MHz
  • Memory management unit (MMU) and enhanced multiply-accumulate (eMAC) unit
  • 16 KB I-Cache, 16 KB D-Cache
  • 32 KB SRAM
  • Two 10/100 Ethernet MACs (external PHYs)
  • Hardware accelerated encryption
    • Random number generator
    • DES, 3DES, AES, block cipher engine
    • MD5, SHA-1, HMAC, hash accelerator
  • ATA/ATAPI-6 controller (UDMA100 capable)
  • 3 UARTs
  • DMA supported serial peripheral interface (DSPI) with serial boot facility
  • I2C bus interface
  • Synchronous serial interface (SSI) for audio codec capability
  • USB 2.0 Host/Device/On-The-Go Controller
    • Full speed/low speed transceiver
    • High-speed ULPI support
  • Four-channel 32-bit timers with DMA support
  • Four-channel periodic interrupt timer
  • 16-channel DMA controller
  • 16-bit 133/266MHz DDR2/DDR controller
    • Supports Mobile DDR, DDR1, and DDR2
  • Up to 135 general-purpose I/O
  • System integration (PLL, SW Watchdog)
  • 1.5V core; 1.8V/2.5V SDRAM bus; 3.3V I/O
  • Low-power operation for energy-efficient designs
    • Total device power of less than 1W (running Linux OS with example applications, such as WebServer and MP3 decode and playback)
    • Approximately 380 mW core power at 410 DMIPS
    • Lowest stop mode approximately 6 mW
    • Highly flexible power-management modes including low-power run capability
  • Temperature ranges: 0 degrees C to +70 degrees C, -40 degrees C to +85 degrees C
  • Packages: 360 PBGA, 256 MAPBGA

Comprehensive development tools
The MCF5445x family is supported by a broad ecosystem of hardware and software development tools, including full-featured evaluation kits, complimentary Linux board support packages and third-party software tools.

Complimentary Linux solutions for MCF5445x devices, powered by CodeSourcery’s comprehensive GNU C Compiler (GCC) toolchain, enable fast time to market supported by a royalty-free, open-source software solution. The development kit includes an evaluation board with preinstalled Linux OS and demonstration applications, as well as a DVD with Linux OS and full development system for out-of-the-box productivity.

The MCF5445x evaluation kit also includes a complimentary Preview Release of Freescale’s CodeWarrior(R) Development Studio for ColdFire Architectures v7 to help developers get their applications up and running quickly.

Pricing and availability
The MCF5445x family devices are available from $9.95 (suggested resale pricing) in 10,000-unit quantities. Samples are available now. The M54455EVB evaluation system is available now at a suggested resale price of $850. (All prices USD.)

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(R) and the Freescale logo are trademarks of Freescale Semiconductor, Inc.