Freescale Announces Flexis AC Scalable Microcontrollers

Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and electromagnetic interference (EMI) are critical concerns for developers designing in “noisy” environments that contain numerous electrical components in close proximity. To address this design challenge, Freescale Semiconductor has introduced a scalable microcontroller (MCU) family designed to help engineers cut through the noise in large appliance and industrial applications.

Freescale’s Flexis[tm] AC family features 8-bit devices (MC9S08AC128/96/60/48/32) and 32-bit V1 ColdFire® MCUs (MCF51AC256/128) designed to provide exceptional EMC/EMI performance and an array of on-chip peripherals to help reduce component count, system complexity and overall system cost. As the third member of Freescale’s Flexis series of 8- to 32-bit pin-, peripheral- and software-compatible MCUs, the AC family offers an upward migration path from existing Freescale 8-bit MC9S08AW products.

“The Flexis AC family extends the benefits of 8-bit to 32-bit compatibility into the large appliance market where developers need to optimize their designs to address an array of performance requirements and product price points,” said Aiden Mitchell, product manager for Freescale’s Microcontroller Solutions Group. “This new family of 5V MCUs offers precise motor control capabilities, exceptional EMC/EMI performance, extensive on-chip peripherals and system protection features to help developers simplify and reduce the cost of their white goods designs.”

Ideal solution for large appliance and industrial control
The Flexis AC family is an optimal choice for a single-chip motor control and human-machine interface (HMI) solution in white goods applications, such as washing machines, dryers, refrigerators, dishwashers and other major appliances. The product family is also scalable and flexible enough to meet the needs of a wide range of general industrial applications, from factory automation to building control to HVAC systems.

The Flexis AC devices’ outstanding EMC/EMI performance at 5V enables designers to create cost-effective and electromagnetically quieter systems by reducing the number of required external components for these applications.

Intelligent peripherals for high performance, reduced cost
To help enable basic to advanced motor control, the Flexis AC devices feature three time/pulse-width modulators (TPM) on the 8-bit S08AC128/96 devices and an advanced 16-bit FlexTimer module on the 32-bit MCF51AC256/128 ColdFire MCUs designed to simplify the control of complex solutions.

The ColdFire V1 devices offer the performance and peripherals to handle sophisticated motor control algorithms while simultaneously driving touch-screen user interfaces based on Freescale’s proximity sensing software. As a result, developers need only one 32-bit Flexis MCU to drive the entire appliance application, which helps reduce component count, system cost and time to market. The ColdFire MCUs also feature a controller area network (CAN) bus for network connectivity and the ability to synchronize the analog-to-digital controller (ADC) and the FlexTimer module for best-in-class motor control.

To enhance system integrity, security and reliability, the Flexis AC MCUs integrate a wide range of hardware and software system protection features. These safety features help manufacturers of automatic controls used in large appliance and industrial equipment comply with key regulations, such as the IEC 60730 class B regulation for safe, reliable operation of electronic controls in household appliances. Additional features, such as active power-on reset, low voltage detection and low voltage warning, help protect against system failure caused by brownouts. These on-chip features make the Flexis AC family one of the most robust MCU offerings in its class.

MCF51AC256/128 32-bit ColdFire MCU features

  • 50MHz 32-bit ColdFire V1 core with 25MHz bus frequency
  • Up to 32 KB SRAM / Up to 256 KB flash
  • Single supply 5V operation
  • High EMC/EMI performance
  • 2x 6-channel 16-bit FlexTimer Module (FTM), 1x 2-channel 16-bit TPM
  • 24-channel 12-bit ADC
  • msCAN interface for industrial control
  • Real time counter (RTC)
  • 2x SPI, 2x SCI and I2C bus interface with broadcasting mode
  • Low voltage detect (LVD), low voltage warning (LVW)
  • Multi-clock generator (MCG)
  • System protection features: independently clocked COP and CRC
  • Up to 70 GPIO
  • 64LQFP, 64QFP and 80LQFP package options

MC9S08AC128/96 8-bit MCU features

  • 40MHz S08 core with 20MHz bus frequency
  • Up to 8 KB SRAM / Up to 128 KB flash
  • Pin-compatible with AW60 MCU
  • Internal clock generator (ICG)
  • 2x SPI, 2x SCI and 12C bus interface with broadcasting mode
  • 16-bit timers: 1×2-channel, 2x 6-channel
  • 16-channel 10-bit ADC
  • Real-time interrupt
  • System protection features: independently clocked COP and CRC
  • Up to 70 GPIO
  • 44LQFP, 64QFP and 80LQFP package options

Appliance and industrial design made easy
Freescale offers a comprehensive support and training ecosystem of development tools, reference designs, application notes, software examples and webcasts. To help developers get their boards up and running quickly and easily, Freescale offers the DEMOACKIT, a flexible and cost-effective evaluation system for the Flexis AC family. The DEMOACKIT contains the 8- and 32-bit Flexis AC daughter cards and includes a built-in USB BDM, LEDs, a serial port, an acceleration sensor and an I/O header.

Freescale also offers the DEMOACEX expansion board, which plugs into the DEMOACKIT and allows developers to take advantage of the additional performance and integration features, such as CAN, offered by the 32-bit solution.

The Flexis AC MCUs are supported by a complimentary version of CodeWarrior® Development Studio for Microcontrollers v6.1, an integrated tool suite that supports software development for Freescale’s 8-bit or 32-bit MCUs. Designers can further accelerate applications development with the help of the Processor Expert[tm] tool, an award-winning rapid application development tool in the CodeWarrior tool suite.

Pricing and availability
Samples of the Flexis AC devices are available now. Suggested resale pricing (USD) for the S08AC128 in 10K quantities starts at $2.48, and the MCF51AC256 starts at $3.54 in 10K quantities. Suggested resale pricing (USD) for the DEMOACKIT is $99, and $30 for the DEMOACEX kit.

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 2007 sales of $5.7 billion (USD).

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