New Industry Products

Freescale Expands Digital Signal Controller Portfolio with Additional Price/Performance Options

September 25, 2006 by Jeff Shepard

Freescale Semiconductor is answering the market demand for more advanced digital control solutions by adding four digital signal controllers (DSCs) to its 16-bit 56F8000 DSC family. With the introduction of these four devices, Freescale has significantly broadened its array of cost-effective DSC offerings.

With the 56F8000 family, consumer and industrial products that previously required both digital and analog control algorithms and circuits now can be controlled digitally through flexible, intelligent embedded software running on a DSC. Freescale's latest DSCs provide optimal digital control solutions for motor control (refrigerator compressors, dishwashers, conveyor belts); digital power conversion (ac-dc power supplies, uninterruptible power supplies, frequency inverters); and advanced lighting control (high-brightness LED arrays for architectural lighting and LCD backlights).

The latest 56F8000 DSCs are available in four lead-free package options, ranging from 32 to 64 pins, with flash memory sizes from 12KB to 64KB. The increased flash memory array enables easier implementation of complex loop control algorithms and system control features. Other additions to the 56F8000 peripheral set include a digital-to-analog converter (DAC) and analog comparators. These features enable reduced design costs through the elimination of external components and circuitry. An optional Multi-Scalable Controller Area Network (MSCAN) 2.0 A/B module is available on the higher memory devices, providing robust connectivity for industrial and automotive applications.

The need for accurate, low-cost motor control is prevalent in household appliance applications. Recent regulatory requirements are driving appliance manufacturers to increase the system integrity/safety of their control circuitry. The 56F8000 family addresses these latest regulations with advanced features, such as an independently clocked watchdog timer and the capability to verify flash memory contents. Both features allow system designers to guard against conditions such as code runaway that could potentially induce unsafe conditions in their end products.

The 56F8000 family enhancements bring efficient, reliable and cost-effective control to embedded applications. Examples include sensorless control of electric motors, reducing system cost and helping to eliminate potential points of failure; less torque ripple in electric motors, reducing vibration and noise though adaptive, closed-loop algorithmic control; and reduction of bulky magnetics in power supplies, resulting in more efficient power conversion with reduced heat generation and smaller size.

The 56F8000 series incorporates Freescale's 56800/E DSC core, which delivers 32 MIPS and single-cycle multiply accumulate (MAC) execution. Additional device features include: up to 64KB of flash; 96MHz PWM with programmable fault capability; highly accurate 12-bit ADC with a 1.125 microsecond conversion rate; ADC/PWM synchronization; inter-IC bus interface; integrated voltage regulator and power supervisor; tunable relaxation oscillator; four 16-bit timers, computer operating properly (COP), serial peripheral interface (SPI) and serial communications interface (SCI); up to 26 general-purpose input/output (GPIO); and a temperature range from -40 to 125°C.

Product specifications and development systems for the 56F8037, 56F8036, 56F8025 and 56F8023 DSC devices are available now. Production quantities are planned for the first quarter of 2007.