What's a microcontroller for industrial applications supposed to do? One of the main demands today is to increase energy efficiency while at the same time support as many communications standards as neccessary. Due to the multicore nature of modern microcontrollers, programming has become increasingly difficult so anything that reduces software complexity is highly desirable.
Peter Bauer, CEO of Infineon comments: »Savings play an important role to satisfy the increasing energy demands of a growing world population. With our power semiconductors and now the new ARM based microcontroller family XMC4000, Infineon enables energy efficient control of a wide range of industrial applications.«
XMC (Cross-Market Microcontroller) is suitable for many industrial applications due to its configurability. It is supposed to close the performance gap between the 16-bit »XE166« family and the 32-bit TriCore family. XMC4000 is designed to enable scalable, compatible solutions with a high degree of software reusability. The portfolio consists of five series: XMC4100, XMC4200, XMC4400, XMC4500 and XMC4700. These series differ in terms of core frequency, memory capacity and peripheral functions and number of I/O’s.
Apart from the CPU subsystem the controllers have DSP functionality, a floating point unit, a Flash memory with 22 ns read time and ECC, SRAM and extended peripheral functions. The range of peripherals includes new timer modules, up to four parallel 12-bit A/D converters with a sampling rate of 70 ns and a conversion time of 500 ns, up to two 12-bit D/A converters, up to four high-resolution PWM channels (150 ps), integrated delta-sigma demodulator modules and touch button modules. Powerful communication is provided by an IEEE 1588-compatible Ethernet MAC (Media Access Control for Ethernet with time stamp), USB 2.0, CAN and SD/MMC interfaces and up to six serial communication channels which can be individually configured as UART, SPI, Quad SPI, IIC, IIS or LIN using software. In addition, the XMC4000 family offers a fast external bus interface that supports synchronous standards such as SDRAM or Burst Flash, and asynchronous standards such as SRAM, NAND Flash and NOR Flash.
The integrated development environment DAVE 3 is Eclipse-based and comes with a GNU compiler, debugger and data display utilities that can be extended using third party tools. DAVE 3 also supports automatic code generation based on predefined software components (DAVE Apps). Those Apps are configured in a user-friendly way via the graphical user interface. The generated code can be directly compiled, debugged and displayed in DAVE 3 – or imported into third party tools for further processing.
»Our XMC4000 family combines optimized peripherals with the advantages of the widespread ARM architecture for industrial applications«, said Dr. Stephan Zizala, Senior Director, Industrial and Multimarket Microcontrollers at Infineon. »Our customers in industrial electronics benefit from our many years of application experience that result in convincing novelties: flexible timers, fast ADCs, fast and robust Flash memory and extended temperature ranges of up to +125°C. Using the development environment DAVE makes familiarization with the XMC4000 family convenient, time-saving and free of charge.«
Samples of the XMC4500 series and DAVE 3 will be available from March 2012. High-volume production of the XMC4500 products starts in May 2012. For development support Infineon offers a modular design kit with which up to three additional application boards can be connected to the basic design board, depending on the respective application requirements. Samples of the XMC4400, XMC4200 and XMC4100 series are intended to be available from the fourth quarter of 2012. Depending on the XMC4000 series and package selected, the unit price for a XMC4000 microcontroller is going to range between 1 and 7 €.