I am looking for 68F396 documentation.
I've found only very brief info in 683xx Quick Reference (https://www.tvsat.com.pl/pdf/6/68f396_mot.pdf ) and that's all.
There is a bit about 68F376 on NXP website, but I don't know if it is applicable to 68F396 nor how near or how far 68F396 is to 68F376.
I will appreciate any help.
From the document you've already found, the MC68F396 is similar to the MC68376, except it has SCIM2, TPU2, CTM4, 8k SRAM, 132k of FLASH and FLASH for the TPU as well. That's unusual to have Flash in a 68k part like that way back then (1998 or before).
It is actually a pretty good match for a high-end MC68HC16Y3 or MC68HC916Y3 (they have SCIM2, TPU2, Flash SRAM) with the CPU16 replaced by a CPU32. I suspect it was an MC68HC916Y3 with the core replaced, made for a specific customer with a requirement for that CPU. You could try and read the MC68376 and MC68HC16Y3 manuals for hints.
I'm surprised at how little information exists for this part. What does the OP want this information for? I don't see how you could reprogram one of these, even if you could get it or the data sheets.
Here's a mention in EDN in 1998: "MC68376 and the flash MC68F396"
Here's someone who was working on a project using one in 1998:
Nothing in comp.sys.m68k.
A 2000 version of some GCC documentation mentions support for it (based on the CPU core only):
Someone posting in 2008 that some engine controllers used this chip - maybe they were the specific customer:
Motorola spun off Freescale in 2004. Maybe that product didn't make it across? I can't find anything on archive.org, as Motorola's SPS division's web pages were never searchable using archive.org.
Lauterbach supports everything else, but not that one:
I am not familiar with HC16 so it wasn't my first place of choice to dig in some inforation. But it looks promising.
The most interesting things for me are how internals are mapped in memory and how to program the flash.
Eventually, if it wouldn't be easy, how to use external memory with internal memory disabled.
I've done some stuff with 68LC302 so far.
Recently I've found a source of ~300 pcs of 68F396 for a reasonable price and was wondering if I could make use of them without losing my mind.
One person I was talking with suggests that 68396 was designed for automotive use and is very similar to MC68376, but raised a question if it was ever mass produced.
Thank you for all hints. I'm diving into.
There's a reason they're cheap. They're undocumented and unprogrammable. Unless you can build or adapt your own programmer. The 68300 series is completely outclassed by every little $1 ARM based chip in terms of CPU power, peripherals (like Ethernet and USB) and the amount of memory in them. And ease of programming (plug into a USB port, click and done). The 68376 is a 20MHz (maximum) CPU32. Being basically a 68020, it takes THREE clocks per instruction and every bus cycle that instruction causes (reads and writes). So that can execute 7 basic instructions per microsecond. You'd be better off with any Coldfire chips if you want to use these because you like the 68k instruction set.
> if I could make use of them without losing my mind.
As weird earrings maybe. Otherwise I'm voting for mind-losing. Then again, I had an experience where a printer customer wanted to completely reprogram the character set in printer. Which was impossible. But he managed it. His previous job was in military cryptography, so reverse-engineering and rewriting embedded microprocessor code was "before breakfast" stuff.
They're not lead-free either. That may make getting them soldered onto a board difficult.