|Freescale introduces ‘ultimate Ethernet connectivity solution’ for industrial applications|
Offering combines ColdFire® microcontroller, complimentary Freescale MQX™ software and modular hardware platform to streamline development
Freescale's modular, reconfigurable Tower System enables rapid prototyping
AUSTIN, Texas – June 22, 2009 – Freescale Semiconductor is redefining embedded Ethernet design with a new platform solution that combines a 32-bit ColdFire® V1 microcontroller (MCU) with a complimentary operating system and application software solution and easy-to-use, modular development hardware. This combined hardware/software offering is designed to help embedded designers save months in development time and reduce cost, now and in the future.
Freescale’s ultimate Ethernet connectivity solution features the MCF51CN ColdFire® V1 MCU, complimentary Freescale MQX™ real-time operating system (RTOS) and TCP/IP software stacks, and the Tower System, a cost-effective, open-source demonstration and evaluation platform with a library of interchangeable board modules. The combined solution gives developers an easily customizable, expandable design environment that can expedite development time through rapid prototyping and tool reuse.
The first Freescale MCU supported by the Tower System is the MCF51CN, which integrates the ColdFire V1 core with on-chip Ethernet connectivity and a flexible external bus. The MCF51CN MCU is ideal for developers who need to upgrade serial communications to Ethernet, as well as for new applications requiring 10/100Mb connectivity. Target embedded Ethernet applications include:
"The combination of the MCF51CN MCU, Freescale MQX software and our Tower System can help developers connect serial applications to Ethernet in just seconds,” said Jeff Bock, global marketing manager for industrial and multi-market microcontrollers at Freescale. “This comprehensive solution enhances design flexibility and helps to significantly reduce development cost and complexity for a wide range of industrial applications. The Tower System’s modular, reconfigurable hardware running Freescale MQX software makes it refreshingly easy to get Ethernet applications up and running quickly – at minimal cost.”
About the Tower System
The Freescale Tower System helps developers quickly evaluate and prototype their applications. As they require more functionality and design capabilities, developers can easily add more modules to their Tower System library. In addition, standardized, open-source hardware allows Freescale customers and partners to design additional modules for added functionality and customization.
The Tower System’s easy-to-use, modular design helps customers control tool costs, from simple concept testing to full product development. A single MCU/MPU module serves as the main control board. Modules simply plug into backplane boards, called “elevators,” through standard PCB edge connectors. Peripheral board re-use eliminates the need to buy and develop redundant hardware, which reduces future costs. In addition, the MCU module includes open-source background debug mode (OSBDM) hardware, allowing each board to serve as a standalone debug tool.
The Tower System is currently available for MCF51CN MCUs. In the coming quarters, Freescale and its partners plan to provide Tower System support for additional embedded devices, including other ColdFire MCUs, 8-bit MCUs and digital signal controllers (DSCs).
Backed by Freescale MQX software and leading development tools
By providing complimentary Freescale MQX software with its silicon products, Freescale is helping alleviate much of the initial software investment hurdle faced by embedded developers. Comparable full-featured software offerings on the market today may cost developers as much as $95,000 (USD) in licensing fees.
To ease the development process, Freescale offers a comprehensive ecosystem of software development tools, reference designs, application notes, software examples and webinars. The MCF51CN family is supported by a complimentary 30-day evaluation version of Freescale's CodeWarrior® Development Studio for ColdFire v6.2. Designers can further accelerate development with the help of Processor Expert™ software, an award-winning rapid application development tool in the CodeWarrior tool suite. The CodeWarrior Development Studio is Freescale MQX RTOS aware, giving developers a highly integrated development ecosystem.
Pricing and availability
Samples of the MCF51CN MCU are available now, and production quantities are planned for Q4 2009. Suggested resale pricing for MCF51CN MCUs starts at $2.99 (USD) in 10,000-unit quantities.
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