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Friday, March 04, 2011

Freescale Power Architecture microcontrollers for industrial market mark the end of ColdFire

By Nick Flaherty

Freescale Semiconductor is moving its Power Architecture into microcontrollers that effectively marks the end of the ColdFire range for new designs.
The PX series of MCUs is based on Freescale’s e200 Power Architecture cores and is designed to meet the needs of the most complex industrial control applications, including motion control, power generation, clinical medical, aerospace and defence, motor drives, renewable energy, robotics and more.
“This addition to our industrial MCU portfolio is significant because the industrial electronics market can truly benefit from the capabilities of Power Architecture technology,” said Reza Kazerounian, senior vice president and general manager of Freescale’s Microcontroller Solutions Group. “The PX series of Power Architecture MCUs brings unparalleled performance to a broad range of industrial applications and provides the advanced technology and enablement our customers need for their industrial designs.”
The embedded safety architecture in the PX series of Power Architecture MCUs helps developers meet the safety, reliability and environmental requirements of industrial control applications. Integrated features simplify safety approvals for IEC61511 and IEC 61508 (SIL3), FAA DO-178B Level A and FDA Class II to III.
The single-core performance is up to 600 DMIPS, with multicore options and up to 4 MB of embedded flash memory make the PX series ideal for motion control and other complex, real-time control applications. A single chip can control up to six motors, process complex math algorithms and manage more than the typical three communications connections.
Freescale is also providing run-time software, reference designs and tools for rapid prototyping, advanced debug and system modelling. Customers can lower start-up costs by using Freescale run-time software, such as the free MQX RTOS, DSP and motor control libraries and Swell PEG (portable embedded GUI) development suite. Additionally, Freescale Power Architecture MCUs are supported by tools and the safety-certified INTEGRITY RTOS from Green Hills.
Freescale also offers tools for rapid prototyping with the PX series, including:
  • Modular Tower System hardware development platform with QuickStart code initialisation 
  • RAppID Toolbox with links to the MathWorks Simulink environment 
  • FreeMASTER debug GUI 
All families in the PX series are included in the Freescale product longevity program which ensures a minimum of 10 years of device availability (15 years for medical and automotive devices), providing peace of mind for the embedded designer. For more information, go to

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