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Infineon re-enters ARM market with motor control families

January 23, 2012 | Nick Flaherty | 222902022
Infineon re-enters ARM market with motor control families Infineon Technologies has re-entered the market as an ARM licensee after the sale of its wireless division to Intel, this time with a focus on several families of motor controllers using the Cortex M4 core.
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The target applications of the XMC4000 family include electric drives, solar inverters and the automation of manufacturing and buildings. The XMC4000 portfolio consists of five series: XMC4100, XMC4200, XMC4400, XMC4500 and XMC4700. These series mainly differ in terms of core frequency, memory capacity and peripheral functions and number of I/O.
“Savings play an important role to satisfy the increasing energy demands of a growing world population,” said Peter Bauer, CEO of Infineon. “With our market-leading power semiconductors and now the new ARM based microcontroller family XMC4000, Infineon enables energy efficient control of a wide range of industrial applications.”
Infineon says it is using the family to close the performance gap between the 16-bit XE166 family and the 32-bit TriCore family, acknowledging that TriCore has failed to make an impact in the indistrial embedded market.
The XMC4000 family has a powerful CPU subsystem, DSP functionality, a floating point unit, a fast Flash memory with only 22ns read time and error correction code (ECC), large SRAM and extended peripheral functions. The extensive range of peripherals includes new timer modules, up to four parallel 12-bit A/D converters with a sampling rate of 70ns and a conversion time of 500ns, 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.
Infieon is also looking to the DAVE integrated development environment for application-oriented software development possible. The Eclipse-based environment with free GNU compiler, debugger and data display utilities can be extended using third party tools. DAVE 3 also supports automatic code generation based on predefined software components, the “DAVE Apps”. The DAVE Apps are configured in a user-friendly way via the graphical user interface. The code that is generated can be directly compiled, debugged and displayed in DAVE 3 – or imported into third party tools for further processing. Infineon cooperates with more than 20 partners, who provide other specific development tools, software solutions, training and consulting services for the XMC4000 family.
“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 ADC’s, 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.”
The first XMC4000 device is the XMC4500 series, combining 120MHz-CPU, up to 1MByte of embedded Flash memory, 160 Kbytes of RAM and a comprehensive range of peripheral and interface functions. The peripherals include four parallel fast 12-bit A/D converter modules, two 12-bit D/A converters, four delta sigma demodulator modules, six capture/compare units (CCU4 and CCU8), two positioning interface modules, and a module for eight touch buttons. Communication functions comprise interfaces for Ethernet, USB, and SD/MMC. In addition, the XMC4000 family offers three CAN modules, six serial communication channels and one external bus interface for communication.
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.


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