Unlike microcontrollers that rely on software for safety capabilities, Hercules microcontrollers implement safeguards in hardware to reduce software overhead. Coupled with robust tools, software and safety documentation, TI claims that this functionality gives developers the headroom to differentiate their end products.
Three of the families in the Hercules range are based on dual Cortex-R4F cores; the least well deployed of the ARM Cortex family. The cores operate in lockstep to deliver the assurances needed for the target markets, and a safety manual is provided to explain how to implement the Hercules MCUs in to safety-critical applications.
To get started quickly, developers can use the low-cost Hercules USB Stick Development Kits or the full-featured Hercules Development Kits. Each kit comes with all the hardware and software required to get up and running quickly, including TI’s Code Composer Studio integrated development environment, HALCoGen peripheral configuration tool and a Safety Demo that showcases BIST execution and error forcing modes.