Computer/Embedded Technology


Free 32-bit reference design speeds CAN and Ethernet-based embedded system development

10 September 2002 Computer/Embedded Technology

Designers of industrial and automotive systems using the controller area network (CAN) communication protocol can now reduce development times and overall system costs by using a new reference design from Motorola.

Based on a 32-bit ColdFire Version 2 integrated microprocessor - the MCF5272 - this tool is designed to enable systems designers to quickly employ the Ethernet LAN technology alongside CAN technology for distributed control applications used in industrial environments, such as textile equipment, paper processors and assembly plants. By connecting CAN and Ethernet, factory managers will ultimately be able to monitor the factory equipment from a local PC or anywhere in the world via a remote connection. The CAN reference design includes design schematics, an applications note and driver software available free for download to registered users from the Motorola website.

For years, CAN (ISO 11898) has been used to connect devices in industrial environments because of its robustness, determinism, error detection and correction features. Ethernet is the de facto standard in connecting personal computers and office equipment. As the amount of data from the factory floor increases, a further step in industrial control and process automation is to combine the CAN and Ethernet networking technologies to connect the factory floor to the front office. This connectivity allows for realtime communication of metrics and diagnostics along with facilitation of analysis and planning.

Key features of the ColdFire MCF5272 microprocessor include: 63 MIPS @ 66 MHz; 10/100 Ethernet controller; USB 1.1 device module; 2 UARTs; SPI; DMA; 3 PWM.

The CAN/Ethernet reference design features: full schematics detailing the hardware design and software development; detailed applications note describing how to design a CAN controller daughter card that plugs in to the evaluation platform; initialisation and driver software. Design documentation and software is available at no cost to registered users of Motorola's website at www.motorola.com/ColdFire.

For more information: Arrow Altech Distribution, 011 923 9600, Avnet Kopp, 011 809 6100, EBV-Electrolink, 021 421 5350.



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