Tower development platform grows -

Tower development platform grows

Freescale Semiconductor has extended the Tower System development platform with development boards (modules) for medical, industrial and general embedded applications, with the recently announced eight new controller modules, three interchangeable peripheral modules and four comprehensive kits for the reconfigurable Tower System.

The new controller modules feature Kinetis microcontrollers (90 nanometer, 32-bit MCUs based on the ARM Cortex-M4 core) and ColdFire+ Jx and Qx MCUs. Three new peripheral modules add fast network connectivity for wireless control and monitoring, a low-power audio interface and low-power 802.11 Wi-Fi for home wireless applications.

The Universal 8-bit Tower Controller Module, TWR-S08UNIV, includes a controller module with a set of MCU daughter cards featuring Freescale's S08 and RS08 MCUs, including the RS08KA and S08AC, QD, QE, QG and SH families. This module can be used as a stand-alone development system or it can be paired with one or more peripheral modules from the growing Tower System ecosystem. This combination of the Tower System module and attachable daughter cards provides an easy way to switch between S08 and RS08 MCUs without duplicating development board purchases.

It also gives the Tower System ecosystem access to a set of MCUs previously supported only by traditional demo boards. The TWR-MCF51JF and TWR-MCF51QM controller modules are based on the ColdFire+ MCF51JF128 and MCF51QM128 MCUs respectively. As with most Tower System controller modules, they each can operate standalone or as part of a Tower System. Both feature an on-board open-source debug interface, capacitive touch pads, audio capture and playback, and a general purpose Tower plug-in (TWRPI) socket.

Additionally, the MCF51JF includes a full-speed USB 2.0 dual-role interface and the MCF51QM provides easy access to high-precision analogue IO. The TWR-K53N512 controller module features a MCU from the new Kinetis K50 family, the MK53N512CMD100. The Kinetis K50 MCU family adds an analogue measurement engine consisting of integrated operational and transimpedance amplifiers and high-precision analogue-to-digital converter (ADC) and digital-to-analogue converter (DAC) modules.

The TWR-K53N512 provides the features that have become common to Tower controller modules, such as on-board debug interface, capacitive touch, accelerometer, TWRPI socket, etc., and it adds an expansion connector that provides easy access to the analogue measurement engine. The module also comes with the TWRPI-SLCD module featuring a segment LCD.

The module connects to the TWRPI-SLCD board and has Ethernet, USB connectivity for compatibility with the TWR-SER and a MMA7660 accelerometer. Freescale's Robot Kit (FSLBOT) is an easy-to-use mechatronics development and demonstration platform that allows students, hobbyists and developers to experiment with mechanics, electronics and software all in one integrated system. The kit includes four PWM controlled servo motors (actuators), metal legs and capacitive sensing panels.

The Tower System Mechatronics board (TWR-MECH) is included with the Robot Kit and provides the “brains” of the robot. The TWR-MECH is a unique Tower System module that features a ColdFire MCF52259 MCU, a three-axis accelerometer, a 12-channel touch sensor and on-board debug interface servo motor connectors. The TWR-MECH module is programmable in C/C++ using CodeWarrior or the Robot Vision Toolkit and the simple RobotSee language.

The TWR-S08GW64 module features the MC9S08GW64 MCU with an integrated segment LCD controller, dual 16-bit ADCs, low-power position counter and an independent real-time clock (RTC). The TWR-S08GW64 provides most everything needed to develop applications for cost effective metering solutions, including an on-board open-source debug interface, potentiometers for ADC input and LCD contrast adjustment, simulated input for 3-phase AC voltage and current, and an RS232 port.

The TWR-S12G128 and TWR-S12G32 modules are demonstration and development boards for the MC9S12G128 and MC9S12GN32 16-bit automotive MCUs and feature integrated open-source debug and software tools for simple and fast application development and debug. All MCU signals are available on one or both of the Tower elevator connectors. The MC9S12GN32 provides16-bit wide accesses without wait states for all peripheral access. The MC9S12GN32 targets automotive applications requiring LIN/J2602 communications such as body controllers and occupant detection.

This article originally appeared on EE Times Europe.

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