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C28x + ARM Cortex-M3 MCUs

Concerto™ Training and Support

Concerto™ 11-part Training Series
This free online training series will teach you everything about Concerto, from architecture to inter-processor communications to software and development environment. Modules review the features, mechanics, and resources for their respective topics.

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Webinar

Watch the Concerto™ MCU Webinar!
Learn about the use cases and design challenges of developing connected industrial control applications, while featuring TI’s new C2000 Concerto MCUs. Tool discounts available!

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controlSUITE™ Software
From device-specific drivers and support software to complete system examples in sophisticated system applications, controlSUITE provides libraries and examples at every stage of development and evaluation. Find Concerto™ software here.

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Concerto FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

What are F28M35x Concerto MCUs?

The new Concerto F28M35x microcontrollers combine TI’s class-leading-performance C28x core and control peripherals with an ARM® Cortex™-M3 core and connectivity peripherals to deliver a clearly partitioned architecture that supports real-time control and advanced connectivity in a single, cost-efficient device. To make them easy to use, Concerto MCUs are supported by an intuitive software infrastructure as well as application and connectivity libraries within controlSUITE™ software. The series includes multiple safety and security features and is code compatible across the C2000™ platform to enable scalability and code reuse. For more information, go to www.ti.com/concerto

Target applications:
Green applications including intelligent motor control, renewable energy, smart grid, digital power and electric vehicles

Key features and benefits:

  • Real-time control subsystem based on TI’s C28x core with floating point and the Viterbi Complex Math Unit delivers 13X performance over existing MCUs and industry-leading control peripherals required to design the most reliable, efficient green applications
  • Robust host communication subsystem based on Cortex-M3 and connectivity peripherals such as Ethernet, USB On-The-Go, dual CAN, and multiple serial communication ports
  • Performance can be tailored to different applications with options for 150/75 MHz, 100/100 MHz, 75/75 MHz or 60/60 MHz on the C28x and Cortex-M3 cores, respectively
  • Safety and security features, including up to 1MB of flash and 132K RAM with error correction, parity on CAN and interrupt registers, redundancy for functions and lock protection
  • Free turnkey application and connectivity software libraries, including Ethernet and USB (Digital power, motor control and renewable energy libraries will be available in 3Q11)
  • Speeds development with simple development environment that supports programming each subsystem independently
  • Roadmap for tailored devices to meet specific smart grid applications, such as smart electric meters and concentrators

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How are the Concerto MCUs different from other C2000 MCUs?

Concerto MCUs are dual-core and dual-subsystem. One subsystem, the Control subsystem, is very similar to other C2000 MCUs, as it provides optimized performance, industry-leading peripherals and high-performance analog integration.

However, the other subsystem – the Host subsystem – utilizes the ARM Cortex-M3 core and provides new features, including Ethernet with on-chip MAC, USB OTG, dual CAN, and much more. With each subsystem capable of running independent of each other (independent DMA, independent memory, independent clocking), Concerto MCUs allow embedded developers to separate Control from Host functionality, while reducing complexity and cost.

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How do Concerto MCUs enable greener applications?

The demand for greener applications continues to grow due to government regulation and industry/ consumer desire to reduce emissions and utility costs. Greener applications require the performance of a real-time control MCU to execute complex algorithms needed for precise, efficient power conversion, which is the essence of efficient motor control, renewable energy and smart grid technologies. But to take that efficiency to new levels that can dramatically save energy, these applications must also be connected for remote data sharing, diagnostics, monitoring and control. Concerto MCUs enable developers to do both real-time control and connectivity within one microcontroller, eliminating the traditional need to choose between optimal performance and advanced connectivity.

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How much do the Concerto MCUs cost?

Starting at $6.99 @1ku, and with configurations scaling up to $20, Concerto MCUs present options to meet varying budget and feature requirements.

Variations include options for:

  • Base (SPI/UART/CAN/I2C) or extended Connectivity (adds Ethernet, USB)
  • Option for different clock speeds
  • Memory options: 72-136KB RAM; 512– 1024 KB flash

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When will these products be available for sampling?

Concerto MCUs and evaluation kits can be ordered immediately and will begin shipping in mid-July 2011.

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Does the ARM Cortex-M3 portion of Concerto MCU leverage the Stellaris® hardware architecture?

Yes. The Cortex-M3 CPU and bus architecture were leveraged from Stellaris MCUs, but the memory and peripherals were modified to best address the end equipment applications for which Concerto MCUs were was designed. For example, the memory map, security features, CAN module, RAM, and boot-rom are different.

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How does TI help enable customers to ease programming and fully leverage the Cortex-M3 core, the C28x core and Viterbi Complex Math Unit (VCU)?

Our goal is to make programming for customers as easy as possible, so we provide customers with example projects and software libraries that we will continue to update and expand. In the controlSUITE platform, we have math libraries, FFT libraries, and application specific libraries.

Customers can use a single IDE (Code Composer Studio™ v4) to program and debug the two cores. Each core will be presented as its own project, and they can be run and debugged concurrently.

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What software is available to support the ARM Cortex-M3 on Concerto MCUs?

TI will release the following software throughout 2Q and 3Q 2011:

  • Header files, Linker files, GEL files
  • C drivers for every host subsystem peripheral
  • Examples of how to use every peripheral with the driver library
  • USB stack, lwIP and uIP TCP/IP stacks
  • Documentation for the drivers, examples, and USB stack

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What tools are available for Concerto MCU devices?

Building on the controlCARD concept of removable target boards that plug into both general and application specific development and experimenters kits, TI is introducing a Concerto MCU-based controlCARD for $99. These low cost single board controllers are perfect for initial development and small volume systems. Analog I/O, digital I/O and JTAG signals are available with a DIMM interface.

Concerto controlCARD($99): The controlCARDs are complete board-level modules that utilize an industrystandard DIMM form factor to provide a low-profile single-board controller solution. The host system needs to provide only a single 5V power rail to the controlCARD for it to be fully functional. Concerto controlCARD features:

  • Isolated USB JTAG Interface (XDS100v2)
  • Micro-USB, Ethernet, and MicroSD communication interfaces
  • Standard 100-pin DIMM Interface
  • Analog I/O, digital I/O and JTAG signals at DIMM interface
  • Single 5V power rail for full operation

Concerto Experimenter’s Kit ($139): The C2000 Experimenter Kits from Texas Instruments are ideal products for initial device exploration and testing. The Concerto H52C1 Experimenter Kit has a docking station that features access to all controlCARD signals, breadboard areas and RS-232 and JTAG connectors. Each kit contains a H52C1 controlCARD. The controlCARD is a complete board level module that utilizes and industry-standard DIMM form factor to provide a low-profiles single-board controller solution. Kit is complete with Code Composer Studio IDE v4 and USB cable.

Each kit includes a free license version of TI’s Code Composer Studio IDE, Gerber and hardware files and free application software. Application-specific development boards available for C2000 devices include solar inverter, lighing, motor control boards and digital power application boards.

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Does the ARM Cortex-M3 portion of Concerto MCUs leverage the Stellaris software architecture?

Yes. Concerto MCUs development software leverages a version of StellarisWare® software, but the software was modified to best address the architecture for real-time control and is delivered, documented, and supported by the C2000 controlSUITE™ platform.

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Can I use StellarisWare software directly out of box on Concerto MCUs?

No. Although Concerto software development does leverage StellarisWare software, the software was modified to best address the architecture and features of Concerto MCUs and the applications for which the series was designed. Customers will not be able to take a current revision of StellarisWare software and run directly on Concerto MCUs. However, the vast majority of the software will be nearly identical, except for the portions related to the hardware differences (such as memory map, security features, CAN, RAM, boot-ROM).

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Where can I learn more about the Concerto MCU series?

A full, 11-part online training course is available at www.ti.com/concertotraining. It includes detailed technical information about the platform, the subsystems, memory configurations, system/clocking/power architecture, software and development environment, and much more.

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What is the benefit of the floating-point C28x core?

TI’s C28x core is the foundation of C2000 products. With a single cycle 32-bit MAC, fast interrupt response and minimal latency. The floating-point unit eases programming, improves compatibility with meta-language tools and improves performance by up to 40% over fixed point.

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When is real-time control required?

A real-time control system is one which not only depends on the logical correctness of the calculation but also requires that a result be made available within a specific time window to drive a result. If you miss that time window, your system becomes unstable and can even be catastrophic to the system, which is just not an option for applications such as power conversion and advanced motor control. Real-time control offers greater system efficiency and precision through the implementation of advanced algorithms and intelligent peripherals. Many semiconductor providers are claiming they support real-time control by adding DSP extensions, but C2000 MCUs stand apart because the devices are rooted in TI’s 25+ years of digital signal processing leadership.

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When would you need real-time control versus host control?

Dhrystone benchmarks show that an ARM-based controller such as those based on Cortex-M3 is very well-suited for host-control, general purpose applications. Real-time control incorporates significant math processing in addition to general purpose functions. The C28x real-time control core provides a significant performance boost to real-time control systems through the optimized math processing efficiency of the core. In many applications, elements from both of these sides are required, which leads to the problem of making compromises on one side, or creating a 2-chip solution. Concerto MCUs, however, can provide the best of both worlds in a single chip.

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