HOUSTON -- Texas Instruments Inc. today (March 26) claimed it was offering the industry's smallest DSP-based controller for embedded use in consumer and industrial products. The digital signal processor and two other small DSP chips are the newest members in TI's 16-bit, fixed-point 320C2000 series.
The new 32-pin LF2401A controller is three times smaller than competing DSPs, which are housed in 28-pin SOIC packages, said Scott Roller, platform marketing manager for TI's TMS320C2000 family in Houston. The new 0.25-micron DSP controller housed in a 7-by-7-mm, low-profile quad flatpack (LQFP), which shrinks the device to a size smaller than a contact lens, he told SBN.
Compared to a competing DSP-based controller from Analog Devices Inc.--the ADMC328--the smaller LF2401A chip also provides about two times the performance in terms of millions of instructions per second (MIPS), according to Roller.
The 3.3-volt LF2401A features 8 kilowords of flash memory with code security. Also available on chip are 1-K words of RAM as well as boot-up ROM. Peripherals include 10-bit five-channel analog-to-digital converter (ADC), event manager, a serial communications interface, watchdog timer, and 13 general purpose I/O channels.
"This product not only offers a small package but it also has JTAG emulation capabilities, which takes up seven pins. It has PLL phase-locked loop, power and ground for analog and digital functions," Roller said. "The pin count adds up quickly, so we had to do a lot to the silicon design itself to make it fit in the 32-pin package."
Along with the new smallest member of the 320C2000 series, TI today introduced the 64-pin LF2403A with 16-K words of flash memory, and the 64-pin LC2402A chip with 6-K words of ROM, which is targeted at high-volume, low-cost applications. The DSP controller series now has 15 members addressing a wide range of applications, Roller said.
The 64-pin LF2403A and LC2402A are housed 10-by-10-mm TQFP packages, making them about half the size of a 28-pin SOIC device. The three new members of the DSP controller series are focused on space-constrained applications, such as handheld power tools, appliances, toys, intelligent sensors, optical network components, and cooling systems in electronics equipment.
In one application, the small DSP chips have been designed into the trigger of a handheld drill for sensorless control, Roller said. Other applications include analog measurement, digital filtering, servo positioning, and frequency analysis.
Over 50 algorithms and software modules are also available for control applications from TI as well as software suppliers. A complete development system for the new DSPs sells for $1,995, while targeted support for individual devices is available for as low as $299.
Samples of the tiny 32-pin LF2401A will be available in the third quarter of 2001. It will be priced at $5.95 each in quantities of 100,000. The flash-based 64-pin LF2403A is set to be sampled in the second quarter, priced at $7.95 each in 100,000-piece quantities. The ROM-based LC2402A will sell for $2.95 each. TI is now taking ROM code orders for the LC2402A chip.
-J. Robert Lineback