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Philips New CAN2.0B Compliant Microcontroller

XA-C3 incorporates CAN transport layer support in hardware to boost CAN performance and decrease design time for industrial and automotive applications

Philips Semiconductors, has announced a new member of the high-performance 16-bit XA family of microcontrollers tailored for Controller Area Network (CAN) applications such as high-performance industrial and automotive systems. The XA-C3 is compliant with the CAN 2.0B standard and features Philips Semiconductors' proven PeliCAN (Philips' Extended Library CAN) functionality, incorporating a CAN transport layer co-processor to improve performance and decrease system cost and design time.

The high communications reliability of CAN devices makes this standard an ideal solution for equipment control applications such as photo copiers, medical equipment and factory automation. CAN microcontrollers are also useful in applications such as electronic wheelchairs and navigational systems. According to the CAN in Automation (CiA) Group, the number of CAN application nodes in 1998 was 60 million units and this number is expected to have grown by nearly 50% in 1999 and more than 50% by the end of 2000.

"Philips Semiconductors is committed to providing highly integrated microcontroller solutions to meet the needs of the rapidly expanding CAN market," said Geoff Lees, marketing director for Philips Semiconductors' Microcontroller Business Line. "The XA-C3 combines Philips Semiconductors' experience in the CAN transceiver and 16-bit microcontroller markets to provide design engineers with a high-performance CAN 2.0B solution at a low cost."

The XA-C3 is a member of Philips Semiconductors' eXtended Architecture (XA) family of microcontrollers and combines standard peripherals with a PeliCAN CAN 2.0B engine to support the maximum CAN data rate of 1 Mbps. It features 32K of One Time Programmable (OTP) program memory and 1K of on-chip data Static Random Access Memory (SRAM). The chip also includes a Universal Asynchronous Receiver Transmitter (UART) and Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI) port to enable integration of various serial interfaces to a CAN network.

The device provides support for CAN transport layer protocols such as DeviceNet, CANopen and OSEK in hardware rather than leaving the responsibility to the designer to implement in software, resulting in reduced Central Processing Unit (CPU) overhead and increased power to run the application. In most cases, the XA-C3's CAN co-processor reduces CPU overhead by up to 90% in comparison to conventional CAN microcontrollers, and typically uses less than 2% of the CPU resources for message handling, leaving almost 100% of the 16-bit CPU core's resources available to run the application. This is achieved through 32 CAN transport layer message objects that can be configured to receive or transmit and 32 separate filters/screeners each allowing a 30-bit ID match and full 29-bit mask to represent a unique group address.

The device supports the C operating language and runs at a 32 MHz operating frequency at 4.5 to 5.5 V. The XA-C3 also supports multi-tasking and real-time operation with a 16-level interrupt priority system that handles the 42 vectored interrupts with fast context switching. In addition, the device includes power-down and idle modes to enable low-power operation.

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[Reprinted with kind permission from Philips Semiconductors]

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