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First Floating Point Digital Signal Controllers

TMS320F2833x DSCs Boost Performance 50 Percent and Simplify Software Development for Solar Power and Other Applications

The new TMS320F2833x devices provide 300 million floating point instructions per second (MFLOPS) performance at 150 MHz while providing the lower costs typically associated with fixed point processors. Simplified software development common to floating-point processors and the performance boost allows solar power inverters to more efficiently convert energy from photovoltaic (PV) panels, offers better power efficiency and performance to variable speed alternating current (AC) drives and provides greater performance for automotive radar applications.

According to the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA), solar capacity will grow 397 percent to 5550 Megawatts from 2005 to 2010. The world's leading solar inverter manufacturers - the majority of which use TI DSCs - maximize their systems to peak efficiency through Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) algorithms and dynamic algorithm adjustments during various load conditions, including cloudy and low light days. F2833x controllers have the performance headroom to maximize these MPPT algorithms and dynamic adjustments while also integrating additional system features like data logging, power line communications (PLC) or inverter synchronization to the utility grid.

With the high integration and performance enabled by floating point F2833x controllers, robotics and computer numerical control (CNC) machines using AC induction motors will see both finer control and increased dynamic range. Systems designers using AC servo motors can now specify smaller, more energy efficient motors which, along with AC induction motors, IMS Research states, will drive an approximately eight percent yearly revenue growth for the industrial drive market. IMS Research also states that drives used in the AC induction motor segment are growing largely due to their ability to significantly lower the energy costs associated with running the motor. Demand for servo drives is linked to growth in precision applications such as machine tools, packaging machinery and semiconductor machinery, where the need for faster production cycles is leading to increased use of servo systems at the expense of mechanical ones.

New Controllers Increase Performance by an Average 50 Percent

The new F2833x floating point controllers will increase performance by an average of 50 percent over TI's previous leading digital signal controllers while operating at the same 150 MHz clock rate. Some algorithms, such as a Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) used for complex calculations, will see a 200 percent improvement over an equivalent 32-bit fixed-point implementation. Overall system bandwidth is also increased with the addition of a six-channel direct memory access (DMA) controller that offloads the central processing unit (CPU) from servicing the ultra-fast, on-chip analog-to-digital converter (ADC) along with user-configurable 16- or 32-bit external memory interface and high-speed serial ports.


Simplified Development and Complete System Integration

Software developers typically begin creating algorithms in a floating-point environment for validation, and then convert the code to run on fixed-point devices. Now, however, developers can eliminate the weeks - and often months - of time spent contending with scaling, saturation and adjustment of numerical resolution required in fixed-point implementations.

All F2833x controllers offer exceptional system integration for single-chip control applications from signal input to high-resolution control output. The on-chip 12-bit, 16-channel ADC operates at 12.5 mega-samples per second - the fastest on-chip ADC operation of any digital signal controller in the industry today. The F2833x controller series features up to 18 pulse width modulation (PWM) channels, six of which include TI's unique high-resolution PWM (HRPWM) technology with 150 pico-seconds (ps) resolution. Communication interfaces include CAN, I2C, UART, SPI and TI's Multi-channel Buffered Serial Ports (McBSP).

The company's Web site address is http://www.ti.com/.

[Reprinted with kind permission from Texas Instruments]


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