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TI Lowers Cost on Digital Signal Controllers for Real Time Processing In Space and Cost Constrained Applications

TMS320LF2401A and LC2401A controllers offer TI's leading DSP technology for embedded control in whitegoods, consumer and industrial applications

Jun 21, 2004

HOUSTON (June 21, 2004) – Helping original equipment manufacturers to meet size and cost restrictions while bringing real time processing to their designs, the flash based TMS320LF2401A and read only memory (ROM) based TMS320LC2401A digital signal controllers from Texas Instruments (TI) (NYSE: TXN) are now available at lower prices, including the LC2401A for as low as $1.95 in high volumes. These devices bring TI´s leading digital signal processing (DSP) technology to a variety of embedded control applications ranging from white goods to power tools to industrial automation. The LF2401A and the pin compatible LC2401A, at only 7 x 7 millimeters, process 40 million instructions per second (MIPS) and are ideal for space constrained applications that need the power and integration that DSP technology offers, and the control peripheral set and ease of use of a microcontroller (MCU). To obtain more information on both digital signal controllers, see www.ti.com/2401pr.

Low Cost, High Performance Enables Advanced Features in a Variety of Control-Oriented Applications

Industrial operator interfaces increase safety by requiring the user to activate push buttons that keep hands away from moving equipment. However, traditional push buttons require repetitive force to operate and can lead to fatigue and strain related injuries. Rockwell´s Zero-Force Touch Buttons use independent, embedded sensors to convert an operator‘s touch into an electrical output that initiates operation when hands or fingers are placed over the button. The buttons also use precise capacitive sensor timing combined with a complex algorithm driven by the LF2401A to discriminate between a person´s touch and a foreign substance, such as clothing, fluid films or splashes that could lead to accidental equipment operation.

"We needed a processor that could handle this complex task and algorithm, as well as meet our strict size restrictions for our Zero-Force Touch Button device," said Rachael Karisny, senior marketing engineer, Rockwell Automation. "The LF2401A was the only embedded processor that met these requirements along with the price, service and support that we needed."

The LF2401A also enables Vectrix, the designer of electric scooters, to implement advanced motor control functions such as tuning the motor by controlling its phase angle and providing power factor correction which improves electric motor efficiency. These functions, which would be difficult if not impossible to implement using analog circuitry or a standard MCU, enhance the scooter´s driving and mileage performance, and the programmability of the controller makes it possible to tune the system for motors made by different suppliers.

Significant advancements in the appliance industry are also attributed to the LF2401A controller, which is being used by Merloni Elettrodomestici in Europe, a leading manufacturer of white goods. TI´s DSP-based controllers have helped to substantially reduce noise levels and improve the washing efficiency of Merloni´s Super Silent line of washing machines. Using TI´s powerful embedded controller, Merloni implemented a more efficient three-phase alternating current (AC) motor using a Field Oriented Control (FOC) technique. This software control technique maximizes torque and more effectively controls speeds based on the motor´s load and allows the washing machine to run more quietly and offer higher efficiency while using a lower cost and smaller motor.

Devices to Accommodate Every Design Need

The LF2401A controller offers 8Kwords of sectored reprogrammable flash memory for quicker development and in-field re-programmability. The LC2401A offers 8 Kwords ROM memory, allowing designers to leverage the same features in a lower cost ROM package. Both devices feature a 64-bit password option for protection against reverse engineering. Peripherals include a fast five-channel analog to digital converter (ADC) with a 500 nanosecond conversion time, watchdog timer, an event manager with time-based PWM generation, QEP and capture inputs, and timers. Communications are available through a serial communications interface (SCI) and 13 general-purpose input/output (GPIO) channels.

There are 25 digital signal controllers in the C2000™ platform designed for virtually all control applications from sub $2 to 150MIPS. Along with industry leading silicon, TI provides designers with application-focused hardware and software tools designed to speed time to market, and a full array of complementary analog solutions designed to work with all C2000 controllers.

Pricing and Availability

The LF2401A controller with flash memory and LC2401A with ROM memory are available for $2.95 and $1.95, respectively in high volumes. For specific pricing and availability, please contact you local TI sales person or distributor.