- Buyers Guide
Freescale Semiconductor continues to enable advanced development through rapid evaluation and prototyping with its Tower System development platform. The company recently announced two processor modules, three interchangeable peripheral modules and a number of partner-developed modules for the reconfigurable development platform.
The processor modules are specific for industrial networking, automotive, human-machine-interface and portable handheld and metering applications. The peripheral modules offer graphical LCD, serial memory and capacitive touch functionality, allowing for the development of highly advanced microcontrollers, with the same ease-of-use and customization features already inherent in the Tower System.
The Tower System provides a customizable embedded design environment that allows developers to mix and match processor and peripheral boards to create reconfigurable development platforms that suit their design needs. Interchangeable modules promote reuse of hardware across multiple architectures, which helps speed time to market. The modular design scales down overall tool costs, while providing an inexpensive entry point.
The MPC5125 module (TWR-MPC5125) is one of the first microprocessor modules available as part of the Tower System. Designed for industrial networking, automotive and human-machine interface (HMI) solutions, the TWR-MPC5125 module features HDMI, USB2.0 OTG, Ethernet, microphone and stereo audio output, and can serve as a single-board computer.
The MC9S08LH64 module (TWR-S08LH64) features the ultra low power MC9S08LH64 segment LCD controller with integrated 16 bit ADC, providing the user with development hardware for portable handheld and entry-level metering applications.
These modules compliment the previously announced MCF52259 V2 ColdFire connectivity module (TWR-MCF5225X), the MCF51CN128 V1 ColdFire Ethernet module (TWR-MCF51CN) and the MC9S08LL64 8-bit segment LCD module (TWR-S08LL64). In future months, Freescale and its partners plan to provide Tower System support for additional embedded devices, including other ColdFire MCUs, 8-bit MCUs and digital signal controllers (DSCs).
The LCD module (TWR-LCD) adds graphical LCD functionality with a 3.2-inch QVGA display, touch panel, integrated display controller and frame buffer.
The Memory module (TWR-MEM) enables Serial Flash, MRAM, SD Card and Compact Flash interface functionality.
The Swappable Sensor module (TWR-SENSOR-PAK) provides capacitive touch, accelerometer, barometer, pressure, ambient light and temperature controls.
These three modules complement the previously announced peripheral modules, including the serial module, (TWR-SER), which supports Ethernet, USB, RS232, RS485 and CAN; the elevator modules (TWR-ELEV) that connect the processor and peripheral boards; and the prototyping module (TWR-PROTO), which allows for custom circuitry design.
The Tower System helps developers quickly evaluate and prototype their applications. As they require more functionality and design capabilities, developers can easily add more modules to their Tower System library. In addition, standardized, open-source hardware allows Freescale customers and partners to design additional modules for added functionality and customization.