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TI has introduced the Tiva™ C series TM4C129x MCUs, including a first for ARM Cortex-M4 based devices. In my opinion, the Ethernet MAC+PHY interfacing brings this CPU series to the forefront of the Internet of Things (IoT) revolution.
Designs using these MCUs would be well-suited for home and building automation gateway applications as well as inexpensive HMI interfaces. An integrated LCD controller would reduce board space for these applications.
The TMC4C129x series includes the best of all the expected I/O connectivity in quantity. With UART x8, QSPI x4, I 2 C x10, CAN x2, USB 2.0, PWMs, quadrature encoder, 12-bit ADCs, and the Ethernet MAC+PHY it appears to have covered every corner of MCU I/O interfacing.
CAN and Ethernet connectivity designs based on the TM4CC129 allow for industry standard connections off-the-board for information sharing with standard automation and control devices, PACs, PLCs, WiFi-enabled tables and smart phones. The SPI and I 2 C interfaces open the door to the myriad of I/O integrated circuits for on-the-board features, saving board space and making on-board connections simple.
TI provides extensive details in the system design guidelines for designing a circuit board using the TM4C129x series of MCUs. All aspects of MCU support circuitry and I/O connections including pin-out diagrams, trace widths, board routing design, support component placement, and schematics are included.
The development kit board brings implementation and design convenience to engineers considering the Tiva series. The board includes a 120MHz processor, color LCD, USB2.0, TI wireless EM connection, TI's BoosterPack and BosterPack XL interfaces, 512Mbit serial Flash, and a microSD slot.
The DK-TM4C129X development kit includes the Tiva C Series in-circuit debugger interface. It supports integrated development environments (IDEs), including Keil, Mentor Embedded, IAR, and Code Composer Studio™ IDE.
For high-end automation and control interfaces with Internet connectivity and on-board I/O features, designers will want to seriously consider the Tiva C Series TM4C129x MCUs to meet these requirements. The development kit and software examples make getting started easy. Furthermore, expansion in the development environment is made flexible by the BoosterPack XL interfaces that easily incorporate other development products from TI and support custom expansion circuits.
Texas Instruments has sponsored promotion of their industrial communications solutions on ENGINEERING.com. They have no editorial input to this post - all opinions are mine. Bruce Schreiner