Ravenous demand for greater functionality and more secure connections continues unabated among communication and networking applications. Freescale Semiconductor's latest line of 32-bit ColdFire microprocessors targets this space with a range of solutions that start with a V4e ColdFire core. By incorporating a memory management unit (MMU), protected-mode operating systems like Linux can flourish.
The 266-MHz MCF547x and MCF548x sport DSP functionality by including an enhanced multiplier-accumulator (EMAC) along with dual-ported memory and user-definable address permutations. The floating-point unit (FPU) helps with numerically intensive algorithms.
Fast Ethernet is the primary networking link for these processors. Some versions offer a second Fast Ethernet link. Alternatively, a pair of CAN 2.0B interfaces can be included. The latter is available in a rugged -40°C to 85°C version that's suitable for factory automation and industrial control. The optional USB 2.0 device interface has its own physical layer, reducing overall chip count. The chips also include an enhanced timer control unit (eTPU).
Metrowerks already provides software support for the MCF547x and MCF548x processors (see "RTOS Ropes In New MCUs," June 21, p. 40).
Freescale Semiconductor Inc.