Kit preps PowerQuicc II for industrial comms
Freescale Semiconductor Inc. has launched the Com Express development kit to bring PowerQuicc II integrated communications processors into the industrial control space. Freescale has elected to include Ethernet Powerlink, Profibus and IEEE 1588 as software protocols in the kit, but has left the CAN behind.
"We found Profibus and CAN to be equally popular, but CAN had a few more idiosyncrasies for an open software port," said Glenn Beck, industrial market segment manager at Freescale.
The kit takes two approaches to supporting IEEE 1588. For those applications requiring nanosecond accuracy in time stamping, Freescale has provided direct hardware assist in the PowerQuicc II processor. For applications requiring only millisecond accuracy, a software-only version is also provided.
The $999 MPC8360E-RDK development kit uses two boards: a mini-ITX or FlexATX carrier board for development, and a smaller, 95mm² Com Express daughtercard, on which the PowerQuicc II resides. Donna Imam, industrial market segment manager at Freescale, said that such a form factor has proven popular, and developers can change members of the PowerQuicc II family while keeping the same development environment.
Freescale has worked with several partners on the development kit. Ixxat Automation GmbH has provided the software for 1588 and Ethernet Powerlink and IndusRad Inc. has provided the Profibus protocols. Meanwhile, Wind River Systems Inc. is offering Linux and VxWorks ports and Logic Product Development Inc. has designed the Com Express boards.
The kit comes with full BOMs and Gerber information.
- Loring Wirbel