Embedded control: 3 companies help embedded-system developers

Microprocessor, RTOS, and development tools providers collaborated to produce a complete reference design platform to help embedded system developers get new designs out the door faster and at lower cost.

08/28/2008


Bath, UK — Embedded system developers’ profitability hinges on how fast and efficiently they can turn design concepts into products out the door. To help their customers achieve the results they need, microprocessor manufacturer NXP Semiconductors , real-time operating system vendor Micrium , and design-tools developer IAR Systems have collaborated to produce a fully integrated hardware and software platform to minimize the work developers have to do to produce useful and reliable embedded control systems.
Calling it the LPC2468 Industrial Reference Design (IRD) platform, the companies say it gives software and hardware engineers a fast time to market for systems based on

LPC2468 Industrial Reference Design (IRD) platform

The IRD is said to include Micrium’s RTOS, TCP/IP stack, File System, CAN stack and USB Host and Device stacks as executable demos. Licensing the source code from Micrium allows the developer to customize this platform quickly, so the companies say, and substantially reduce time to market.
According to the companies, the software is built around the MicriumμC/OS-II real time operating system (RTOS), and IAR Embedded Workbench for ARM C/C++ compiler and debugger. It is said to incorporate flexible, interchangeable PCB-based "Core," "Base," and "Application" modules that provide the essential system functions and wired communications protocols for a wide range of industrial and consumer embedded applications, such as: building automation and lighting control; solid state lighting; e-metering; white goods and industrial control. The IRD platform includes the use of an integrated development environment (IDE) and J-Link (JTAG) hardware debug link.
The platform is said to accept power from either an external 5 V dc power supply or a separately supplied power-over-Ethernet (POE) device application board, and incorporates a current monitoring circuit. Both the JTAG connection and Micrium’s system monitor feature assist with software development and debug.
The IRD platform comprises an NXP LPC2468 microcontroller board, a base board featuring Ethernet, USB Host/Device, two RS-232 ports, and two CAN ports, a membrane style keypad board, 4x20 LCD display and an IAR J-Link JTAG debug probe. Software support is provided for 10/100Base Ethernet, USB Host/Device, CAN, RS-232, and I2C wired communication protocols, allowing real-time monitoring and control of the system over the Internet. NXP has also developed several reference applications in C source code that can be used to initiate application development and speed time to product production.
The companies have promised that additional hardware and software application modules will be available separately, and can extend the platform functionality to application modes that include DALI, DMX, CAN and motor control, with further application modules under development. The IRD provides flexible interfaces for vacuum fluorescent displays (VFD) or liquid crystal displays (LCD), UART expansion, I2C expansion, and application specific hardware via connection headers on the baseboard.
C.G. Masi , senior editor
Control Engineering News Desk
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