New microcontrollers support firmware updates without interrupting operation

30-06-2023 | Toshiba | Semiconductors

Toshiba Electronics Europe GmbH has begun mass production of new microcontrollers (TMPM3HxF10xx) in the M3H group of the TXZ+ Family Advanced Class, manufactured in a 40nm process.

In recent years, the necessity for larger program capacity and support for FOTA updates has grown greatly. This is driven by the ever-increasing adoption of digital technology, particularly within the IoT, and the increasingly advanced functionality needed in various devices.

With the newly released products, the company expands the group's maximum code flash memory capacity from the previous 512KB to 1MB and RAM capacity from 66KB to 130KB. Within its group of products, the company now provides four code flash options with combinations of seven different packages.

Existing features have been maintained, such as an ARM Cortex-M3 core running at speeds up to 120MHz and 32KB data flash memory with 100K program/erase cycle endurance. These microcontrollers offer various interface and motor control options, including UART, I2C, Encoder, and PMD. Its line up of microcontrollers in the group is ideal for IoT and advanced functionality in various applications, including motors, home appliances, and industrial equipment.

Within the new products, the 1MB code flash memory is implemented with two separate areas of 512KB each, permitting instructions to be read and executed from one area while the updated code is programmed into the other area simultaneously. Also, firmware rotation is supported by an area swap functionality – the key advancement within these new devices (together with the increased memory).

As mentioned, the new group products include UART and I2C, along with TSPI, a two-unit DMAC, and an LCD controller to fulfil the challenging necessities of most consumer and industrial applications.

The new devices support various sensing applications with a high-speed, high-precision 12-bit ADC that allows two types of sample and hold (S&H) times to be set for each of the 21 ADC input channels. Also, they are ideal for controlling AC motors and BLDC motors in combination with an advanced PMD circuit that can function synchronously with the high-speed, high-precision ADC.

The self-diagnosis functions included in the devices for the flash memory, RAM, ADC and clock help customers to achieve IEC60730 Class B functional safety certification.

Alongside the microcontrollers, a new evaluation platform is available. Created in partnership with MikroElektronika, the CLICKER 4 for TMPM3H board, combined with the CLICKER 4 Inverter Shield, is a simple-to-use, cost-effective solution for experimenting with BLDC motor control scenarios. It is supported by the MCU Motor Studio software available on the company website. This simple, well-structured, and versatile software package provides two main components: a Motor Control PC Tool that allows parameter configuration, drive control, real-time logging and diagnostics via high-speed UART as well as a scalable, fully configurable Motor Control Firmware for the M3H MCU.

By Seb Springall