AUGUST 5--Motorola Inc. (Schaumburg, IL; www.motorola.com) has released its new reference design tool for industrial and automotive systems designers using the controller area network (CAN) communication protocol. Based on a 32-bit ColdFire Version 2 microprocessor, the MCF5272, this tool enables systems designers to employ Ethernet local-area network (LAN) technology alongside CAN technology for distributed control applications used in industrial environments, such as textile equipment, paper processors, and assembly plants.
By connecting CAN and Ethernet, factory managers will be able to monitor factory equipment from a local PC or worldwide via a remote connection. The CAN reference design includes design schematics, an application note, and driver software that are available free for download to registered users from the Motorola web site.
CAN is a serial bus system (ISO 11898) built for networking "intelligent" devices, including sensors and actuators, within a system or subsystem. Its origins in the automotive industry make it well suited for factory environments that endure variations in temperature, humidity, electromagnetic radiation, electrical interference, and vibration.
CAN allows one device in a distributed network to talk to another with minimal reliance on a central computer. It offers high transmission rates, security, reliability, and real-time control. It has become the primary networking protocol for many applications, including industrial packaging machinery, agricultural equipment, and medical devices.
Based on the ColdFire MCF5272 microprocessor, the reference design is built to enable developers to implement both Ethernet and CAN networking protocols in control and data acquisition applications. Key features of the ColdFire MCF5272 microprocessor include: 63 MIPS at 66 MHz, 10/100 Ethernet controller, USB 1.1 device module, 2 UARTs, serial peripheral interface, direct memory access, and pulse width modulation.