Microchip Features Scalable ECAN Module with CAN PICmicro Controllers

8/13/2003 - Microchip Technology Inc., a leading provider of microcontroller and analog semiconductors, expanded its Control Area Network (CAN) product portfolio with a new generation of 48Kbyte and 64Kbyte PICmicro(R) Flash microcontrollers that feature the company’s new ECANTM module, a flexible and easy-to-use CAN 2.0B interface. The industry-unique CAN module features configurable transmit and receive (TX/RX) buffers that can be used for standard CAN operation or as FIFO registers, allowing one device to be used for multiple applications.

Ideal for complex embedded command-and-control networks in the automotive and general-purpose markets, the PIC18F8680/6680 and PIC18F8585/6585 devices feature up to 64Kb of self-programmable Flash memory. The ECAN module enables multiple applications to be configured on a single node, easier implementation to a software protocol bridge from a CAN network, and allows a device to be re-used across different applications. Code-compatible with existing PICmicro microcontrollers that feature CAN, the new devices allow current customers to easily migrate to a more scalable CAN device with a larger Flash memory. These are the newest members of Microchip’s 8-bit PICmicro microcontroller family, which recently secured the number one position in worldwide 8-bit microcontroller unit shipments, according to Gartner Dataquest.

The ECAN module supports standard Bosch CAN specifications, and also provides hardware support for the DeviceNetTM protocols and a FIFO state machine. To support these multiple functions, the ECAN module features three software-configurable operating modes: Mode 0/Legacy, Mode 1/Enhanced and Mode 2/FIFO.

Mode 0 (Legacy Mode) is fully compatible with Microchip’s existing CAN interface microcontrollers. This mode allows designers to reuse application code already developed for the PIC18CX58 or PIC18FXX8 devices. Mode 1 (Enhanced Mode) provides additional resources and expanded functionality over and beyond what is offered in the Legacy Mode. The Enhanced Mode includes three dedicated TX buffers, two dedicated RX buffers and six independently configurable TX/RX buffers. This mode also features 16 acceptance filters, two filter masks and an automatic remote transmission request (RTR) response. In Mode 2 (FIFO mode), the RX buffers are not directly associated with a given acceptance filter. Rather, the RX buffers are set up in a FIFO configuration and messages from the CAN bus are stored in the eight FIFO buffers based on the sequence in which they are received. The FIFO mode is well suited for CAN network protocol bridges, such as going from a CAN network to a Local Interconnect Network (LIN) protocol or an RS232 protocol. Mode 1 and Mode 2 provide hardware support for the DeviceNet protocol.

With an operating range of 2.0-5.5 volts, the devices feature either 48K bytes or 64K bytes of Flash memory, 3K bytes of RAM memory and 1024 bytes of high-endurance EEPROM data memory. The feature-rich peripheral set includes an analog-to-digital converter (ADC) with up to 16 channels x 10-bit resolution, one capture/compare/PWM module and one enhanced capture/compare/PWM module capable of full H-bridge motor control functionality, one 8-bit timer, three 16-bit timers and one watch-dog timer (WDT) with extended time control mode of 10 minutes, dual analog comparators and a parallel slave port (PSP). Additional features include a programmable brown-out detection/reset (PBOR), programmable 16-level Low Voltage Detection module (PLVD), 32 kHz secondary oscillator clock input and a software-selectable 4x phase lock loop (PLL) for 10 MIPS performance at 10 MHz. Serial I/O features include CAN 2.0B, SPITM, I2CTM, and an addressable USART module supporting RS485, RS232 and LIN interfaces.

The devices offer cost-effective solutions for the automotive market (e.g., body controllers, immobilizer receivers, occupant detection systems, motor control for power-steering systems, and stability sensing systems). CAN networks are also ideally suited for general-purpose embedded control applications such as industrial control networking, medical equipment, universal power supplies, air conditioning units, aircraft control networks, RAID direct data storage systems, building control and security systems.

Development Tools
The PICDEMTM CAN LIN 1 and 2 Demonstration Boards show the functionality of the integrated CAN module features on the PIC18CX58 and PIC18FXX8 devices, and are available for $199 each. In addition to the CAN network, the board also employs a LIN sub-network using Microchip’s PIC16C43X device family. The PICDEM CAN LIN 1 and 2 kits include firmware that is pre-programmed on a sample device, and PC software and documentation for simulating a CAN network.

“Vector Informatik supports Microchip Technology’s PIC18F microcontrollers with CANbedded software components. The combination of Vector software components with 8-bit RISC microcontrollers enables the development of small, intelligent applications,” says Dr. Helmut Brock, Business Development Manager, Embedded Software Components, Vector Informatik.

The microcontrollers are available in 64- and 80-lead TQFP packages and 68-lead PLCC packages, and samples and volume production are available now. For additional information or pricing, contact any Microchip sales representative or authorized worldwide distributor, or visit Microchip’s website at http://www.microchip.com.

Microchip Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MCHP) is a leading provider of microcontroller and analog semiconductors, providing low-risk product development, lower total system cost and faster time to market for thousands of diverse customer applications worldwide. Headquartered in Chandler, Arizona, Microchip offers outstanding technical support along with dependable delivery and quality. For more information, visit the Microchip website at www.microchip.com.

The Microchip name and logo, PIC, and PICmicro are registered trademarks of Microchip Technology Inc. in the USA and other countries. ECAN and PICDEM are trademarks of Microchip Technology in the USA and other countries. I2C is a trademark of Philips Corporation. SPI is a trademark of Motorola. DeviceNet is a trademark of ODVA.

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