TI Sitara Microprocessors

Sitara range delivers low-power and high-performance processing with advanced 3D graphics

Sitara range is based on the power of the ARM Cortex-A8 microprocessor cores

The Texas Instruments Sitara™ range of ARM™-based microprocessors bridges the gap between high-end MCUs and mid-range ARM-processor-based devices and combines an excellent balance of integration, cost and performance. Based on the ARM Cortex™-A8 microprocessor cores, the TI Sitara processors are designed to enable the creation of a wide variety of high-end, feature-rich and low-power embedded applications across many markets, including home automation, industrial automation, networking, enterprise/educational tablets and consumer products such as portable navigation devices. The TI Sitara range is now in stock at RS Components (RS), the trading brand of Electrocomponents plc (LSE:ECM), the world’s leading high service distributor of electronics and maintenance products.

 

Performance and Connectivity

The series offers a range of performance levels including the Cortex™-A8 based AM35x family, which offers up to 1200 DMIPS performance at 600MHz, up to the top-of-the-range 1.0GHz Cortex™-A8 based AM335x family, which offers up to 2000 DMIPS. The devices also integrate high-speed DDR2 and DDR3 memory and a POWERVR™ SGX based 3D-graphics-acceleration subsystem to support display and gaming effects. They are ideal for use with advanced user interfaces such as Android.

The range also has plenty of connectivity options and includes a high-performance LCD controller with optional touch interface, CAN 2.0, USB2.0 and Ethernet/IP. In addition, the family’s Programmable Real-Time Unit and Industrial Communication Subsystem (PRU-ICSS) allows independent operation from the ARM processor and enables real-time protocols including EtherCAT, PROFINET, EtherNet/IP, PROFIBUS, Ethernet Powerlink and SERCOS, among others, used commonly in real-time systems in automation, for example.

 

Support

The Sitara range also reduces barriers to high-end embedded design with low-cost development boards, a large interactive open-source support community and easy access to robust software including multi-featured development tools, such as the Development Code Composer Studio IDE™, optimizing compilers and advanced analysis tools. Support and software development kits are also available free from TI for high-level operating systems such as Linux and Android. Support for real-time operating systems is widely available from other third-party partners.

Also available are system-level reference designs to aid developers, including: electronic point-of-sale (ePOS); point-of-service; electronic tablet; industrial comms engine; a $199 AM335x based starter kit, including LCD: plus a multitude of Sitara support tools such as webinars, videos and forums and the Sitara processor Wiki.

 

BeagleBone Black

The AM335x processor is also used as the core device in the new entry-level, open-source and community-supported BeagleBone Black embedded development platform. The BeagleBone Black is highly suitable as a platform for users to learn about Linux computing and basic electronics hardware via the interaction with real applications. However, the board does offer plenty of power and sophistication, especially its abilities in handling multimedia and graphics, so the board can also be used for low-end industrial application development.

Based around the AM335x microprocessor unit, which includes the Cortex-A8, 3D-graphics accelerator, NEON floating-point accelerator and the duo of PRU (Programmable Real-time Unit) 32-bit MCUs, the board is designed to accelerate multimedia and signal processing algorithms for a range of applications including video encoding and decoding, 3D graphics, and image, audio and speech processing, among many others. The board also offers a 2GB flash drive and 512MB of 400MHz DDR3 DRAM. Interfaces on the board include HDMI, which comes in a micro (Type D) connector format, plus Ethernet and USB. The BeagleBone Black can also accept up to four expansion boards or ‘capes’, which connect via the board’s two 46-pin header sockets and bring additional I/O and capabilities in the areas of display, motor control, sensing, prototyping or power, such as solar-power functionality.

 

Availability

Both the TI Sitara range of microprocessors and the BeagleBone Black development board are available in stock at RS Components.