Texas Instruments AM574x Sitara Processors

one week ago by Sam Holland

Sitara Processors by Texas Instruments are industrial development kits (IDKs) used in a wide range of applications, including industrial communications, video processing, automation, and control. The latest IDK for such processors—which incorporate Arm Cortex as their main processing cores—is the AM574x.

Main Features 

The AM574x IDKs are embedded system devices that use Arm Cortex-A15 cores as their main processing cores (along with 4 Arm Cortex-M4 as supporting processing cores).

The IDKs have a video processing engine: accordingly, they support 2D and 3D graphics with multiple video input and video output in their display subsystems.

Alongside their optional LCD panels, the devices also have two Programmable Real-Time Unit Industrial Communication SubSystems (PRU-ICSS) with four 100MB Ethernet ports and up to 1,000MB Ethernet ports connected to an integrated Ethernet switch—ensuring a subsystem that allows the devices to be used for industrial communications. In addition, the development kits have two embedded vision engines (aka EVEs) for deep learning algorithm acceleration.

The memory unit of each product also has 2 Double Data Rate (3rd gen) Low Voltage—i.e DDR3L—synchronous dynamic random access memory (or SDRAM) on-board serial electrically erasable programmable read-only memory, or SEEPROM, and embedded multimedia controller connectors. The devices have 3 USB ports (including those for FTDI and HDMI connectivity), alongside have 2 lanes of Peripheral Component Interconnect Express (aka PCIe).

 

Texas Instruments AM574x development board.

A close-up of the AM574x industrial development kit. Image Credit: Texas Instruments.

 

Comparison with Other Sitara Processors

AM574x devices, which include the AM5746, AM5748, and AM5749, are largely used in video processing and other digital signal processing applications (unlike their proceeding Sitara processors, such as the AM4x, which is chiefly used in real-time control and security applications instead).

In multimedia applications, all Sitara processors support 3D graphics acceleration. (Unlike the AM574x family’s said integration of 4 Ethernet ports, however, the AM6x products have 6 industrial Ethernet ports.)

 

Applications

The AM574x Sitara processors generally have a wide range of applications in industrial communications, industrial drives, grid infrastructures and factory automation. Owing to the devices’ said Ethernet features, they are often used for protection relays in grid infrastructures. In such a case, they provide single chip and cost-optimised solutions for protection relays.

Furthermore, in industrial drives, the devices provide multi-protocol feedback integration and also enable real-time deterministic communication thanks to their said PRU-ICSS features.

 

Industrial ethernet wiring.

The AM574x Sitara Processors are ideal for industrial communication. Pictured: a close-up example of industrial Ethernet wiring. Image credit: Pixabay.

 

For industrial automation, the products provide real-time communications, which is useful for powerful programmable logic controller performance. Also, the devices grant applications in human-machine interfaces (more on HMIs here) thanks to their display subsystems that provide 2D/3D graphics acceleration (They also support multiple displays—up to a 1,920-by-1,200 px resolution).

All in all, the AM574x are embedded system devices that provide both integrated and scalable industrial solutions. As covered, they have a great many features, including:

 

  • Dual Arm Cortex-A15 microprocessor

  • 4 Ethernet ports

  • 2 embedded vision engines

  • USB 3.0, FTDI and HDMI ports

  • 2D/3D graphics accelerator

  • 247 GPIO pins

  • 2 PRU-ICSS

 

Ultimately, therefore, the devices are ideal for applications in industrial communications, industrial drives, and human-machine interfaces.

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