TI AM64X household of processors for PLC’s, motor drives, and different industrial automation

In industries, the cloud architecture gathers data from thousands of sensors and uses the data to perform sophisticated analytics to manage operations. Automation is increasing day by day in industries. Automotive pieces of equipment rely on various sensor data for accuracy. Industrial sensors are an essential part of factory automation and Industry 4.0. Motion, environmental, and vibration sensors are used to monitor the health of equipment, from linear or angular positioning, tilt sensing, leveling, shock, or fall detection. The number of sensors required in industries is increasing exponentially, and therefore, the corresponding data that requires managing is also rising at the same rate. This arise the need for high-end processors with the capability to control modern automation equipment and perform intelligent services.

TI in February posted about their TI AM64X family of processors on their blog post. Texas Instruments AM64x is a family of 64-bit Arm processors designed for AC servo motor drives, industrial programmable logic controllers (PLCs), motion controllers in factory automation, Internet of Things, gateways in building automation, data concentrators in grid automation, high-precision data-acquisition systems, 3D cameras and many more. The AM64x family uses Arm Cortex-R5F processing cores to enable multicore processing. The processors are designed in a 16-nm process. They integrate multiple functions in a very compact package as compared to multichip solutions. The processors consume less than 1W to 2W depending on the configuration, which simplifies thermal design results in its compact size.

High-end processors of the family AM6442 and AM6441 employ four Cortex-R5F cores. The AM6422 consists of four ARM Cortex-R5F cores running at up to 800 MHz each, offering a total of 6,400 real-time Dhrystone million instructions per second (DMIPS) and enabling high-precision motor-control loops. The family of processors, moreover, allows the motor drivers to communicate in real-time with industrial PLCs or motion controllers using standards such as EtherCAT, Profinet, and Ethernet/IP. Plus, one can run high-level operating systems like Linux and a web or application server on the processor.

Functional Block Diagram. Source: https://www.ti.com/lit/ds/symlink/am6442.pdf?ts=1623989396311&ref_url=https%253A%252F%252Fwww.google.com%252F

The AM6421 consists of two Cortex-R5Fs running at 1 GHz each, capable of handling multiple services without disrupting real-time computing and networking traffic.

AM64x features & specifications:

  • CPU cores
  • Dual-core Arm Cortex-A53 processor @ 1.0 GHz with 256KB L2
    • shared cache with SECDED ECC, 32KB L1 D-cache, 32KB L1 I-cache
    • Up to two Dual-core Arm Cortex-R5F real-time MCU subsystems at up to 800 MHz with 32KB I-cache, 32KB D-cache, and 64KB TCM per each R5F core for a total of 256KB TCM (max)
    • Single-core Arm Cortex-M4F MCU at up to 400 MHz with 256KB SRAM with SECDED ECC
  • Memory subsystem
    • Up to 2MB of On-chip RAM (OCSRAM) with SECDED ECC
    • LPDDR4, DDR4 memory controller with inline ECC up to 1600 MT/s
    • General-Purpose Memory Controller (GPMC)
  • Storage
    • 2x Multi-Media Card/Secure Digital (MMC/SD/SDIO) interfaces: 4-bit for SD/SDIO, 8-bit for eMMC
    • Flash subsystem configurable as Octal SPI (OSPI) or Quad SPI (QSPI)
  • Industrial subsystem
    • 2x gigabit Industrial Communication Subsystems (PRU_ICSSG) with support for Profinet IRT, Profinet RT, EtherNet/IP, EtherCAT, Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN), and more
    • Each PRU_ICSSG contains – 2× 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, 6 PRU RISC cores, 3x Data RAMs with ECC, 8x banks of 30 × 32-bit register scratchpad memory, interrupt controller and task manager, 2x 64-bit Industrial Ethernet Peripherals, 18× Sigma-Delta filters, 6× Multi-protocol position encoder interfaces, 16550-compatible UART for Profibus
  • System on Chip (SoC) Services:
    • Device Management Security Controller (DMSC-L) to manages system services including initial boot, security, and clock/reset/power management
    • Data Movement Subsystem (DMSS) – Block Copy DMA (BCDMA), Packet DMA (PKTDMA), Secure Proxy (SEC_PROXY), Ring Accelerator (RINGACC)
  • High-speed interfaces:
    • 1x Integrated Ethernet switch supporting up to 2x RGMII (10/100/1000M), IEEE 1588 with 802.1AS PTP, Energy-efficient Ethernet (802.3az)
    • 1x PCI-Express Gen2 controller
    • 1x USB 3.1-Gen1 Dual-Role Device (DRD)
  • General connectivity
    • 6× I2C,7x SPI (MCSPI),
    • 9x UART modules, 6x Fast Serial Interface Receiver (FSI_RX) cores, 2× Fast Serial Interface Transmitter (FSI_TX) cores
    • 12-Bit Analog-to-Digital Converters (ADC) up to 4 MSPS, 8x multiplexed analog inputs
    • 6x Fast Serial Interface Receiver (FSI_RX) cores
    • 3x GPIO modules
  • Control interfaces
    • 9x Enhanced Pulse-Width Modulator (EPWM) modules
    • 3x Enhanced Capture (ECAP) modules
  • 3x Enhanced Quadrature Encoder Pulse (EQEP)
    • modules
    • 2x Modular Controller Area Network (MCAN) modules with or without full CAN-FD support
  •  Security
    • Secure boot with hardware-enforced Root-of-Trust (RoT), IP protection;
    • Cryptographic acceleration – AES up to 256-bit, 3DES up to 168-bit, MD5, SHA1, SHA2 up to 512-bit, DRBG with true random number generator, PKA (Public Key Accelerator) to assist in RSA/ECC processing
    • Debugging security
    • Trusted Execution Environment (TEE), Arm Trust zone-based
    • Secure storage support
    • On-the-Fly encryption and authentication
  • Networking security support for data (Payload) via packet-based
    • hardware cryptographic engine
    • Security co-processor (DMSC-L) for key and security management, with dedicated device-level, interconnect for security
  • Power management:
    • Simplified power sequence
    • Integrated SDIO LDO for handling automatic voltage transition for SD interface
    • Integrated voltage supervisor for safety monitoring of over-under voltage conditions
    • Integrated power supply glitch detector for detecting fast supply transients
  • Functional Safety compliance
    • Documentation will be available to aid IEC 61508 functional safety system design
    • Systematic capability up to SIL 3
    • Hardware integrity up to SIL 2 targeted for MCU domain
    • IEC 61508 certification (pending)
    • Dedicated MCU domain memory, interfaces, and M4F core capable of being isolated from the larger SoC with Freedom From Interference (FFI) features
  • Package – 17.2x 17.2 mm, 0.8-mm pitch, 441-pin BGA
  • The manufacturing process – 16nm FinFET technology

There are six parts in the TI’s AM64X family: AM6442, AM6441, AM6422, AM6421, AM6412, AM6411. They are all pin-compatible but are different at cores, amount of TCM memory, and other specifications. You can find a detailed comparison on the TI blog.

Am6442 Datasheet: https://www.ti.com/lit/ds/symlink/am6442.pdf?ts=1623989396311&ref_url=https%253A%252F%252Fwww.google.com%252F

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