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Luminary Micro, creator of the Stellaris family of ARM Cortex-M3-based microcontrollers (MCUs), has introduced a Stellarisware software suite extension.

The extension has been designed to complement the safety features of Stellaris microcontrollers and to give Stellaris-based household-appliance original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) the ability to achieve Class B compliance with the International Electrotechnical Commission’s (IEC’s) 60730 safety standard provisions.

Stellarisware is said to be offered completely in source code, simplifying peripheral control of Stellaris microcontrollers and speeding the time to market.

The software suite is licensed free for use with Stellaris microcontrollers.

Jean Anne Booth, chief marketing officer at Luminary Micro, said: ‘The library will aid our customers in their ability to get quality, safety-compliant Stellaris-based products into market in an adroit and cost-effective fashion.’ In order for an appliance product to achieve Class B compliance, OEMs must test specific components of the product before shipping the product into the market and the final product applications must regularly self test during normal operation.

Table H.11.12.7 in Annex H of the IEC60730 standard lists the MCU components to be tested, the faults to be detected and the appropriate reactive measures.

The components include the central processing unit (CPU), interrupts, clocking, memory, communications, analogue to digital converters and internal address and data paths.

These components are covered by the Self-Test Library provided by Luminary Micro for Stellaris microcontrollers.

As a library, it is said to be easy for manufacturers to specifically test the components that are used by the application and to handle faults in a way that is appropriate to the application, such as braking to shut down a motor application.

Current and future Stellaris microcontrollers are designed specifically for safety-critical industrial and consumer applications, offering integrated features such as: automotive-grade flash memory; up to two watchdog timers that take advantage of the non-maskable interrupt (NMI) handler safety feature of the ARM Cortex-M3 processor; and deterministic, fast-interrupt processing through the nested vectored interrupt controller (NVIC).

Some Stellaris family members also offer an integrated precision oscillator to supply an independent time base when periodic safety tests are executed.

In addition, select Stellaris microcontrollers include ROM preloaded with a cyclic redundancy check (CRC) function, which is especially useful in verifying the contents of the Stellaris microcontroller’s memory.

The advanced motion control of Stellaris microcontrollers also integrates safety features, such as fault conditioning for each of the four motion-control PWM output pairs in order to provide quick motor shutdown in low-latency situations and quadrature encoder inputs for closed-loop control.

From an analogue standpoint, Stellaris microcontrollers feature analogue comparators to trigger Stellaris’s accurate analogue-to-digital converter and to trigger an interrupt when needed, which is useful for infrequent out-of-range events such as a current or voltage spike.

This Stellaris capability eliminates the performance-wasting requirement of constant CPU polling.

In addition, Stellaris microcontrollers feature an internal temperature sensor, which can be used to monitor and shut down an appliance if the appliance overheats.

The Stellaris family is also claimed to offer highly synchronised connectivity features for precision internet working, such as a fully integrated 10/100 ethernet MAC/PHY augmented with a hardware-assisted IEEE 1588 precision time protocol (PTP) capability and up to three integrated controller area network (CAN) 2.0 MACs.

These features position the microcontrollers into cost-conscious applications requiring significant control processing, connectivity and safety capabilities, such as cooking products, washing/drying machines, dishwashers, refrigerators and freezers, HVAC controls, motor controls, vacuum cleaners, building access, lifts and elevators, medical instrumentation and gaming devices.

Luminary Micro

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