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Freescale adds IEEE® 1588 clock synchronization to ColdFire® evaluation platform


Comprehensive evaluation platform offers cost-effective solution for real-time Ethernet applications requiring precision timing

NUREMBURG, Germany (Embedded World).-Freescale Semiconductor has collaborated with National Semiconductor, IXXAT Automation and CMX Systems to deliver a comprehensive hardware and software evaluation platform designed to support the IEEE® 1588 precision timing protocol (PTP) for real-time applications.

The M5234BCCKIT hardware toolkit enables developers to evaluate embedded applications using IXXAT’s industry-leading IEEE 1588 protocol stack running on Freescale’s popular ColdFire® microprocessor family. This evaluation platform builds on the company’s IEEE 1588 solutions previously offered for its PowerQUICC® communications processors.

The IEEE 1588 protocol quickly synchronizes clocks on multiple Ethernet-connected nodes to within tens of nanoseconds for time-sensitive applications such as industrial networking and motion control.

The M5234BCCKIT includes Freescale’s highly-integrated, 32-bit MCF5234 processor based on the widely used V2 ColdFire core. The device features a 10/100 Mbps Ethernet controller and a 16- or 32-channel enhanced Time Processor Unit (eTPU), ideal for motor control and many other functions. The evaluation kit incorporates National Semiconductor’s DP83640 PHYTER® device, an Ethernet PHY transceiver, which improves the IEEE 1588 time sync accuracy by time stamping Ethernet packets as they enter the board at the physical layer.

Comprehensive software support includes the IEEE 1588 software stack, supplied by IXXAT, and the TCP/IP stack, supplied by CMX Systems. The standard Ethernet controller used across the ColdFire product family allows the IXXAT IEEE 1588 stack and the CMX TCP/IP stack to be ported to any ColdFire device with minimal effort.

Freescale plans to support the M5234BCCKIT evaluation kit with a complimentary version of CodeWarrior® Development Studio for Microcontrollers, a tool suite that supports software development for Freescale’s 8-bit and 32-bit MCUs. Designers also will be able to accelerate application development with the tool suite’s Processor Expert™ rapid application development tool. In addition, the evaluation board is designed to support easy in-circuit debugging through a P&E Multilink background debut mode (BDM) interface.

To view the M5234BCCKIT evaluation kit and see a demonstration of IEEE 1588 software in action, visit Freescale’s booth (#9-335 in Hall 9) this week at Embedded World.

The M5234BCCKIT is available now at a resale price of $300 (USD). For more details about this and other Freescale IEEE 1588 solutions, visit


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