Hardware

TiniPods and Plug-a-Pods

Posted 27 Jan 2004 at 01:56 UTC by steve Share This

New Micros, Inc. have announced two new additions to their microcontroller product line. The first is the TiniPod, so named because of its 1" x 1.3" size. The other new controller is the Plug-a-Pod, the first NMI board designed to plug into a user-designed carrier board. These boards pack a lot of power into a small space and should be perfect from building some really tiny robots. Both controllers are based on the same Motorola DSP56F80x hybrid processor as the IsoPod, ServoPod, and MiniPod. The folks at New Micros may become known as the Pod People if they keep this up.

To give you an idea of the features on these little boards, here's a small excerpt from the full press release on each:

TiniPod

Hardware features on this new processor include 16 General Purpose Digital I/O lines, 1 RS-232 serial channel, and CAN Bus. The GPIO lines share functions with a 4 wire SPI Interface, 6 General Purpose Timers, 6 Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) outputs.

The PWM outputs are hardware based and can be used to control 6 R/C Servos control, or grouped to control a 3-phase Brushless DC motors, 6 PMDC motors, or complementary drive for the H-bridge for 3 PMDC motors.

The multimode Timers can be used as 3 channels of Quadrature Decoders, or 3 channels Step and Direction counters. Individually they can also measure pulse width, time ultrasonic ranging pulses, or generate pulses, drive IR 40 KHz transmitters etc. They too can generate PWM outputs to drive another 6 R/C Servos.

Since the PWM and Timer modules are supported in set-and-forget hardware modules, the processor is free to perform higher level functions, such as acceleration-limited, velocity-profiled control of the moves of up to 12 RC Servos at the same time, and still have time left over for other tasks.

Similarly, using the Timer modules as Quadrature decoder inputs, the processor can implement PID and acceleration-limited, velocity-profiled control of the moves of 3 axes of motion control at the same time, and do other tasks such as communications via serial or CANBus.

The CANBus opens the possibility of distributed processing networks, particularly in automotive and industrial applications, so parallel hardware can be combined with parallel software.

Plug-a-Pod

Hardware features on this new processor include all the signals found on the similar family device, the new TiniPod›TM], on one dual row set of pins: 16 General Purpose Digital I/O lines, 1 RS-232 serial channel. The first GPIO lines share functions with a 4 wire SPI Interface, 6 General Purpose Timers, 6 Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) outputs.

On the other dual row pins additional pins unique to the Plug-a-Pod›TM] include: 8-Ch 12-Bit A/D and an additional 8 GPIO.

The PWM outputs are hardware based and can be used to control 6 R/C Servos control, or grouped to control a 3-phase Brushless DC motors, 6 PMDC motors, or complementary drive for the H-bridge for 3 PMDC motors.

The multimode Timers can be used as 3 channels of Quadrature Decoders, or 3 channels Step and Direction counters. Individually they can also measure pulse width, time ultrasonic ranging pulses, or generate pulses, drive IR 40 KHz transmitters etc. They too can generate PWM outputs to drive another 6 R/C Servos.


Full text of press releases now online, posted 27 Jan 2004 at 16:19 UTC by steve » (Master)

For those who want more detail on the two products including pricing information, you can find it in the New Micros, Inc. press releases:

Plug-a-Pod Press Release (MS Word format)

TiniPod Press Release (MS Word format)

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