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Blackfin processors

Promwad is a member of Analog Devices ‘The Collaborative’ partner program for 3rd party electronics and software developers on Blackfin processors.

Blackfin application varies from automotive electronics, servo motor control systems and monitoring systems to multimedia consumer devices.

The first Blackfin processor — BF535 was introduced in 2001. It is distinctive for USB device interface, PCI interface and clock speed up to 350MHz.

In 2002 Analog Devices announced the next generation of Blackfin processors with increased operating frequency and support of such popular peripheral interfaces as CAN, Ethernet, PPI.

Comparison table for BF53x family processors

 
MHz
SRAM
UART
SPI
PPI
SPORT
Ethernet
CAN
BF531
400
52K
1
1
1
2
 
 
BF532
400
84K
1
1
1
2
 
 
BF533
400—750
148K
1
1
1
2
 
 
BF534
400—500
132K
2
1
1
2
 
 
BF536
300—400
100K
2
1
1
2
+
+
BF537
500—600
132K
2
1
1
2
+
+
BF538
400—533
148K
3
3
1
4
 
+
BF539
533
148K
3
3
1
4
 
+
 

Along with BF53x processor family one should notice a powerful dual-core BF561 processor with core frequency of 500 / 600MHz, 32bit external bus interface and two independent PPI controllers.

Launched in 2007 BF54x and BF52x processors extended a list of supported embedded interfaces. High-speed USB OTG controller, SDIO interface and ATAPI controller appeared. All processors support booting from NAND flash memory and advanced copy protection technology called Lockbox.  BF54x family is targeted at higher performance and functionality while BF52x family is oriented to embedded systems with strict requirements to power consumption.

Analog Devices suggested similar BF52xC processors with embedded audio codec for audio applications. BF549 processor has embedded MOST (Media Oriented System Transport) interface controller and is recommended for use in automotive multimedia electronics.

BF51x processor family

In 2008 there was announced BF51x processor family. These processors have:

  • low power consumption at high operating frequency
  • low price
  • convergent architecture, allowing to reduce pin count and chip area on PCB

This promising processor series allows to shorten the time for device market entry, decrease the cost and power consumption. Blackfin BF51x processors enable the creation of diverse solutions, such as portable devices, VoIP and industrial applications that require high efficiency at low power consumption. BF51x as well as BF54x family supports Lockbox copy protection technology.

Maximum processor frequency for this family is 400 MHz. All BF51x processors have embedded static RAM up to 116 Kb. As an option (BF51xF) there can be 4Mb embedded flash memory with Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI). Invariable set of peripheral blocks includes:

  • 2 serial UART ports
  • 1 I2C bus controller (TWI)
  • 2 simultaneous serial SPORT ports
  • 2 SPI compatible serial ports
  • Parallel interface PPI

Controller of removable storage interface (RSI) can be added and used for SD, MMC, SDIO and CE-ATA connection. Ethernet 10/100 MAC interface is realized in some models as well as the support of IEEE-1588 precision time protocol.

 
RSI
Ethernet
IEEE-1588
BF512
 
 
 
BF514
+
 
 
BF516
+
+
 
BF518
+
+
+
 

BF60x processor family

New BF60x family consists of 4 processors with binuclear architecture (frequency of 500 MHz). Blackfin kernels are functionally identical to their analogues from previous BF561 generation but due to the improved technological industrial process (move from 130 nm to 65 nm) the chip memory was doubled to 256 Kb L2 SRAM in BF607, BF608, BF609 processors.

The internal high-speed bus was also processed. That increased the bandwidth and allowed simultaneous data transmission which is necessary for video processing in high-performance systems. The support of DDR SDRAM was added, PVP (pipelined vision processor) with 83 MHz frequency enabled the processing of HD video with up to 1280x960 resolution on BF609 processor.

 

Software development tools for Blackfin processors

There are advanced development tools for Blackfin processors: integrated development environment (IDE) VisualDSP from Analog Devices and Linux operating system ported to Blackfin thus providing an access to a large number of open source projects and libraries.

Linux for Blackfin developes within the uCLinux project by the name of embedded linux variant for processors without MMU (Memory Management Unit). Full distribution kit of uCLinux is hosted at blackfin.uclinux.org and consists of the following parts:
  • GNU toolchain - a set of gcc compiler, gdb debugger and other utilities
  • U-boot - initial bootloader
  • Linux Kernel
  • uCLinux distribution — build system for firmware images, open source software and libraries
 

Lockbox technology for Blackfin processors

Lockbox technology for Blackfin processors is based on the principle of digital signature authentication by using standard encoding algorithms and represents a secure environment for code execution.

Lockbox technology is a combination of software and hardware that allow creating a wide range of security tools:

  • intellectual property protection
  • device and user authentication
  • DRM-content protection

Lockbox also includes the following elements:

  • one-time programmable (OTP) memory
  • Blackfin Secure Mode

OTP memory consists of two spaces:

  • public area is aimed at storing public keys used for authentication
  • private area, protected memory space, is accessible only in Secure Mode and designed for storing confidential information

Secure mode on Blackfin processors allows implementing a system, where only trusted code can be executed in secure environment.

 

AD development kits

We use all the available Blackfin development kits for fast prototyping, shortening time-to-market  and risks minimization. The following development solutions from Analog Devices are in strong demand:

Analog Devices BF533-EZKit

The development kit based on Analog Devices BF533 processor:

  • 600 MHz CPU
  • 110 MHz System clock
  • 64MB SDRAM
  • 2MB NOR Flash
  • AD1836 96KHz Audio Codec
  • 4 RCA audio input (2 stereo)
  • 3 RCA audio output (3 stereo)
  • ADV7183 video decoder
  • 3 RCA video inputs
  • ADV7171 encoder
  • 3 RCA video outputs
  • UART, LEDs, Push buttons
 

Analog Devices BF561-EZKit

The development kit based on dual-core BF561 processor:

  • 600MHz CPU
  • 120MHz System clock
  • 32-bit External Bus Interface
  • 64MB SDRAM
  • 8MB NOR Flash
  • AD1836A 96KHz Audio codec
  • 4 RCA audio input (2 stereo)
  • 6 RCA audio output (3 stereo)
  • ADV7183 video decoder
  • 3 RCA video inputs
  • ADV7171 encoder
  • 3 RCA video outputs
  • UART, LEDs, Push buttons
 

Analog Devices BF537-EZKit

The development kit based on BF537 processor:

  • 600MHz CPU
  • 100MHz System clock
  • 64MB SDRAM
  • 4MB NOR Flash
  • Ethernet 10/100
  • CAN
  • UART, LEDs, Push buttons

 

Analog Devices BF548-EZKit

The development kit based on Analog Devices BF548 processor:

  • 600MHz CPU
  • 133MHz System clock
  • 64MB DDR SDRAM
  • 32MB NOR Flash
  • 256MB NAND Flash
  • 2MB SPI Flash
  • 40GB Toshiba ATAPI HDD
  • AD9180 Audio codec
  • 6 audio outputs (5.1 surround)
  • TFT LCD 480x272
  • Ethernet 10/100
  • Keypad, Thumbwheel, UART, LEDs

 

Analog Devices BF609-EZKit Lite

The development kit based on Analog Devices BF609 processor:

  • Dual core 500 MHz CPU
  • 128MB DDR2 SDRAM
  • 32MB Flash
  • 4MB SPI Flash
  • Temperature sensor
  • Link port connectors
  • SD/MMC memory card connector
  • Ethernet 10/100
  • Controller Area Network (CAN)
  • Keypad, Thumbwheel
  • UART, LEDs
 

For fast embedded system prototyping we use add-on modules from 3rd parties and in-house development: USB-LAN-EZExtender, WiFi-ZigBee-USB, ADV212 Blackfin Module.

 

Do you need custom electronics development based on Blackfin processors?
Contact us! We are ready to answer your questions.

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