Microchip Grandmaster Provides High-Speed Network Interfaces up to 25 Gbps

Operators of critical infrastructure such as 5G telecommunications, power utilities and transportation need to continuously upgrade their networks with technology capable of delivering higher processing speeds and highly accurate time sources that are not dependent on the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) constellations like GPS, GALILEO and QZSS.

To provide network operators with a terrestrial alternative for distributing very accurate time, Microchip Technology has introduced the new TimeProvider® 4500 grandmaster, a hardware timekeeping platform that provides high-speed network interfaces up to 25 Gbps and enables precise time accuracy of less than one nanosecond.

The TimeProvider 4500 grandmaster is capable of supporting very-high-capacity Precision Time Protocol (PTP) transactions. The innovative hardware platform enables higher IEEE-1588 scalability for thousands of clients. In network locations where range and capacity need to be balanced, namely in C-band 5G deployments, it is critical to be able to serve thousands of gNodeB from a single grandmaster. Depending on the specific sites, the grandmaster could serve very few or a large number of gNodeB base stations. This results in cost-effective and flexible deployments for operators regardless of scale.

The TimeProvider 4500 grandmaster offers the flexibility to connect to various generations of network elements, which helps to preserve operators’ infrastructure investments. The TimeProvider 4500 clock is the first 1588 grandmaster with 25 Gbps support. A customer can connect the TimeProvider 4500 clock to various network devices using a choice of 1 Gbps, 10 Gbps or 25 Gbps network links. High-speed bandwidth is essential as network element upgrades are migrating towards equipment that requires a minimum of 10 Gbps and, in some cases, up to 100 Gbps.

The extremely high time accuracy of the TimeProvider 4500 grandmaster is particularly important as operators are trying to deploy alternative solutions to GNSS. A terrestrial option is often considered an attractive solution that can leverage existing optical network deployments to avoid the reliance on GNSS, thus providing a cost-effective way of transferring highly accurate time over long distances. The need for long-distance transfers translates into a requirement for ever- increasing accuracy needs at the source and regeneration of the time signal.

The TimeProvider 4500 grandmaster features new hardware assist enhancements, such as the latest generation of digital synthesizer and Microchip’s PolarFire® SoC FPGA. These platform enhancements enable the system to move into the picosecond time accuracy realm.

The advanced hardware platform of the TimeProvider 4500 clock supports all the features of the TimeProvider 4100 clock to ensure that operators deploying the new product can also benefit from their investments in the TimeProvider 4100 series. TP4500 adds specific capabilities above and beyond TP4100 due to its enhanced hardware platform.

The TimeProvider 4500 grandmaster is integrated with the TimePictra® synchronization management solution that enables operators to monitor and track real-time troubles and threats with visibility across their entire network. Other key functions of the TimePictra platform include comprehensive Fault, Configuration, Accounting (Inventory), Performance and Security (FCAPS) management functions; geographical topology and domain navigation; user preference dashboard customization, intuitive web GUI for easy management and more.

The TimeProvider 4500 series is the newest product to join Microchip’s portfolio of IEEE-1588 Precision Time Protocol (PTP) grandmaster clocks, which provide industry-leading performance and value. These field-proven solutions scale from low-density indoor applications to high-capacity 5G network timing requirements.

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Next-Generation Ethernet Switches from Microchip

New LAN969x Next-Generation Ethernet Switches from Microchip feature Time Sensitive Networking and Scalable Port Bandwidths from 46 Gbps to 102 Gbps.

The growth of the industrial automation market encompasses innovative technologies like Machine Learning (ML) and robotic systems. Embedded solutions with deterministic communication are essential for industrial automation applications to control, monitor and process data. To provide designers with a reliable and robust network solution with deterministic communication, Microchip Technology has announced its next-generation of LAN969x Ethernet switches with Time Sensitive Networking (TSN), scalable bandwidths from 46 Gbps to 102 Gbps and a powerful 1 GHz single-core Arm® Cortex®-A53 CPU.

For applications that require greater redundancy, the LAN969x Ethernet switches can be configured with High-availability Seamless Redundancy (HSR) and Parallel Redundancy Protocol (PRP) – hardware protocols that provide zero-loss redundancy in Ethernet networks. The LAN969x Ethernet switches support multiple HSR and PRP Redundancy Box (RedBox) instances that can operate in parallel and in series, as well as at Ethernet port speeds from 10 Mbps to 10 Gbps.

The LAN969x can implement a QuadBox, which is a function that connects two HSR networks to each other. This feature is particularly useful in applications where high reliability and zero downtime are critical. Alternative solutions that implement a QuadBox typically require multiple different components that can drive up design complexity and system costs.

The LAN969x Ethernet switches are integrated with High-availability Seamless Redundancy (HSR) and Parallel Redundancy Protocol (PRP) for ease of design, and are highly configurable with options of up to 30 ports. The Ethernet ports support multiple interfaces including RGMII, SGMII, QSGMII, USGMII, and USXGMII. The LAN969x family targets secure and safety-critical applications where high- port-count 10M/100M/1G/2.5G/10G switching links are required.

The LAN969x family is available with security add-ons such as secure boot and secure firmware execution based on the customer’s root-of-trust manufacturing process. Security is provided through Ternary Content Addressable Memory (TCAM)-based frame processing using a Versatile Content Aware Processor (VCAP), Arm Trusted Firmware methodology for fast secure boot, crypto libraries and hardware security accelerators for boot and code encryption, and one-time programmable immutable key storage.

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Microchip Launches AVR® EB MCUs To Reduce Noise, Vibration And System Harshness In BLDC

Microchip Technology has launched its AVR® EB family of microcontrollers (MCUs) to offer a solution for addressing NVH and efficiency in a wide variety of cost-sensitive applications. The new MCU family offers a smaller, more cost-effective solution for sophisticated waveform control with increased efficiency.

As electronic devices evolve, more motors are being utilized across consumer, automotive and industrial markets. Many designers select Brushless DC (BLDC) motors to increase device longevity and lessen Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH). Historically, achieving these benefits required sophisticated control algorithms and waveforms that were outside the capability of cost-optimized controllers.

AVR EB MCUs can adjust speed, timing and waveform shape—creating sinusoidal and trapezoidal waveforms—to improve the smoothness of motor operations, reduce noise and increase efficiency at high speeds. These adjustments can be made on the fly, with near-zero latency, using the AVR EB MCU’s unique set of on-chip peripherals that enable multiple functions with minimal programming.

The results include a reduction in code complexity, faster response to changes in operating conditions and lower overall Bill of Materials (BOM) cost since several tasks, such as reading environmental sensors and serial communication, can be performed independent of the CPU. Additionally, the MCUs’ small form factor (as small as 3 mm x 3 mm) enables them to be mounted directly to the motor for a compact control solution.

Low-quality, low-cost controllers that can’t reliably reduce vibration and smooth motor function often cause problems. The AVR EB family of MCUs can increase system smoothness and energy efficiency, without resorting to a higher-cost control solution. The new MCUs also retain the ease of use and ease of design that Microchip is known for, enabling a more rapid time-to-market.

AVR EB MCU key features include:

• New 16-bit Timer/Counter E (TCE) with four compare channels for Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) and Waveform Extension (WEX) for smooth BLDC motor control with tunable dead band insertion
• New 24-bit Timer/Counter F (TCF) for flexible and accurate frequency generation and timing
• New Programming and Debug Interface Disable for advanced code security

Development Tools

The AVR EB family of MCUs is fully supported in Microchip’s MPLAB® Development Ecosystem and is being introduced with a new Curiosity Nano Development Board to support rapid prototyping. The AVR16EB32 Curiosity Nano Evaluation Kit (EV73J36A) connects seamlessly to MPLAB X, Microchip Studio and IAR Embedded Workbench Integrated Development Environments (IDEs). MPLAB Code Configurator (MCC) Melody—an intuitive, web-based graphical configuration tool—can also help reduce development time.

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Low-Power Embedded Compute Module from Microchip Simplifies Design and Speeds Time to Market

Creating an industrial-grade microprocessor (MPU)-based system doesn’t have to require a great deal of design effort and complexity. System on Modules (SOMs) can significantly simplify your design by integrating the processing engine, power management, nonvolatile boot memory, Ethernet PHY and high-speed memory onto a small, single-sided pcb. The different modules offer a range of features including wireless connectivity and on-board NAND Flash and use a common set of proven Microchip components. Their castellated mounting holes enable easy hand soldering in the prototyping phase and automated board-to-board soldering in production.

The SAM9X60 System on Module (SOM) is intended for graphical and communications applications such as medical equipment, electric vehicle chargers featuring a display, industrial and home automation control and security panels.

Coupled with Ensemble Graphics Toolkit or MPLAB® Harmony Graphics Suite, the SAM9X60-SOM is particularly well-suited for low-power, low-cost RTOS or embedded Linux applications that still require high-performance graphics.

Key Features:

Low power ARM® ARM926EJ-S CPU-based microprocessor
128 MB, 200 MHz DDR2
4 Gb NAND on-board Flash
One Ethernet port, one SD/eMMC port, two high-speed USB ports and one full-speed USB port
24-bit LCD with overlays with 2D HW acceleration
Camera interface
Resistive touch
Up to two CAN ports and up to seven UARTs
Single VDD 2.7–5.5V
Compact 28 mm × 28 mm 152 castellated, hand-solderable package

The SAM9X60-SOM is a System-on-Module (SOM) based the SAM9X60D1G SiP high-performance, low-power ARM926EJ-S CPU-based embedded microprocessor (MPU) running at 600MHz. The SAM9X60D1G SOM is a small single-sided hand solder PCB including the SAM9X60D1G (SAM9X60 MPU plus 1Gb integrated DDR2), 4Gbit SLC NAND Flash, a KSZ8081 10/100 Ethernet PHY, and MCP16501 Power Management IC optimized for the module. The SAM9X60 SOM is built on a common set of proven Microchip components to reduce time to market by simplifying hardware design and software development. It also simplifies design rules of the main application board, reducing overall PCB complexity and cost. The SAM9X60 SOM is delivered with a free Linux distribution and bare metal C code examples.

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Microchip’s Radiation Hardened (Rad-Hard) Space-Grade DC-DC Converters

The Microchip SA50-28 family is the space industry’s only standard, non-hybrid space-grade power converters – it now includes 28 Volt (V)-input, 50-watt (W) radiation-tolerant options.

Traditional hybrid-style power converters may have a limit on non-standard voltages and functions, creating complex challenge for space system designers; however, these have been eliminated by Microchip’s discrete-component-based, space-grade DC-DC power converter family – which are much more flexible and customisable – greatly simplifying and accelerating system development compared to alternative space-grade power converters. It’s the industry’s only off-the-shelf 28V-input, radiation-tolerant power converter with surface-mount construction and non-hybrid assembly processes.

Microchip’s comprehensive SA50-28 line is a 20V- to 40V-input, 50W family with nine standard outputs of 3.3V, 5V, 12V, 15V and 28V in single- and triple-output configurations. The devices can be tailored to a system’s exact power needs quickly with minimal additional costs as compared to hybrid-style power converter products. Other features include high efficiency, low output noise, output inhibit control, overcurrent protection, external synchronisation, and full-rated power operation through −55°C to +85°C with linear derating to +125°C.

These space-grade products that have join the rad-hard SA50-120 power converter family (introduced in February 2021) now reduce risk and development time for qualified space systems by allowing designers to start with proven commercially available off-the-shelf technology in ceramic or plastic packages and quickly scaling up development using lower screening levels than traditional Qualified Manufacturers List (QML) requirements.

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FPGA Design ‘Coffee Break’ Webinar Series

Come and virtually join our autumn series of short webinars which will provide an introduction to key FPGA design topics during your mid-morning ‘coffee break’ in September 2021.

The webinars are free to attend and each session lasts for 30 minutes.

Mix and match via the links below or book all three below.

2nd September at 11am

MCU vs FPGA vs ASIC – Differences and Advantages                     

This webinar will outline of the key differences between MCU, FPGA and ASIC and their individual strengths and weaknesses.

7th September at 11am

Top Application Areas for FPGAs                         

This session walks you through the consideration of which applications FPGAs are best suited for.

9th September at 11am

Design Security with FPGAs

This session will go through how to keep your design secure with the Microchip/Microsemi FPGA family.

Click on each link above to register for individual webinars or use the contact form below to register for all three webinars.

    Power Access Control Systems Using Microchip mPoE

    Access control systems are used to monitor and manage access to premises. They provide quick access to authorised personnel and deny access to those otherwise. This is its conventional purpose. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, access control systems features have advanced to enhance the health and safety of a premise. This is done by:

    • Ensuring a strict number of occupants in a premise at a certain time, such as an office, retail space, etc.
    • Granting contactless entry/exit and eliminating the physical touch points
    • Trigger ‘no mask’ alarms using camera-based systems
    • Restrict access to infected people or those who have not completed their quarantine period

    What Powers These Systems?

    Power over Ethernet (PoE) is a technology that enables the delivery of safe and intelligent power along with data over standard Ethernet infrastructure to install IP-based systems quick and easily.  Many access control systems have the option to be powered by PoE.

    A few advantages of using PoE to power access control systems are:

    • PoE technology is an international power standard that delivers safe, low-voltage DC power and eliminates dependency on the AC infrastructure, as well as specific regional plugs
    • Cost savings from eliminating the need for separate data and power infrastructures, searching for AC outlets or certified technicians
    • Able to connect quickly and seamlessly in any location
    • No need to physically plug/unplug the power; the control is centralised, and the power can be reset remotely
    • Power delivered over the standard Ethernet network is technically safe however it will not power up until a valid PD is detected, thus, protecting non-PoE devices

    Microchip multi-Power over Ethernet (mPoE) is the key to efficient, cost-effective and reliable power in network access control systems:

    • Quick, seamless installation: plug-and-play solutions for zero time to market in the most demanding environments
    • High power: deliver up to 90W of power, enabling most comprehensive access to control devices to be powered by PoE
    • Diver applications: supports a wide variety of applications using single-ports to 24-ports, indoor, outdoor and industrial rated solutions
    • Backward compatibility: leveraging a uniquely designed algorithm, the solutions are compatible with pre-standard devices while supporting all IEEE® PoE standards
    • Regulatory compliance: Microchip mPoE midspans and switches go through the necessary worldwide certification and safety approvals
    • Vendor agnostic: supports a variety of access control terminals already in the market

    Microchip mPoE offers a comprehensive end-to-end portfolio of PoE solutions comprised of PoE ICs and PoE systems (midspans/injectors and switches).

    Microchip Capacitive Touchscreen Controller

    World’s First Safety-Certified Capacitive Touchscreen Controller Family from Microchip

    As standard, emergency stop and unlock buttons are safety mechanisms in home appliances (e.g. ovens, hobs, washing machines, tumbler driers, etc.) are necessary help reduce the risk of fires and floods in homes.

    Microchip’s maXTouch MXT336UD-MAUHA1 new family offers IEC/UL 60730 Class B pre-certified solutions that meet functional safety requirements whilst eliminating the need for a separate emergency stop or unlock buttons on touchscreen appliances. They are the only touchscreen controllers to offer pre-certified, Class B firmware on the market.

    The touch controllers offer a unique safety feature that enables the system to shut off through an intuitive soft button on a touchscreen. This removes the requirement for an external stop/cancel button, and associated microcontroller (MCU). The maXTouch MXT336UD-MAUHA1 also allows an appliance to detect a touchscreen/appliance failure and shuts down automatically through self-testing capabilities. For example, if the glass on an electric hob breaks, the touchscreen will darken and shut off the machine – minimising any accidental damage in the home.

    The number of touch-enabled home appliance is growing; the MXT336UD-MAUHA1 family is progressing in this direction, offering OEMS reduced costs and improving time-to-market with this simplified, single touchscreen interface.

    The family consists of three controllers: the MXT112UD-MAUHA1, the MXT228UD-MAUHA1 and the MXT336UD-MAUHA1; each of one these fulfil various screen size requirements, ranging from 2 to 8 inches.

    “Due to the risk of house fires caused by home appliances, appliance manufacturers must add functional safety to their machines, and Microchip’s MXT336UD-MAUHA1 touchscreen controller family is already certified for these required safety standards,” said Fanie Duvenhage, Vice President of Microchip’s Human Machine Interface business unit. “Integrating Class B certification into our touch controllers eases the design and qualification process for touch enabled appliances, ultimately putting safety first, while reducing costs and enabling modern user interface solutions.”

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    New Microchip PIC18-Q84: 8-bit MCU for CAN FD Networks

    Source: Microchip

    Introducing the new Microchip PIC18-Q84 family; these are the first PIC18 microcontroller (MCU) products that can be used to transmit and receive data through a Controller Area Network Flexible Data-Rate (CAN FD) bus. There is a broad range of Core Independent Peripherals (CIPs) that can handle different tasks without requiring CPU intervention, which means reduced time and cost when connecting systems to a CAN FD network.

    Designed to meet the demand for increased bandwidth and flexible data rates in progressive Automotive applications, such as safety and communications, the Microchip PIC18-Q84 family can also support the development of advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS).

    The Microchip PIC18-Q84 family provides a simple solution for transporting sensor data to a CAN FD bus by eliminating the need for gateways or other network switching techniques. Configurable CIPs make it easy to create custom hardware-based functions with near-zero latency, and additional code is not required.

    Ideal for applications that require faster data transfer rates such as the ‘Connected Car’, Industrial Automation, Smart Homes etc.

    Development Tools and CAN FD Product Support

    The PIC18-Q84 family offers both hardware and software support. Hardware includes a Curiosity Nano Development Board and a Curiosity High Pin Count (HPC) Development Board. A plug-in module (PIM) is also available for the Automotive Networking Development Board and for use with Microchip development boards. Software includes Microchip’s MPLAB® Code Configurator (MCC).

    Microchip also provides a broad family of CAN FD transceivers and CAN FD controllers. Speak to one of our team to find out more about Microchip’s complete CAN and CAN FD offerings.

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    Microchip: CryptoAuth Trust Platform Development Kit

    The CryptoAuth Trust Platform Development Kit is the newest addition to Microchip’s CryptoAuthentication evaluation kits. This kit is designed to help explore and implement IoT solutions with a pre-provisioned ATECC608A Trust&GO, pre-configured TrustFLEX and fully customisable TrustCUSTOM products.

    The Trust&GO and TrustFLEX products are an easy way to add hardware security to IoT Cloud solutions, accessory authentication, IP Protection, and firmware verification. When these kits are paired the Microchip development tools and Microchip provisioning systems, all project sizes – including low volume – can easily and readily implement secure authentication into applications. Provides a physical overview of connections, components and switch settings implemented on the board are provided in the user guide.

    The CryptoAuth Trust Platform consists of ATSAMD21E18A that is the main MCU – which is pre-programmed with Microchip`s Secure Product Group (SPG) kit protocol. This protocol is responsible of the communication between the CryptoAuthentication devices and the host MCU over the USB HID interface. The data transfer between the secure elements and the host MCU is indicated by the Status LED.

    Each of the secure element has a different I2C address that enables its communication with the host MCU hence eliminating line contention issues.


    • ATSAMD21E18A Host MCU pre-programmed with kit Protocol Firmware 
    • 3 Secure Elements:
      – Trust&GO – ATECC608A-TNGTLS
      – TrustFLEX – ATECC608A-TFLXTLS Prototype 
      – TrustCUSTOM – ATECC608A-MAHDA
    • Debugger helps to read the debug information from the MCU
    • A dual port USB Hub that passes data between upstream and downstream devices
    • Compatible with Microchip Development Platforms – MPLABX and Atmel Studio 7
    • Kit name identified by software as CryptoAuth Trust Platform
    • USB connector for easy connection to the PC 
    • DIP Switches for easy switching of the SDA lines between the on-board devices and mikroBUS
    • Supports mikroBUS for easy connection to MikroElectronika add-on boards
    • Supports I2C for the secure elements and I2C, SPI and UART for the mikroElectronica add-on boards.

    System Requirements

    • Windows 7 or Windows 10 Operating System for use with MPLABX or Atmel Studio 7
    • Linux of Windows for use with Python tools 
    • Python 3 or Later 

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