Designed to help developers obtain safety certifications, Texas Instruments has announced its new Hercules safety microcontroller platform for medical, industrial and transportation applications. The platform consists of three ARM Cortex-based microcontroller families that deliver scalable performance, connectivity, memory and safety features for applications that require a high level of reliability.
Unlike many microcontrollers that rely heavily on software for safety capabilities, Hercules microcontrollers implement safeguards in hardware to maximize performance and reduce software overhead. Coupled with robust tools, software and safety documentation, this functionality gives developers the headroom to differentiate their end products and speed time to market.
Hercules safety microcontrollers are rooted in TI's 20+ years of safety-critical system expertise, industry collaboration and proven hardware for the automotive market. The new Hercules RM4x family provides the highest levels of performance for broad applications, including medical and industrial. The Hercules TMS570 family addresses transportation applications and the Hercules TMS470M family cost-efficiently meets the needs of applications that require less performance.
Tools and support for safety-critical development
To get started quickly, developers can use the low-cost Hercules USB Stick Development Kits or the full-featured Hercules Development Kits. Each kit comes with all the hardware and software required to get up and running quickly, including TI's Code Composer Studio™ integrated development environment, HALCoGen peripheral configuration tool and a Safety Demo that showcases BIST execution and error forcing modes.
Pricing and availability
Hercules microcontrollers range from $4.60 - $15.70 USD at 10K unit quantities and are immediately available for order. The RM4x Hercules USB Stick Development Kit (TMDXRM48USB) is priced at $79 USD and the RM4x Hercules Development Kit (TMDXRM48HDK) is priced at $199 USD.