Experience with TMS470?

Hi all

I have to redesign a telematics unit in the not so distant future and the TMS470R1Axx seems like a decent choice (I need the 2 CAN ports amongst other things).

I'm specifically looking at

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[The reason for redesign is partly cost, partly the wonderful RoHS directive which means I simply can't get certain parts any more].

I like the fact there's a full toolchain (GNUARM) and even a free RTOS(and yes, if we use it, we'll probably go for commercial support) apart from the fact I already have a pretty high end JTAG debugger for ARM.

That said, I wondered what experience others have had with this family of devices. There have been comments about the TI docs (and I've had my share of digging on those) and any pointers here would be greatly appreciated. I already scanned through the primary datasheet and found I need to study multiple documents for each module, which is not a major issue provided they together fully document the beast :)

Cross-posted to c.a.e and s.e.d. as I'm interested in any comments anyone might have about this series.



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TI's own compiler is.... so-so, and their docs use terminology gratuitously different from standard ARM documentation. I don't like or trust Code Composer as a debug environment (had plenty of problems getting it to talk to dev kit).... and I find the interrupt controller on the TMS470R1x rather inelegant. I recall having to jump through several hoops to deal with the "Phantom Interrupt" problem.

That said, the last TMS470 I used was an FPGA implementation of forthcoming silicon, and the 'real' kit might've improved.

I certainly wouldn't regard them as something I'd choose to use unless there were overwhelming economic arguments in favour of them.


pete@fenelon.com "he just stuck to buying beer and pointing at other stuff"
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Pete Fenelon

I don't have any experience with the TMS470 devices, but I have considered them for designs. They tend to be some of the higher power consumption and physcially large devices in the ARM community. This is expected since they are designed for automotive use where size and power are not so important.

You can see a comparison chart of a number of ARM7 devices at

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Go to the Resources page and scroll down to ARM Chips and click on "ARM Device Comparison Chart". You may find some that are better suited or more popular. Atmel, Philips and ST Micro all have ARM devices with 2 or more CAN controllers.

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