Have you been to Stockholm, Sweden? What about Glasgow, Scotland, or New York City in the U.S.? Or Calgary, Canada? If so, have you noticed anything different or special about these cities? They all have one thing in common—they have been recognized for “creating a local prosperity and inclusion using broadband and information technology to attract leading-edge businesses, stimulate job creation, build skills, generate economic growth, and improve the delivery of government services.”1 In short, these cities have been recognized for their efforts to become “smart cities.”
What exactly makes a city “smart”? Definitions vary, but the goal of smart cities is to make life better for their citizens by offering more efficient systems. These systems range from efficient motor control for home washing machines and HVAC systems, connected home devices, and intelligent LED lighting to renewable energy (such as wind and solar), the smart grid, and electric vehicle charging systems. These applications not only make our lives simpler, but they reduce the amount of energy we use as well, helping us leave a smaller footprint on the earth. Check out the below video to see how our C2000™ microcontrollers (MCUs) are making an impact:
Our C2000 MCUs are used for smart city applications for many reasons. They have a tightly tuned architecture for digital control loops, which leads to highly efficient systems because applications don’t need to consume as much power or energy on a task. C2000 MCUs also have sophisticated peripherals, which decreases the number of discrete parts for smaller systems and reduces BOM cost, which ultimately results in lower cost systems for the consumer.
In smart cities, central processing hubs communicate with other systems to make decision intelligently and quickly act on them. For example, in a solar inverter, the main controller needs to constantly execute algorithms required to invert DC voltage to AC voltage. If the solar system also uses battery energy storage, the main MCU can also be responsible for battery charging as well as switching the grid to battery power once the sun sets or if clouds come rolling in. C2000 MCUs are uniquely suited for applications that need real-time adjustment and management of multiply system tasks. The architecture is designed to read the ADC and make the appropriate PWM adjustment in a minimal number of cycles so real-time responsiveness is possible. These MCUs also feature a CLA real-time co-processor, which allows the MCU to manage multiple tasks, or even multiple control loops, simultaneously. In the solar inverter example, the CLA is able to manage the inverter while the main CPU manages battery charging of the system. Recently announced C2000 MCUs include accelerators that speed up computational analysis of trigonometric functions and power line communication algorithms.
In addition to offering processing performance, which drives energy efficiency, C2000 MCUs are highly integrated with the right mix of analog and control peripherals needed for smart city applications. Integrated ADCs provide feedback of analog domains they are sampling, fast analog comparators can quickly shut down the PWMs in an over/under current condition and high-resolution PWMs allow 150picoseconds of precision. Let’s not forget the integrated serial connectivity interfaces such as SPI, I2C, CAN and USB 2.0.
Smart cities are making the world a better place, and C2000 MCUs are enabling many smart city applications. In short, C2000 MCUs are making the world a better place! Leave us a note below and let us know which real-time smart city applications you are most looking forward to having in your own city.
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