x 2.35 inches, the FlashCore-B from TERN provides a simple interface
for a 50-pin CompactFlash (CF) Card. These CF cards, ranging in size
from 8MB-4 GB, are used to provide non-volatile storage in a wide
array of applications, including digital cameras and Personal Data
The 50-pin CF cards can also interface with PCs via a standard 50-68
pin PCMCIA adapter, or via special CompactFlash-compatible drives
making these ideal storage solutions for applications requiring mass
data exchange; all of this is available at a significantly lower
cost than the 68-pin PCMCIA cards.
With the FlashCore, your embedded application can easily take
advantage of the large storage capacity and fast access times of a
CompactFlash Card for a range of mass data storage applications. The
FlashCore can be used to store vast amounts of data, which can be
later processed, transferred over the serial port, or directly
accessed by a PC as files on the CF-card.
The FB includes a Am188ES based CPU system. It is a complete
standalone C/C++ programmable embedded controller including a 188
CPU, 512KB ACTF Flash, up to 512KB SRAM, 512-byte EEPROM, 2 channel
RS-232 drivers and a 5V linear voltage regulator, optional real-time
clock, and battery.
In addition to the above features (first introduced in the
original FlashCore), the new FlashCore-B offers powerful
peripherals for data acquisition and embedded control applications.
The FB offers 8 channels of high-precision 16-bit ADC. In comparison
to some of the other ADCs offered on our controllers, the ADS8344 is
especially remarkable because of the very low noise detected. The
ADS8344 can be accessed at around 20 Ksamples/second, and has an
input voltage range of 0-5V.
FB also has a total of 4 channels of 12-bit DAC (DAC7612) available
onboard. The output voltage range on the DAC is at 0-4.095V, and
each channel is capable of sinking/sourcing up to 5 mA.
Important to customers that wish to deploy the FB in special
environments, an ultra-low quiescent current (35 uA), low-drop
voltage (85 mV) regulator (TPS76550, TI) can be installed. It allows
operating power input of low as 5.1V (while the linear regulator
requires at least 9V). It can yield significant improvement in
operating life for battery-powered applications. You can also shut
down the regulator with a TTL pin, reducing the quiescent current to
as low as 1 mA.
Very importantly, the FC can also be pre-configured with a simple
serial (or TTL) interface that allows you to access the data storage
capabilities of the board without using TERN development tools to
program the application. This means you can add the mass data
storage capabilities of this board to your existing system without
having to learn yet another embedded development environment.
Instead, you can interact with the board as a simple menu-driven
serial device. With one serial command, begin dumping serial data
into a file. With another, read that file back over the serial port.
By using the FlashCore, users can easily add widely used CF standard
mass data storage cards to their embedded application via RS232, TTL
I2C, or parallel interface. TERN supports a complete C/C++
programmable software package (EV-P, or DV-P kit) which
includes compiler, remote debugger, samples, and libraries. TERN
software supports Linear Block Address mode, 16-bit FAT flash file
system, RS-232, TTL I2C or parallel communication.
Flash File System:
Flash memory disks can be formatted with a PC-compatible
FAT-12/FAT-16 filesystem. This allows them to be accessed as normal
drives on any ordinary PC with a PCMCIA/CompactFlash port; users can
access files on the Flash disk as easily as any file on the
The use of FAT16-formatted CompactFlash cards allow you to take full
advantage of this format of physical media:
- when inserted into a PC, the card looks just like any other
drive; create/read/write files directly onto the drive.
- when the CF card is accessed from the TERN controller, you can
create/read/write on top of the same files.
A new suite of software libraries makes it possible for you to
directly access this filesystem from your embedded device, as well.
By using TERN boards offering access to Flash memory devices (the
FlashCore and Memcard-A), your embedded application can open,
read, write, and delete files.
Performance wise, the 8-bit controllers (such as the FB) can read
from a file at approximately 400 KB/second, while writing at a peak
rate of 500+ KB/s. 16-bit controllers have slightly better
The filesystem libraries can also be used for easy firmware
upgrades. A .hex file (generated using the Paradigm C++ environment)
stored on the CF card can be programmatically loaded into SRAM and
executed. This allows the update/replacement of firmware through
many mechanisms: user update (just by copying a file), ethernet
transfer, serial port, etc..
Now, the TERN filesystem can also be directly accessed through the
serial port without requiring the rest of the TERN development
environment. A simple menu-driven interface for accessing the
file-system can be directly programmed into the on-board Flash. You
can add embedded data storage capability to your embedded
application for the price of a single FlashCore.
The FB can also be easily interfaced with a Kpad-IO expansion board
through a ribbon cable, which provides a 16x2 character-based LCD
and 8x2 keypad. For details of this interface, see Appendix C of the
FB technical manual.
- Measures 2.1x2.35x0.7 inches
- 16-bit CPU (188), x86 compatible
- 40 MHz system clock
- 32 I/O lines from CPU
- 512 KB ACTF Flash
- up to 512 KB battery-backed SRAM
- 512 bytes serial EEPROM
- 8 external interrupt inputs
- 3 16-bit timers/counters
- 2 RS-232 serial ports, 5V regulator
- Real time clock, battery
- 8 ch. 16-bit ADC (ADS8344, 20 KHz)
- 4 ch. 12-bit DAC (DAC7612, 0-4V)
- Ultra-low quiescent current, low-drop voltage regulator.
The FlashCore-B is a newer variant of the original FlashCore
controller. It offers special support for low-power operation, and
has powerful analog I/O support. Very importantly for OEM
manufacturers, the FB also has improved mechanical features that
makes accessing the CompactFlash card more easily.
Just as the original FlashCore, the FB is also available as an
expansion board for other TERN controllers. The FC-0 makes the CF
interface available to any controller with an exposed J1
(address/data bus) header.
is similar to the FlashCore-B, except with onboard Ethernet + USB
capability. TheFFlashCore-N control board is also similar,
but adds up to 8 additional UARTs (4 RS232).
The MD88 controller is a useful core controller for
applications requiring high-voltage solenoid drivers.