Hercules MCUs handle heavy lifting in safety-critical systems

Supporting embedded applications that require safety certifications in medical, industrial, and transportation applications, Texas Instruments introduced the new Hercules safety microcontroller platform in early September. The platform consists of three ARM Cortex-based microcontroller families with scalable performance, connectivity, memory, and safety features for applications that require a high level of reliability.

Unlike microcontrollers that rely on software routines for safety capabilities, Hercules microcontrollers implement safeguards in hardware to increase performance and reduce software overhead. The RM4x MCU family is based on 220 MHz dual ARM Cortex-R4F floatingpoint cores that provide high performance for industrial automation, servo drives, and medical instrumentation such as diagnostic and therapeutic equipment. For transportation applications such as railway, aerospace, and automotive, the Hercules TMS570 MCU family offers 180 MHz dual ARM Cortex-R4F floating-point cores. The TMS470M MCU family supplies an 80 MHz ARM Cortex-M3 core for cost-efficient performance applications such as automotive and IEC 61508 system safety requirements. The Hercules microcontrollers range from $5 to $30 in 10K quantities.