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IO-Link solutions promise reduced dev't time

Posted: 12 Nov 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:IO-Link solution? flash memory? MCU? transceiver?

IO-Link solutions

NEC Electronics has made available its four new single-chip IO-Link solutions for IO-Link slave applications based on the cooperation between NEC Electronics and its business partners Elmos Semiconductor AG and TMG-Karlsruhe. The new IO-Link solutions combine NEC's All Flash 78K0R 16bit MCU and IO-Link transceiver, with integrated IO-Link slave protocol stack in a single package. The part numbers differ according to their flash memory capacity; ?PD78F8040 offers 32Kbytes, ?PD78F8041 offers 64Kbytes, ?PD78F8042 offers 96Kbytes, and ?PD78F8043 offers 128Kbytes of flash memory.

IO-Link is the new standard serial digital communications protocol used for sensors and actuators in industrial automation systems. IO-Link offers compatible integration into existing fieldbus or Industrial Ethernet environment; process, parameter and diagnosis data in one cable; and compatible cabling to existing sensor communication.

One key advantage of using the IO-Link slave protocol stack offered with the new solutions is that minor upgrades could be included if the IO-Link specification is enhanced, significantly reducing development time and effort. Alternatively, designers can opt to develop and maintain their own software stacks. The transceiver integrates significant analog components, which enable system designers to eliminate use of additional external components and develop a complete IO-Link slave product at low cost.

NEC provides an extensive product range to include a choice of memory variants all in the same device package. Developers can choose from 4 pin-compatible memory configurations in an 8mm x 8mm 56-pin QFN package making it easy to switch to a larger memory if more software is needed. Flash sizes from 32-to 128Kbyte will be available. This also allows developers to use the same PCB for multiple designs even though different amounts of software may be required. A 32Kbyte device can easily be replaced by a 128Kbyte device without having to re-design the PCB.

To support system designers in using the IO-Link single-chip solution, NEC can also provide a comprehensive development kit. The 78K0R Link-It! kit is available now.

Samples of NEC's new single-chip IO-Link solutions are available now. Mass production of the new devices is slated to begin in April 2010, with expected monthly mass production of 500,000 units.

- Henri Arnold
EE Times Europe

For application notes on protocol stack click here.

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