Tuesday 16 November 2010

IO starter kit at SPS/IPC/Drives

Fujitsu’s IO-Link starter kit simplifies the development of automation solutions

Fujitsu Semiconductor Europe has launched an IO-Link starter kit, which is designed to provide developers of automation solutions with a quick and easy introduction to all aspects of IO-Link as well as support IO-Link communication in both master and slave mode. The board was developed in collaboration with Technology Management Group (TMG) and Zentrum Mikroelektronik Dresden AG (ZMDI).

IO-Link is an open communication protocol used in automation technology to connect sensors and actuators to a master system (PLC) in accordance with IEC 61131. The IO-Link standard addresses the growing need for greater functionality, such as identification, parameterisation and diagnostics, even for miniature sensors and actuators.  This highly flexible, field-bus-independent solution is extremely easy to install and can be quickly integrated in existing automation solutions.

The starter kit from Fujitsu comprises a microcontroller-based board, the IO-Link adapter board and an evaluation version of the IO-Link protocol stack developed by TMG.

Microcontroller baseboard
The SK-16FX-EUROSCOPE microcontroller baseboard is based on Fujitsu’s scalable 16-bit microcontroller platform 16FX and is used for evaluating the microcontroller properties. In addition to the MB96F348H-MCU, the board features a UART, USB and high-speed CAN interface, pin contact strips that make all the pins on the microcontroller easily accessible, segment displays and buttons. The complete development environment with the compiler, linker, flash programmer, GUI and the Euroscope Lite on-chip debugger are also included in the scope of delivery.

Adapter board
The ADA-16FX-IOLINK-ZDMI adapter board is a cost-effective solution providing an IO-Link interface for the microcontroller baseboard. The core of the adapter board is the ZIOL2401 IO-Link high-voltage transceiver developed by ZMDI, which is the only IO-Link IC on the market today that supports not only IO-Link master ports and IO-Link device ports but also standard I/O applications. This is possible thanks to the ZIOL2401 chip, which features an innovative two-channel IO-Link driver and a DC/DC converter for up to 15V. The IO-Link drivers can be fully programmed – including the slew rate – and feature comprehensive diagnostic functions as well as a temperature sensor. The board is also equipped with a 24V converter and jumpers for a wide range of configuration settings.

IO-Link stack and IODD interpreter
TMG Karlsruhe is responsible for the software package (IO-Link master, device protocol stacks and IO-Link device tool), which forms a central element of the overall solution. The protocol stacks, which are written entirely in ANSI-C, support all the IO-Link functions (in accordance with specifications 1.0 and 1.1) and, accordingly, are modular in structure. Particular importance has been attached to the strict separation of the protocol stack, application and hardware in order to ensure that the software can be easily adapted in line with the respective customer application. The IO-Link device tool enables IO-Link devices to be operated by means of the XML device description (IODD). The software is included with the starter kit as a demo version or as an evaluation library.

Thanks to Fujitsu’s collaboration with ZMDI and TMG, users can rely on the famously high standard of support offered by these companies.

The IO-Link starter kit from Fujitsu will be showcased at SPS/IPC/DRIVES 2010 on the PNO joint stand (hall 6, stand 210). The boards can be ordered immediately (mid-November 2010). More IO-Link tools from Fujitsu, such as an IO-Link/CAN gateway, are currently under development and will be available in the near future.

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