A comprehensive platform for industrial markets from Freescale Semiconductor is attracting support from a growing number of industrial software and protocol providers. As a result, manufacturers can now quickly and easily incorporate a safety-certified operating system and two popular networking communication protocols when creating next generation industrial control solutions.
The MPC8360E-RDK development platform now supports the EtherNet/IP(TM) and DeviceNet(TM) industrial communication protocols via collaboration with Real Time Automation, Inc. (RTA). Additionally, Green Hills Software’s Safety Integrity Level 3 (SIL3), TÜV-certified INTEGRITY® RTOS is available for the platform. Freescale will demonstrate its solution at the Freescale Technology Forum in Munich this week.
Delivered in the COM Express form factor, the MPC8360E-RDK debuted earlier this year with initial support for PROFIBUS®, a widely popular field bus; ETHERNET Powerlink(TM), a deterministic Ethernet protocol; and the IEEE® 1588 clock synchronization protocol. Based on the MPC8360E PowerQUICC(TM) II Pro processor, the platform is designed to speed and simplify the creation of intelligent industrial equipment that runs demanding networking protocols and requires precise, highly accurate communications. It is ideal for a broad range of applications such as industrial control and automation of widely distributed systems at power utilities or chemical processing plants, as well as networked communication systems for healthcare related diagnostics and monitoring.
“We applaud Freescale’s enablement strategy for the industrial marketplace,” said John Hanks, vice president of product marketing, Data Acquisition and Industrial Control, National Instruments. “Utilizing the performance and flexibility of PowerQUICC processors, this small, rugged industrial development platform enables quick evaluation of control and communications processing needs. It allows companies to keep pace with ever-changing industrial marketplace demands.”
Industrial control management and beyond
EtherNet/IP can be deployed using Freescale’s industrial platform via a version of the EtherNet/IP Servprotocol from RTA. The platform now provides the technology required to implement a comprehensive “no royalty” EtherNet/IP networking solution. The RTA software has been field tested for thousands of hours in products ranging from 90-ton mining machinery to valve controllers to barcode readers.
EtherNet/IP is one of the most comprehensive and market-proven industrial Ethernet network solutions available for manufacturing automation. Designed to help configure, access and control industrial automation devices, the protocol provides a seamlessly integrated system from the industrial floor to the enterprise network.
Also available from RTA is DeviceNet – a communication protocol that interconnects simple industrial devices and higher-level devices. DeviceNet reduces costs associated with connecting and installing networked industrial equipment by detecting system performance problems, automating diagnostics and facilitating device replacement.
Safety certification simplified
To shorten the time and effort required to certify the safety of industrial devices, Green Hills Software delivers a version of its TÜV-certified INTEGRITY® RTOS for Freescale’s industrial platform. The operating system leverages the PowerQUICC processor’s memory management unit and advanced communications capabilities to help deliver safe, reliable services in harsh environments associated with manufacturing, power systems, health care facilities and transportation systems. INTEGRITY’s separation architecture gives customers the flexibility to run multiple protocols as separate, independent applications. It also eliminates the need to certify these protocols by running them in their own protected address space — outside of the critical safety-rated sections of the system. With the innovative secure partitioning capability of the INTEGRITY OS, software can be partitioned on a single processor and certified according to its appropriate safety integrity level. This partitioning capability eliminates the need for separate physical systems or to certify code beyond the required safety level.
With a suggested resale price under $1,000 (USD), the MPC8360E-RDK development platform features graphics and touch-screen functionality. It also includes the MPC8360E processor (based on Power Architecture(TM) technology), a Linux board support package, evaluation copies of supported industrial protocols and evaluation copies of the Green Hills INTEGRITY/u-velOSity(TM) RTOS.
Freescale industrial solutions
Freescale delivers system-level solutions for the environmental, longevity and energy-efficiency requirements of connected industrial applications. With more than four decades of industrial experience, Freescale products are used in motor control, factory automation, building security, HVAC, medical, robotics, aerospace and defense markets. Freescale offers industrial designers 8-bit and ColdFire(TM) microcontrollers, PowerQUICC processors, i.MX application processors, ZigBee®-compliant solutions, RF power transistors, sensors, analog and power management ICs, and digital signal controllers.
About Freescale Semiconductor
Freescale Semiconductor is a global leader in the design and manufacture of embedded semiconductors for the automotive, consumer, industrial, networking and wireless markets. The privately held company is based in Austin, Texas, and has design, research and development, manufacturing or sales operations in more than 30 countries. Freescale is one of the world’s largest semiconductor companies with 2006 sales of $6.4 billion (USD).
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