Innovasic Semiconductor announced two new reference designs for its fido(TM)1100 real-time microcontroller family. Printed circuit board modules based on these designs will be available for purchase from Innovasic and third party manufacturers. Customers wishing to take advantage of the fido1100 deterministic real-time response, fail-safe operation and programmable I/O, can now utilize these reference designs and modules to do rapid prototyping and performance evaluation. In addition, the small footprint printed circuit board modules are ideal for direct integration into low-volume production of customer’s products. For higher-volume applications, the reference design includes everything needed to embed the solution directly into the customer’s product.
Two modules are available, one for embedded real-time Ethernet and one for non-Ethernet embedded control applications.
fido1100 Real-Time Ethernet Module – Deterministic Packet Processing
The Real-Time Ethernet Module (RTEM) reference design includes schematics, circuit board layout, bill of materials and software to enable almost any embedded device to be interfaced to a 10/100 Ethernet network. Unlike other 10/100 Ethernet designs, the fido1100-based design provides highly deterministic response, allowing high-priority packets to be received and transmitted with extremely low jitter. The fido architecture also allows fail-safe operation with immunity from system crashes and denial of service attacks.
“The fido RTOS Kernel in a Chip feature provides deterministic performance for high-priority TCP/IP Ethernet traffic, virtually eliminating the major source of traffic jitter – the shared Ethernet stack” said Jordon Woods, Chief Technical Officer at Innovasic Semiconductor. “Further, the time- and space-partitioning provided by the on-chip hardware contexts, memory protection unit, and context timers provide robust protection against denial of service attacks and other failure modes.”
When combined with the standard Ethernet Quality of Service (QoS) protocol, this deterministic messaging eliminates the need for reserved Ethernet bandwidth and ensures that packets arrive at their destination on-time. Recent tests conducted by Schneider Electric, have shown that the fido1100 easily outperforms conventional solutions in terms of jitter under high traffic load conditions.
Future plans include the development of Ethernet I/P and PROFINET stacks for the RTEM. “Our goal is to enable even time critical industrial motion control applications to be handled over conventional TCP/IP Ethernet without the need for special protocols or bandwidth management”, said Keith Prettyjohns, CEO of Innovasic. “The RTEM module together with the appropriate Industrial Ethernet protocol stack, will allow us and our partners to offer a complete solution for all types of Industrial control applications over conventional TCP/IP Ethernet.”
fido1100 Embedded Control Module – Fail-Safe Control with Flexible I/O
In addition to the Ethernet module described above, Innovasic is releasing an Embedded Control Module (ECM) reference design for the fido1100. This module will enable customers to develop rapid prototypes and begin low-volume production of non-Ethernet embedded systems that require fail-safe, real-time control capability with support of a wide range of I/O interfaces. The fido1100 has programmable I/O engines that will allow the ECM module to be used in a wide range of products, each with different I/O requirements. With very few external components, many serial and parallel interfaces can be supported including UARTs, GPIO, LCD, SPI, I2C and CAN.
For development and debug, the both of these modules can be interfaced to a separate breakout board that provides power conditioning interface drivers and a prototyping area. The modules are supported by the complete fido1100 toolchain, with available RTOS and TCP/IP stacks.
Innovasic Semiconductor’s 32-bit fido family was designed to provide very secure and robust communications and control functions in embedded systems. fido stands for Flexible Input, Deterministic Output – two very unique benefits offered by the architecture. “Flexible Input” refers to fido’s four Universal I/O Controllers (UICs). Each of these is a dedicated RISC engine, that can be programmed to support any of a variety of I/O protocols, including standard 10/100 Ethernet. “Deterministic Output” describes the real-time performance that results from the unique “RTOS Kernel in a Chip” architecture. The fido chip includes an RTOS kernel built into the silicon that manages task switching and scheduling to provide exceptional deterministic performance, enhancing real-time communications and enabling fail-safe control applications.
Innovasic is a fabless semiconductor company, providing replacement ICs and embedded solutions for the industrial and long life-cycle markets. The company provides solutions that directly address obsolescence problems as well as other issues of concern to industrial customers such as inventory management, hard real-time/safety-critical performance and power consumption. The company has established itself as an approved vendor of extended life replacement ICs to many of the leading industrial equipment manufacturers, enabling them to continue to build products that rely on ICs discontinued by the original vendor. Innovasic has developed a unique process and technology that allows the rapid design of a pin-compatible and 100 percent fully function-compatible replacement for embedded microcontrollers, peripheral ICs and analog/mixed signal interface chips.