Innovasic Announces fido1100 Reference Designs, Modules

Innovasic Semiconductor announced two new reference designs for its fido®1100 real-time communications controller 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 embedded control applications.

fido1100 Application Module processor boardfido1100 Real-Time Ethernet module – Deterministic Packet Processing
The Real-Time Ethernet Module (RTE) 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 RTE. “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 RTE 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 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, both of these modules can be interfaced to a separate breakout board that provides power conditioning and interface drivers. The modules are supported by the complete fido1100 toolchain, with available RTOS and TCP/IP stacks.

fido architecture
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.

The fido family has a unique architecture that provides unmatched determinism and fail-safe operation, while at the same time being compatible with one of the most widely used instruction sets in the industry.

The RTE and ECM reference designs and modules will be available in Q2 2008. Advance product information is available now. Innovasic is also working closely with early adopter customers and third party manufacturers who wish to have early access to the designs.

About Innovasic Semiconductor
Innovasic Semiconductor is a fabless semiconductor company with a fifteen year history of developing solutions for long life-cycle embedded markets. By building close partnerships with its customers, the company has secured numerous wins for its growing line of extended-life 8-bit and 16-bit microcontrollers and has launched the fido family of 32-bit real-time microcontrollers – specifically designed to for real-time embedded communications and control.