MSC Vertriebs GmbH announced the modular and flexible reference design platform Hpe®_IRP for industrial automation applications based on the Intel® Atom[tm] processor and Altera Arria GX FPGA. This platform has been developed using technologies from Gleichmann Electronics Research GmbH & Co KG, Intel Corporation, Altera Corporation and 3S-Smart Software Solutions GmbH. The development kit provides designers with a solution for immediately starting designs enabling field bus and real-time Ethernet connectivity in an industrial run-time environment. Target markets for the reference platform are industrial automation applications such as programmable logic controllers (PLCs), human machine interfaces (HMIs), panel PCs, and industrial drives.
Wolfgang Eisenbarth, Director of Marketing, Embedded Computer Technology, MSC Vertriebs GmbH stated: “We provide our customers with a very efficient, flexible and high performance design platform based on the new Qseven standard that shortens design cycles, reduces costs and time-to-market significantly.” Dieter Scheurer, Managing Director, Gleichmann Electronics Research, said: “The Hpe®_IRP Industrial Reference Platform enables innovative custom designs with our leading FPGA design tools and a large library of real-time functions incorporating an automatic connection tool.”
The core of the industrial reference platform Hpe®_IRP is the MSC Q7-US15W computer-on-module from MSC Vertriebs GmbH. The board is based on the open Qseven[tm] standard and comes in a compact form factor of 70 mm x 70 mm. The module integrates an Intel® Atom[tm] processor Z530 with a clock speed of 1.6 GHz and the corresponding Intel® System Controller Hub US15W. The MSC Q7-US15W features many standard PC interfaces, such as two PCI Express[tm] lanes, eight USB 2.0 hubs, two serial ATA ports, LPC, SDIO, Intel® High Definition Audio as well as high-performance integrated graphics. Thanks to its compact dimensions and extremely power efficient processor technology, the highly integrated Qseven[tm] module is specifically designed for fan-less, energy efficient deployment in industrial environments.
“The flexible Hpe®_IRP development kit from MSC demonstrates out of the box Intel® Atom[tm] low-power x86 processor technology in a SoftPLC real-time application for industrial automation,” said Jonathan Walsh, general manager and group director of software engineering, Intel Embedded and Communications Group.
In the Hpe®_RP the Q7-US15W module is connected via PCI Express[tm] to a base board that includes an Altera Arria® GX FPGA. A selection of industrial-rated I/O and industrial automation specific interfaces, such as any of the industrial Ethernet standards and CANopen, can be implemented in the FPGA. The FPGA may be configured by the designers using library components or their own VHDL code to implement flexible hardware extensions for application specific requirements. To enable a range of different interface functions in the FPGA the base board includes PHYs for interfaces such as RS-232, RS-485, CAN and industrial Ethernet for field bus connectivity. The Arria® GX FPGA provides users with full re-programmability, allowing the system to be easily updated to meet the latest industrial automation standards or application requirements. Frank Förster, Industrial Market Development Manager, Altera, said: “The Hpe®_IRP delivers a flexible, high-performance design platform that clearly demonstrates the benefits of using FPGAs in industrial applications. By leveraging our Arria GX FPGA, designers are able to minimize the risk of obsolescence and have the freedom to integrate a variety of industrial-rated IO and custom logic to meet the needs of their specific application.”
To support multiple field bus and real-time Ethernet protocols the Hpe®_IRP integrates CoDeSys, the IEC-61131 software programming system from 3S-Smart Software Solutions GmbH. Dieter Hess, CEO, 3S-Smart Software Solutions GmbH, said: “With the starter kit, machine builders (OEMs), systems integrators and users have an easy way to implement and evaluate a wide range of fieldbus and real-time Ethernet protocols needed to support their automation projects.”
The MSC Hpe®_IRP development kit comes complete with the hardware platform, base board schematics, demo examples, development software, IPs and Linux Drivers. The package also includes an evaluation version of the 3S-Smart Software Solutions GmbH CoDeSys. The software integration is based on Open Source Automation Development Lab (OSADL) Linux.
The design reference platform Hpe®_IRP is available for 2.990 Euro.
MSC Vertriebs GmbH
MSC Vertriebs GmbH is a European-wide service company in the field of electronic components, board-level products, and customer specific development of industrial hardware. Founded in 1982, the MSC Vertriebs GmbH operates today as a pan-European distributor and manufacturer in a consolidated company with over 1600 employees. Products requiring intensive technical support, such as COM Express[tm] , ETX® components, EXM 32, Qseven[tm] and microcontrollers & tools, programmable logic & tools, ASICs, industrial motherboards, power and linear products, displays, optoelectronics, as well as memory modules are our specialty and make MSC one of the leading companies for high-tech solutions. MSC differentiates itself distinctly from its competitors with its competent applications and development engineers, as well as its design capacity for hardware, ASICs, and BIOS. The regional locations and the consistent approach towards new technologies guarantees a high level of competency for its customers.
Intel and Intel Atom are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the US and other countries. Altera and Arria are registered trademarks of Altera Corporation.