EtherCAT slave controller for SmartFusion2 FPGAs

28th October 2015
Posted By : Nat Bowers
EtherCAT slave controller for SmartFusion2 FPGAs

Accelerating time-to-market and lowering total cost of ownership, Microsemi and TRINAMIC Motion Control have announced the availability of a plugfest-tested EtherCAT IP and chip solution for SmartFusion2 SoC FPGAs. The solution offers scalability, low power, security and TRINAMIC’s customisation and integration services for Microsemi’s FPGAs.

The solution, leveraging TRINAMIC’s well-established track record of delivering embedded motor drives with high-level bus interfaces for the industrial motion control market, provides IP, software and design services to target an EtherCAT solution for Microsemi's SmartFusion2 SoC FPGAs. Industry experts estimate that more than one third of automation equipment is being used or migrated from fieldbus to Ethernet-based solutions. As a result, sales of TRINAMIC’s solution are expected to increase Microsemi’s revenue opportunities for SmartFusion2 and continue the company’s commitment to the growing industrial Ethernet market.

Bruce Weyer, Vice President and Business Unit Manager, Microsemi, commented: “We are pleased TRINAMIC has successfully leveraged the industry-leading features of Microsemi’s SmartFusion2 SoC FPGA, including its reliability, security, low power, compact form factor and high levels of integration, into its EtherCAT solution. Collaborating with TRINAMIC as an ecosystem provider plays an important role in expanding opportunities for Microsemi and TRINAMIC with industrial automation and communications customers who require an EtherCAT industrial Ethernet solution to support SmartFusion2-based designs.”

EtherCAT is a widely adopted deterministic communication protocol for industrial applications. Its flexible topology is uniquely suited for complex industrial deployments and offers an exceptionally stable standard that industrial developers can utilise for long life cycle products. Customers can use TRINAMIC’s EtherCAT solution as an FPGA-based ASSP to avoid designing a specific industrial Ethernet ASSP/ASIC for each industrial Ethernet board. TRINAMIC also offers customisation services based on the company’s deep motor IP experience for motion control ASSPs.

Analysts at Technavio, a technology research and advisory company, forecast the global industrial Ethernet market to grow at a CAGR of approximately 10%. This is in range of IMS Research’s prediction that the cumulative portfolio of industrial Ethernet protocol standards will grow by a CAGR of 10%.

“Our EtherCAT solutions benefit from the flexibility of using SmartFusion2’s technology to support multiple industrial Ethernet protocols and motor drive/motion control on a single FPGA platform, simplifying customers’ design flow and lowering their total cost of ownership,” added Michael Randt, CEO, TRINAMIC. “Customers also benefit from straight-forward licensing and non-recurring engineering fees for design services.”

The EtherCAT solution lowers total cost of ownership and accelerates time-to-market with ready-to-design and customised EtherCAT blocks as a stand-alone industrial Ethernet solution, or with integrated motor control and other interface IP on one SmartFusion2 or Igloo2 SoC FPGA platform. To enable wide interoperability, the TRINAMIC IP blocks have been verified as 100% compatible with the existing Beckhoff EtherCAT slave controllers through extensive interoperability testing. In addition, the IP blocks include a stand-alone mode that enables direct mapping of integrated peripherals to bus registers, while enabling an external or internal MCU to perform higher layer protocol operations. Microsemi’s highly secure SmartFusion2 SoC FPGA offers layered hardware and software solutions to protect the IP, platform, manufacturing flow and data layer based on a customer’s specific needs.

TRINAMIC’s EtherCAT solution is suitable for a variety of applications in the industrial and communications markets, including factory automation applications like PLC, motor drive/motion drive control, safety I/O modules, and other applications where EtherCAT communications are required. Should customers need to connect their industrial Ethernet board to a larger network, Microsemi offers switch products, PoE ICs and midspan products to complement the EtherCAT IP and chip solution.

TRINAMIC Motion Control is now offering its EtherCAT customising and chip solution to its customers.

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