CC-Link IE time-sensitive networking for automation

25th February 2021
Alex Lynn

NXP has announced its integrated Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) solutions for industrial automation that now support the CC-Link IE TSN protocol, combining gigabit Ethernet bandwidth with TSN to strengthen time sharing communication, performance, security and functionality for industrial Ethernet.

What’s New: With CC-Link IE TSN certified support on NXP’s LS1028A industrial applications processor as well as i.MX RT1170 crossover MCU under certification, NXP is delivering scalable solutions to fuel next-generation communications of cyber-connected factories in the Industry 4.0 revolution.

Why it Matters: Delivering a full TSN solution from the device to the switch for CC-Link IE TSN networks, NXP makes it possible to help consolidate and unify Ethernet protocols to achieve interoperability between a wide variety of industrial networks as part of moving to a hyper-connected industrial IoT. 

NXP collaborated with port industrial automation to enable the full CC Link IE TSN Layer 2 communication stack on the LS1028A and i.MX RT1170 crossover MCU. Combined, NXP offers scalable solutions for real-time control powered by the i.MX RT1170 and high performance control using the LS1028A. Factory automation applications like motion control, robotics, machine vision, machine learning and programmable logic controllers (PLCs) are some of the many smart applications enabled by NXP’s TSN solutions.

 “TSN is the Layer-2 standard of Industry 4.0, and NXP is contributing to the comprehensive development ecosystem for the CC-Link IE TSN protocol to run over open TSN-based networks. Providing the full communications stack, our gigabit Ethernet support on NXP’s LS1028A for high-end controllers and our i.MX RT1170 for industrial end points deliver one of the most complete solutions available,” said Jeff Steinheider, Director Global Industrial Applications Processor Product Marketing, NXP.

“The solutions offered by NXP for real-time communication via TSN provide an excellent basis for TSN-based communication solutions. Port GmbH offers a complete Industrial Communication Framework (ICF) for the integration of CC-Link IE TSN on NXP’s i.MXRT1170 and LS1028A platforms. The ICF contains a CC-Link IE TSN master station stack, CC-Link IE TSN remote station stack and the ICC - tool (Industrial Communication Creator) for configuring the remote stack,” added Dietmar R. Franke, port industrial automation, CEO.

NXP also joined the CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA) with the goal of supporting CC-Link IE TSN for factory automation.

 “Through its cutting-edge processing systems and switches, NXP provides global solutions to support the transition to TSN in order to address Industry 4.0 requirements for applications, communication and security. I am pleased that NXP is among the first to deliver ICs supporting TSN. It makes it possible to develop a device that supports multiple variants of Industrial Ethernet protocols over TSN with the same hardware. I am confident that this will further accelerate the development of CC-Link IE TSN-compatible applications and lead to the increased adoption of IIoT in smart factories,” said Masaki Kawazoe, Global Director, CC-Link Partner Association.

The NXP LS1028A processor family of SoCs adds significant capabilities, including upgraded 64-bit Arm Cortex v8 processor cores, an integrated 3D GPU and LCD controller, a four-port TSN switch and two separate TSN Ethernet controllers with support for Gigabit and 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet speeds. The combination of time-sensitive networking with a GPU help enable the SoC to address industrial human-machine-interface (HMI) and control applications. The device is built on NXP’s Trust Architecture, which provides a root of trust, securing applications and services.

NXP’s i.MX RT1170 crossover MCU and evaluation kit are available now. It features a dual-core architecture consisting of a high-performance Cortex-M7 core (running up to 1 GHz) and a power-efficient Cortex-M4 core (running up to 400 MHz). This dual-core architecture helps enable applications to run in parallel and optimises power consumption by turning off individual cores as necessary.

It is optimised to support real-time operations and deliver a record-setting 12 ns interrupt response time, a 6468 CoreMark score and 2974 DMIPS while executing from on-chip memory. Its state-of-the-art architecture is an exceptional fit for supporting ML applications, motor control or advanced HMI interfaces such as face recognition.

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