EtherCAT slave controller integrates two 10/100 PHYs

17th April 2015
Nat Bowers

The LAN9252 is a stand-alone EtherCAT slave controller from Microchip Technology which integrates two 10/100 PHYs. The LAN9252 supports traditional Host Bus and SPI/SQI communication, along with standalone digital I/O interfaces, providing system designers with the flexibility to select from a wide range of MCUs when implementing the real-time EtherCAT communications standard.

The device’s dual 10/100 Ethernet transceivers support both fibre and copper, along with cable diagnostics capabilities. The LAN9252 also reduces system complexity and cost for developers using EtherCAT in factory-automation, process-control, motor/motion-control and IoT industrial-Ethernet applications.

Technology research firm ARC Advisory Group is forecasting Ethernet’s double-digit growth for use in industrial networks, partly fuelled by applications in the emerging IoT segment. With EtherCAT technology’s 'on-the-fly' processing and use of standard Ethernet cabling, Microchip’s LAN9252 slave controller offers the high level of integration and cost optimisation required for current and future industrial applications.

Fully compliant with the EtherCAT standard and interoperable with all EtherCAT systems, the LAN9252 EtherCAT slave controller includes 4KB of Dual-Port RAM and three fieldbus memory management units. The LAN9252 also features cable diagnostics support that allows field service technicians to rapidly and effectively diagnose line faults and provides for fibre connectivity. This EtherCAT slave controller is available in commercial, industrial and extended industrial temperature ranges, in low pin-count and small body size QFN and QFP-EP packages.

To enable development with the LAN9252, two Microchip evaluation boards supporting various system architectures were also announced. These hardware systems demonstrate how to interface to the LAN9252 through basic input/output connections, or to MCUs such as the 32-bit PIC32MX family via serial communications. An SDK is also available, which further enables developers to immediately start device evaluation and begin building solutions for their applications, allowing them to quickly familiarise themselves with features of the LAN9252. Both of the boards, EVB-LAN9252-HBI and EVB-LAN9252-DIGIO, are available now priced at $300 each.

Microchip's LAN9252 EtherCAT slave controller is available now for sampling in 64-pin QFN and QFP-EP packages.

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