FPGA USB Solutions From Orange Tree Make Inroads Into Factory Automation and Industrial Equipment Markets

26th February 2008
ES Admin

Orange Tree Technologies, a board level embedded hardware and software company focused on high performance system-host communications interconnect today reported on 2007 sales performance. Figures showed a sharp rise in industrial demand for its FPGA USB 2.0 solutions with deployment into the control automation segment being particularly strong.

Used to provide the high performance interconnect between a system and host, Orange Tree’s Zest Series FPGA USB 2.0 hardware modules use Xilinx Spartan-3 FPGA and the Cypress FX2 USB microcontroller. The combination provides a flexible, high speed I/O interface that is ideal for the industrial environment where there exists an array of interdependent sensors, controllers and systems coupled with requirements for real-time diagnosis, monitoring and high speed data acquisition (DAQ).

“It’s typical that technologies and standards that are common in PCs and the enterprise space migrate to industrial applications, and USB is no different”, said Charles Sweeney, Director at Orange Tree Technologies. “The advantage of coupling FPGA technology with USB is its inherent flexibility and the I/O bandwidth for data intensive applications such as Machine Vision and complex automation control.”

In the Industrial environment USB is increasingly available on single board computers, industrial PCs and rugged HMI (Human Machine Interface) terminals. Its low cost and plug-and-play ease of use makes it an attractive option for fixed installations and mobile in-situ monitoring. The availability of industrial rated, latching USB connectors support its use in harsh environments.

Orange Tree’s ZestSC1 and ZestSC2 FPGA USB 2.0 solutions utilize low cost, high density Xilinx Spartan-3 FPGAs and the Cypress FX2 High Speed USB 2.0 microcontroller. Performance delivery is 480Mbits/s burst and up to 40MBytes/s sustained. In a compact form factor the boards meet OEM specifications and feature pipelined ZBT SRAM, SDRAM and a range of logic cores. Rapid system integration is enabled by comprehensive software support including a host library, drivers for FPGA communications and configuration and design example source code.

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