Industrial Ethernet module handles multiple protocols

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Nohau is launching an advanced Industrial Ethernet Module that enables a wide range of devices to be quickly and cost-efficiently adapted to various industrial Ethernet technologies. The module, from Ixxat, can handle Powerlink, Profinet, EtherCAT and EtherNet/IP protocols.

This new IEM is more powerful than previous types, as it is based on the Altera Cyclone III FPGA and it is optimised for multi-protocol applications. In addition, it is smaller and costs less than previous models and will be available with a Switch IP.

The FPGA can be configured via the software interface to support the chosen industrial Ethernet protocol. This enables the host hardware and software applications to be configured either in the field or at the last minute on the production line, before shipping to a customer. Depending on the implemented industrial Ethernet protocol, the Ethernet interface is either single-routed (Profinet, EtherNet/IP) or double-routed (Powerlink, EtherCAT).

With the published API to the Host-CPU (Host-API is provided in C source code and can be ported to any host processor), the device can be connected easily using SPI or a standardised uC-Interface. The Host-API encapsulates the functions of the real-time industrial Ethernet protocol running on the module; the application can therefore be developed independently of the underlying network. Additionally, protocol-specific features can also be used by the application.

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