Renesas MCUs target industrial networking & control applications

March 22, 2017 // By Graham Prophet
Supporting both real-time industrial network protocols and network redundancy protocols on a single chip, this series of microcontrollers has been configured to align with the Industry 4.0 concept.

Renesas’ RZ/N Series of industrial networking communication microprocessors (MPUs) simplifies network-based application development, in products such as network switches, gateways, programmable logic controllers (PLCs), operator terminals, and remote I/O units. The RZ/N brings together multiple industrial networking technologies within a single chip, enabling system manufacturers to develop systems supporting a variety of industrial network protocols and network redundancy protocols. Renesas offers a general application programmable interface (API) that provides a unified support for network protocol stacks implemented by industry partners, in addition to compiler and OS environments. The RZ/N lineup comprises three product groups for scalability: the RZ/N1D Group for high-end applications, the RZ/N1S Group for mid-range applications, and the RZ/N1L Group for low-end applications.


Due to factors such as differing time constraints and network control technologies, existing factory networks consist of field networks, which implement communication between control devices and other devices, and control networks, which implement communication between control devices and other control devices. Field networks require real-time control and use real-time industrial network protocols such as EtherCAT, EtherNet/IP, ETHERNET Powerlink, PROFINET, Sercos, and CANopen. In contrast, control networks, which prioritize reliability, use network redundancy protocols such as Rapid Spanning Tree Protocol (RSTP), Parallel Redundancy Protocol (PRP), and High-Availability Seamless Redundancy (HSR).


Renesas comments that there has been little development in unifying these two types of networks, which meant that when developing network devices, it was necessary to use components supporting one or another of the available protocols.


It has developed its RZ/N Series to provide a single-chip solution that will simplify the development of industrial network devices by providing support for both field network real time protocols and control network redundancy protocols. The processors include a multi-core ARM architecture with Integrated R-IN Engine and five-port Gigabit Ethernet switch for single-chip support of leading industrial network protocols and network redundancy protocols.


Renesas is preparing CPU modules populated with the RZ/N Series, boards equipped with

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