Renesas MCUs target industrial networking & control applications

Renesas MCUs target industrial networking & control applications
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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.
By Graham Prophet

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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 a variety of peripheral functions, and solution kits configured including OS and protocol stacks sample software from Renesas partners. Renesas is also working with protocol vendors to make available to system developers protocol stacks from PORT GmbH, TMG Technologie und Engineering GmbH, CANNON-Automata, and Net Module, among others.

 

Renesas will provide a Generic Abstraction layer API that will deliver unified support for a variety of industrial network protocols without performance tradeoffs. Using such API will enable system developers to combine supported protocols as needed with minimal impact on the application software, and to shorten the development time of industrial network devices.

 

The RZ/N1D Group features a dual ARM Cortex-A7 and is suitable for high-end applications such as network switches, PLCs, and gateways.

The RZ/N1S Group features a single ARM Cortex-A7 and is intended for mid-range applications such as nano-PLCs and operator terminals.

The RZ/N1L Group is suitable mainly for applications such as industrial equipment communication blocks or slave devices such as remote I/O units and enables system developers to develop devices that are more compact and low cost.

 

Renesas Electronics Europe; www.renesas.com

 

 

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