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Control processors gain industrial networking support

Oct 26, 2007 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Freescale Semiconductor has added real-time industrial networking support to the Linux-based development kit for its PowerQUICC II SoCs (system-on-chip processors). The MPC8360E-RDK reference design kit now ships with software support for Real Time Automation's (RTA's) EtherNet/IP and DeviceNet communication protocols for industrial control applications.

COM Express module format
(Click for details)

Freescale's MPC8360E-RDK, which shipped in June, includes a COM Express form-factor processor module based on the MPC8360E PowerQUICC Pro II SoC. The kit initially supported the Profibus field bus, the Ethernet Powerlink deterministic Ethernet protocol, and the IEEE 1588 clock synchronization protocol.

According to Freescale, the MPC8360E SoC and its development kit target designers of intelligent industrial equipment that runs demanding networking protocols and requires precise, accurate communications. Applications include industrial control and automation of distributed systems at power utilities and chemical plants, as well as networked communication systems for healthcare diagnostics and monitoring.

Freescale MPC8360E architecture
(Click to enlarge)

Real Time Automation's EtherNet/IP is deployable via a special Freescale version of RTA's EtherNet/IP Servprotocol. The comprehensive, “no royalty” networking protocol is designed to help configure, access, and control industrial automation devices, says Freescale, integrating processes from the industrial floor to the enterprise network.

RTA's DeviceNet protocol interconnects all level of industrial devices from simple to advanced. According to Freescale, it helps reduce the cost of connecting and installing networked industrial equipment by detecting performance problems, automating diagnostics, and facilitating device replacement.

The MPC8360E-RDK development platform supports graphics and touchscreen functionality and includes the MPC8360E processor, a Linux BSP (board support package), and evaluation copies of all supported protocols. The latest update also adds support for Green Hills Software's Safety Integrity Level 3 (SIL3), TUV-certified Integrity RTOS (real-time operating system).


Freescale's MPC8360E-RDK is immediately available, priced at under $1,000, the company said.

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