EtherCAT slave controller IP for Microsemi SmartFusion2 FPGAs

October 29, 2015 // By Graham Prophet
A co-operation between Trinamic and Microsemi aims to provide scalable, low power and secure designs and services for EtherCAT and motion control

Microsemi and motion control specialists Trinamic Motion Control (Hamburg, Germany) have announced “plugfest-tested” EtherCAT intellectual property (IP) and software for Microsemi’s SmartFusion2 system-on-chip (SoC) field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), claiming gains in scalability, low power, and security, plus Trinamic’s customisation and integration services.

Designers can use Trinamic’s EtherCAT solution as an FPGA-based application specific standard product (ASSP) to avoid designing a specific industrial Ethernet ASSP/ASIC for each industrial Ethernet board. Trinamic also offers customisation services based on the company’s motor IP experience for motion control ASSPs. Trinamic adds, “Customers also benefit from straight-forward licensing and non-recurring engineering fees for design services.”

The EtherCAT offering comprises ready-to-design and customised EtherCAT blocks as a stand-alone industrial Ethernet solution, or with integrated motor control and other interface IP on one SmartFusion2 or Igloo2 SoC FPGA platform. To enable wide interoperability, the Trinamic IP blocks have been verified as 100% compatible with the existing Beckhoff EtherCAT slave controllers through interoperability testing. The IP blocks include a stand-alone mode that enables direct mapping of integrated peripherals to bus registers, while enabling an external or internal multipoint control unit (MCU) to perform higher layer protocol operations. Microsemi’s secure SmartFusion2 SoC FPGA offers layered hardware and software solutions to protect the IP, platform, manufacturing flow and data layer based on a user’s specific needs.

Trinamic’s EtherCAT solution is suitable for applications in the industrial and communications markets, including factory automation applications such as programmable logic controller (PLC), motor drive/motion drive control, and safety input/output (IO) modules. Microsemi can add switch products, Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) integrated circuits (ICs) and midspan products to complement the EtherCAT IP and chip solution.

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