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Date: 09-08-22

MPUs enable industrial ethernet connectivity in industrial equipment

In today's industry 4.0 factory automation world, converting your present industrial equipment to connect to ethernet networks makes them ready for remote operation. By using new microprocessor units from Renesas, industrial equipments can be added with the industrial ethernet network functionality, without major changes to industrial equipments internal configuration.  

The new RZ/N2L microprocessor units (MPUs) for Industrial Ethernet communication enables development of industry automation devices that require real-time capabilities. Renensas says "The new products support the increasingly popular Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) Ethernet standard that ensures real-time communication. Equipped with an integrated TSN-compliant 3-port Gigabit Ethernet switch and an EtherCAT slave controller, the new devices also support all major industrial network communication protocols, such as EtherCAT, PROFINET RT, EtherNet/IP, and OPC UA, as well as the new PROFINET IRT."

RZ/N2L as a companion chip complements host CPU in developing industrial equipment utilizing rapid and precise synchronized control for factory automation.

“Revising the full design of equipment in order to implement Industrial Ethernet functionality creates a substantial development burden in terms of both time and cost,” said Hitoshi Shirakabe, Vice President of the Industrial Automation Business Division at Renesas. “To address this challenge, Renesas developed the RZ/N2L, which is optimized as an add-on to existing systems. I am confident that it will enable customers to quickly deploy cutting-edge industrial networks with minimal system modifications.”

“I anticipate that the RZ/N2L, which supports the fast-growing TSN standard, will further accelerate the spread of Ethernet in the factory automation market,” said Dietmar R. Franke, CEO/CFO at port industrial automation GmbH. “We are planning to release GOAL middleware for the RZ/N2L targeting multi-protocol real-time communication to help our customers implement Industrial Ethernet communication technology to their devices.”

Host processor can establish direct connection with RZ/N2L  either through parallel and serial interfaces and can directly access communication data stored in the system RAM of the RZ/N2L. RZ/N2L independently perform network processing tasks without disturbing external CPU, so that  Industrial Ethernet can be added to systems without the need for major changes to the existing application software.

RZ/N2L can also be used  as a main processor to develop remote I/O, sensor hubs, and inverters. Arm Cortex-R52 processor core operating at a maximum operating frequency of 400 MHz in RZ/N2L  is supported by ample ECC RAM and analog functions such as a delta-sigma interface, ADC, and PWM timer. The UART and CAN  interfaces in this chip enable it as a gateway for converting from a fieldbus based on RS485 or CAN to Industrial Ethernet.

The RZ/N2L can also be used as an MPU that supports functional safety. Renesas’ functional safety solutions such as self-diagnostic software for the RZ/N2L, functional safety platform software soon to be offered by Renesas and secure networks can reduce the time and workload associated with development. Renesas plans to release a functional safety solution for the RZ/N2L in 2023.

Renesas has made available PoC (proof of concept) boards with reference circuits, Gerber, and sample program code to accelerate product development using the RZ/N2L. Gigabit Industrial Ethernet SOM solutions  provide a configurable industrial Ethernet in SOM + Carrier board architecture.  The 220V AC Servo Solution integrates motor control and EtherCAT to provide high-speed and high-precision motor control through time-sensitive industrial Ethernet communications.

The RZ/N2L MPUs and Renesas Starter Kit+ for RZ/N2L are available to order now, more details at:   https://www.renesas.com/rzn2l.

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