Real-Time Ethernet systems are successfully used by now and further developed in many applications. Thus, the demands on the resources and functionalities of network controllers are increasing. netX 51/52 network controllers are based on the further-developed netX 50 communication architecture which offers considerably more internal storage capacity and additional function units. The hardware of netX 51 and netX 50 is compatible. The netX 52 consists of the same silicon as the netX 51, but it has no external memory bus, consequentially it has a smaller housing and is thus more cost-effective. Therefore, these components are optimized for designing modular or compact slaves, or as a Real-Time Ethernet controller of a high-performance CPU. The communication channels meet all current and future requirements of the PROFINET Specification V2.3, as e. g. “Dynamic Frame Packing”. Moreover, the new PHYs manufactured by Renesas ensure faster throughput times and extended diagnosis properties.
In connection with a small QSPI Flash, the internal memory of more than 670 KByte enables very compact solutions doubling the performance of the netX 50. For processing fast IOs, the application is provided with a second RISC CPU. It works in parallel with the ARM and significantly reduces the demands on the ARM software in case of short bus cycle times. Typical applications are IO-Link Master Gateways. When using gateways, the xPIC carries out the IO-Link data transfer so that the ARM is fully available for the transmission protocol to the master. A third Ethernet interface is implemented for connecting a PC for diagnosis and configuration purposes. Alternatively, this interface can be used to connect the netX to a host CPU. The netX acts like a PHY on this MII interface.
Some Real-Time Ethernet systems use the CANopen object models or the same communication services as with Ethernet/IP and DeviceNet. This makes it necessary to connect CAN to the Real-Time Ethernet system as a “legacy network”. So far, this task required the use of the expensive netX 100 controller with its three communication channels. As an alternative, a dedicated CAN controller is now available.
Owing to these possibilities, the netX 51/52 is by far more than just a Real-Time Ethernet interface chip equipped with a dual-port memory.