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Four collaborate on reference platform to streamline development of programmable logic controllers

August 15, 2012 // Nick Flaherty

Four collaborate on reference platform to streamline development of programmable logic controllers

Four companies have come together to produce a reference platform to speed up the development of programmable logic controllers.

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The reference platform integrates well-established EtherCAT protocol software from koenig-pa (KPA) of Germany, PLC firmware from ISaGRAF and the QNX Neutrino real-time operating system (RTOS) to boost the functionality, reliability and performance of control applications communicating via the EtherCAT protocol. The hardware is based on Freescale Semiconductors dual-core QorIQ P1025 processor and also supports Ethernet/IP, PROFINET and PROFIBUS protocols.
The PLC reference platform delivers millisecond response times for EtherCAT tasks, while using just one percent of one core in the dual-core QorIQ P1025 processor. This leaves ample performance headroom to run both the communications protocol and the control application in a single device. Customers may also choose to distribute processing functions across two cores, or isolate real-time control functions on one core while running maintenance and communications functions on the other core.
The ISaGRAF PLC Firmware allows developers to easily create feature-rich control systems based on industry-standard control languages such as IEC 61499 and IEC 61131-3. This allows easier migration of existing applications to new platforms based on QorIQ processors and the QNX Neutrino RTOS. ISaGRAF provides a complete control application development environment called the ISaGRAF 6 Workbench, which features plug-ins for features such as IEC 61131-3 compliant languages, an integrated HMI, and the KPA Studio for integrated EtherCAT slave management. ISaGRAFs modularity allows customers to create a customized Workbench, with only the functionality required for their control product.
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