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FPGA module for SERCOS III industrial bus

November 22, 2011 // Nick Flaherty

FPGA module for SERCOS III industrial bus

Lattice Semiconductor has used its FPGA technology to develop a module for Sercos III real-time Ethernet networks.

The low power LatticeECP3 FPGA module provides a low cost and flexible design alternative for real-time industrial networking applications. Sercos III is a closed-loop digital bus that interconnects motion controls, drives, I/O, sensors and actuators for numerically controlled machines across industrial Ethernet cabling and is supported by a worldwide user organisation.

The Sercos III real-time Ethernet evaluation kit consists of two boards with an FPGA module with LatticeECP3-35 FPGA, 8MB of flash and 8MB of DRAM and a base board, plus an optional expansion module. It is designed in particular for test implementations and performance measurements of Sercos III slave devices based on the SERCON100S slave IP core in combination with the LatticeMico32 soft microprocessor and other IP.

The compact size and wide bus and I/O interface means the FPGA module can also be integrated straight into Sercos III slave devices. This saves cost and reduces the time to market. The base board has 16DI and 16DO, all with status LEDs, an RS232 interface, various switches and the standardized bi-colour Sercos III diagnostic LED. The board is supplied with 24VDC or 5VDC. A socket for expansion modules allows the addition of more functions or

The module is supported by the proven AUTOMATA Sercos III slave communication stack and test tools such as a master simulator for Windows XP. A sample implementation of the Sercos III I/O profile (FSP-I/O) is available.

“The Sercos interface allows drive and control manufacturers to create intelligent digital drives with vastly improved capabilities and flexibility,” said Niladri Roy, Senior Manager for Vertical Markets at Lattice. “The availability of Sercos III on the LatticeECP3 FPGA family provides a low cost, low power FPGA-based alternative for a wide spectrum of customers who need to implement flexible industrial networking solutions.”

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