Modbus and CANopen added to protocols in XMOS' industrial communications range

July 04, 2013 // By Graham Prophet
Industrial interfaces expand the range of configurable xCORE multicore microcontrollers; XMOS has added Modbus and CANopen xSOFTip blocks to its range of embedded industrial communications capabilities supported by the xCORE family of multicore microcontrollers.

CANopen and Modbus are well established as industrial communications protocols. The addition of these new soft peripherals allows designers to integrate these commonly-required protocols in their xCORE-based embedded designs, alongside a wide range of other industrial communications standards, and timing-predictable, jitter-free control code. This unique flexibility of configuration allows embedded designers to build systems with the exact combination of interfaces and control capabilities needed for their applications.

CANopen and Modbus, (which is available from XMOS in both Ethernet/TCP and serial/RTU variants), join a wide variety of protocols and interfaces already available as part of the XMOS xSOFTip peripheral library. These include CANbus, RS485 and LIN, as well as standard and time-stamped Ethernet. Together with the modular sliceKIT development system, industrial serial bus (IS-BUS) I/O sliceCARD, and associated xTIMEcomposer Studio development tools, XMOS provides everything developers need to rapidly create a broad range of industrial products.

“The serial fieldbus and industrial Ethernet markets are highly diversified,” commented Paul Neil, VP Product Management, XMOS. “xCORE is the only platform that allows embedded designers to choose the exact set of interfaces and control capabilities required for their application, while working in an easy-to-use C-based programming environment. Our customers have the freedom to combine communications interfaces and protocols, jitter-free and timing-deterministic control and high-performance DSP for complex control loops; and that freedom means they can create products that would otherwise be impossible to build.”

xCORE devices deliver the features and functions of a real-time operating system, (RTOS), in hardware blocks within the multicore architecture. As a result they combine flexible and time-sensitive communications capabilities with the ability to implement timing-and-latency-critical control functions. This makes xCORE suitable for demanding applications that need to close multiple asynchronous control loops in real time, and which require distributed intelligence and communication over real-time networks.

In addition to the newly available Modbus and CANopen blocks, XMOS offers a variety of xSOFTip blocks aimed at industrial designers, including real-time Ethernet,