TI adds EtherNet/IP support in Sitara industrial software development kit

September 27, 2013 // By EDN
Texas Instruments has upgraded its Sitara AM335x industrial software development kit (SDK), adding the production-ready EtherNet/IP protocol to PROFIBUS and EtherCAT protocols.

Supporting multiple protocols on a single device with an integrated on-chip programmable real-time unit (PRU) makes industrial automation easier and more affordable for OEMs. OEMs can now access production-ready software and accelerate time to market for their industrial automation designs, including programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and I/O devices such as sensors and drives.

With the extended protocol support in TI's Sitara AM335x industrial SDK, OEMs can now connect their PLCs or I/O devices to two or more types of PLCs or HMI systems. As these protocols are supported through a single chip, OEMs can design scalable solutions with one printed circuit board based on TI's Sitara AM335x processors and simply change the protocol software in the processor's PRU depending on system requirements. The PRU is a powerful, 32-bit processing engine that is optimised for industrial protocols and other real-time tasks. It eliminates the need for an additional FPGA or ASIC. The industrial SDK runs on the differentiated ARM + PRU system-on-chip architecture on Sitara AM335x processors, enabling scalable solutions from industrial communications for industrial drives or PLC to higher performance HMI systems.

TI's Sitara AM335x industrial SDK can be downloaded today free from TI.com to add communications flexibility to AM335x-based industrial automation systems. The SDK and the PRU software have a simple licensing structure, with no upfront licensing fees or per-unit royalty reporting. Customers only need their own stack software or a third-party stack software that runs on TI's Sitara AM335x processor. An example third-party stack software with free evaluation license is included in the industrial SDK for quick evaluation.

TI's Sitara AM335x industrial SDK ships with TI's industrial communications engine (ICE) 2 board, $179. It is compatible with the original ICE board as well as TI's Industrial Development Kit (IDK).

Texas Instruments; www.ti.com