Infineon: EtherCAT implementation in next to no time

The cost-efficient implementation of EtherCAT applications gets even easier – with Infineon’s future-proof and application-optimized ARM-based microcontrollers and new development kits that help cutting down EtherCAT development time to three months. The XMC4300 Relax EtherCAT Kit and the XMC4800 EtherCAT Automation Kit passed the EtherCAT certification test and are available. The XMC microcontrollers with integrated EtherCAT node, XMC4300 and XMC4800, target factory automation, I/O modules and robotics. All XMC4800 microcontrollers are AEC Q100 qualified, making them also well-suited for use in commercial, construction and agricultural vehicles.

The kit is designed to evaluate the capabilities of the XMC4300 (in LQFP-100 package) especially in EtherCAT slave applications. The XMC4300 uses the ARM Cortex-M4 processor and has 144 MHz, up to 256 Kbytesof embedded Flash memory and 128 Kbytes SRAM. The XMC4300 Relax EtherCAT Kit offers an EtherCAT node with standard magnetics plug, IN and OUT interface via RJ45 jack and cabling as well as an optional EtherCAT node with PHY to PHY connection. Evaluation of mixed networks is easy with its CAN transceiver and CAN connector via D-SUB 9 plug. The kit has an Arduino hardware compatible pinout with voltage level shifter for 3.3 and 5 V Arduino shields.

The XMC4800 EtherCAT Automation Kit for networked industrial automation and Industrie 4.0 applications. The on-boardXMC4800 microcontroller is based on an ARM Cortex-M4 processor. It features a 144-MHz-CPU, integrated EtherCAT Slave Controller, up to 2 MBytes of embedded Flash memory, 352 Kbytes of RAM and a comprehensive range of peripheral and interface functions.

The XMC4800 EtherCAT Automation Kit eases development of networked industrial automation and Industry 4.0 applications. For designers to improve system integrity and data security in networked production, the kit features an additional Infineon security microcontroller: the OPTIGA Trust E addresses, for example, embedded authentication. With its 1-way authentication mechanism, OPTIGA Trust E helps to better protect PKI networks. For fast read-out, the XMC4800 EtherCAT Automation Kit offers a SPI FRAM of 64 Kbytes. A further novelty in the development kit world is its SDRAM of 64 Mbit of volatile memory which can be linked to a parallel interface. In addition, the kit is equipped with the Infineon ISOFACE. This is a galvanic isolated, 8-channel high side switch for 24 V industrial control and automation applications. The ISOFACE isolates the low-voltage, control side components of an industrial controller from the output channels directed to the shop floor.

Both kits come with suitable software development tools. For both, there is the DAVE development environment with libraries for low-level drivers and apps free of charge. For EtherCAT, DAVE uses SSC (Slave Stack Code) from Beckhoff. In addition, commercial EtherCAT slave stacks are on offer from established third-party manufacturers.

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