MPUs simplify industrial network connectivity

Designed to make it easier to add network functionality to industrial equipment and devices, Renesas Electronics Corp. has introduced the RZ/N2L microprocessors (MPUs) for industrial Ethernet communication. The new MPUs meet a variety of industry- standard specifications and protocols to meet the requirements of industry automation devices that need real-time capabilities.

MPUs simplify industrial network connectivity

(Source: Renesas Electronics)

The new devices, equipped with an integrated TSN-compliant 3-port Gigabit Ethernet switch and an EtherCAT slave controller, support all major industrial network communication protocols, such as EtherCAT, PROFINET RT, EtherNet/IP, and OPC UA, as well as the new PROFINET IRT. It also supports the time-sensitive networking (TSN) Ethernet standard for real-time communication.

One of the biggest benefits of the RZ/N2L is that it is optimized as an add-ON to existing systems. By using the RZ/N2L as a companion chip complementing the host CPU designers can add industrial Ethernet functionality to their equipment without making major changes to its internal configuration, according to the company.

The RZ/N2L is built on the Arm Cortex-R52 with a maximum operating frequency of 400 MHz. It integrates large capacity ECC RAM and peripheral functions such as a delta-sigma interface, A/D converter, and PWM timer. This allows the RZ/N2L to be used as a standalone device to develop applications such as remote I/O, sensor hubs, and inverters, said Renesas. The UART and CAN functions enable the RZ/N2L to serve as a gateway for converting from a fieldbus based on RS485 or CAN to industrial Ethernet.

MPUs simplify industrial network connectivity

RZ/N2L block diagram. Click for a larger image. (Source: Renesas Electronics)

In addition, the RZ/N2L offers both parallel and serial host interfaces that connect to the host CPU for external applications, delivering high-speed access. The external CPU also can directly access communication data stored in the system RAM of the RZ/N2L.

“Since the RZ/N2L can perform network processing independently of the external CPU, industrial Ethernet can be added to systems without the need for major changes to the existing application software,” said the company.

The RZ/N2L also will support functional safety. The company plans to release a functional safety solution for the RZ/N2L in 2023.
Renesas offers two new winning combinations with working proof-of-concept boards using the RZ/N2L and complementary Renesas devices. The Gigabit Industrial Ethernet SOM Solution uses Renesas power management ICs, photocouplers, EEPROM, and other mixed-signal devices to provide a configurable industrial Ethernet in a SOM + carrier board architecture. This solution provides two Gbit Ethernet interfaces and Pmod & Arduino interfaces to build a system with different peripherals. It also uses a single configurable power supply to support different RZ MPUs.

The 220-V AC Servo Solution integrates motor control and EtherCAT to provide high-speed and high-precision motor control through time-sensitive industrial Ethernet communications. It includes a physically isolated motor encoder, power drive, and system control blocks with high degree interconnect.

The RZ/N2L MPUs are available now. A Starter Kit+ for the RZ/N2L also is available for initial evaluation of applications.

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