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TI ARM MPU single-chip Profibus solution reduces power consumption and cost

Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) has announced its AM1810 Sitara ARM microprocessor (MPU), a new single-chip ARM9 solution with an integrated PROFIBUS interface.

This integrated, low-power device eliminates the need for an external PROFIBUS, ASIC or FPGA, which saves development time and cost while improving system performance. The AM1810 Sitara ARM MPU has ample performance to support implementation of industrial applications, whether or not the applications require a PROFIBUS.

Examples of industrial applications well-suited for the AM1810 Sitara ARM MPU include a programmable logic controller (PLC) or human machine interface (HMI). TI also announced its membership into the PROFIBUS International (PI). By joining PI, TI affirmed its commitment to the industrial market by providing a certified, integrated solution to help make development easier and improve costs for industrial designers.

Compared to multi-chip solutions on the market today, the AM1810 Sitara ARM MPU connects the PROFIBUS interface directly to the RS-485 transceiver, eliminating the need for an ASIC or FPGA.

Customers can also design smaller enclosures and housings with easier thermal designs for their PROFIBUS-based products due to the AM1810 Sitara ARM MPU’s low power architecture. The combination of removing the FPGA or the ASIC, reducing board space and introducing a simpler thermal design, results in bill of materials (BOM) savings of up to 30 per cent.

The PROFIBUS real-time frame handler, called the Fieldbus Data Link (FDL), is implemented utilizing the Programmable Real-Time Unit (PRU), which is part of the AM1810 Sitara ARM MPU on-chip peripherals. The PRU is tightly coupled with the ARM processor through the on-chip system bus, yielding shorter control cycle time and increased system response time – running up to 12 MBaud PROFIBUS decentralized peripherals (DP) communication.

Multiple memory options allow customers to run a PROFIBUS node without external memory, booting through serial flash and running PROFIBUS on internal RAM. The solution also has an operating system abstraction layer, which makes the PROFIBUS DP protocol stack independent of the operating system, allowing complete design flexibility.

The TI PROFIBUS DP slave implementation earned the PI certification through ComDeC, a PROFIBUS Certification Lab hosted by Siemens AG. This particular certification was earned on the PROFIBUS interface on TI’s AM1810 Sitara ARM MPU, which allows industrial designers and developers to design with confidence that they are meeting industrial standards.

"In the industrial space, the PROFIBUS standard is synonymous with reliable networking, and with this certification, TI is giving a higher assurance that our product is a quality alternative to existing solutions," said Ram Sathappan, industrial end equipments manager, Texas Instruments.

"We are very excited to be a member of PI and introduce our certified AM1810 Sitara ARM MPU PROFIBUS solution to the industrial market. Our aim is to help our customers reduce BOM costs, PCB space and design time. We are confident that TI’s one chip solution, the AM1810 Sitara ARM MPU with PROFIBUS, will do just that."

In addition to the PROFIBUS interface, the AM1810 Sitara ARM MPU supports EtherCAT Master protocol on the integrated Ethernet port. This allows industrial designers to develop products with multi-protocol support.

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