Texas Instruments Expands Protocol Support

Oct. 9, 2013
The Sitara AM335x industrial software development kit from Texas Instruments now supports EtherNet/IP in addition to Profibus and EtherCAT .

Automation technology suppliers are increasingly supporting the multiple protocol reality of modern manufacturing networks. In the past year, we seen several examples of this related to ISA 100.11a, distributed I/O, and vision sensor software.

From the embedded realm, which enables much of the multi-protocol functionality on the market, comes news that Texas Instruments has added production-ready EtherNet/IP protocol to its Sitara AM335x industrial software development kit (SDK). The Sitara AM 335x SDK already supports Profibus and EtherCAT.

The SDK can be used in automaton technologies ranging from programmable logic controllers to I/O devices such as sensors and drives.

Because multiple protocols are supported through a single chip via the SDK, Texas Instruments says that OEMs can design scalable solutions with one printed circuit board based on Sitara AM335x processors. The only adjustment that needs to be made is to change the protocol software in the processor’s programmable real-time unit (PRU). The PRU is a 32-bit processing engine optimized for industrial protocols and other real-time tasks, eliminating the need for an additional FPGA or ASIC, according to TI. The industrial SDK runs on the differentiated ARM + PRU system-on-chip architecture on Sitara AM335x processors.

The Sitara AM335x industrial SDK can be downloaded today for free from TI.com for use on AM335x-based industrial automation systems.

About the Author

David Greenfield, editor in chief | Editor in Chief

David Greenfield joined Automation World in June 2011. Bringing a wealth of industry knowledge and media experience to his position, David’s contributions can be found in AW’s print and online editions and custom projects. Earlier in his career, David was Editorial Director of Design News at UBM Electronics, and prior to joining UBM, he was Editorial Director of Control Engineering at Reed Business Information, where he also worked on Manufacturing Business Technology as Publisher. 

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