Altera has expanded its Industrial Networking Partner Programs (INPP) to provide a networking ecosystem for developers to evaluate various industrial real-time Ethernet and fieldbus intellectual properties (IP) for Cyclone® III and Cyclone IV FPGAs from established networking experts in the field. You can find the appropriate partner or partners to provide OpenCore Plus IP, reference designs, and specialized design services to meet your network communication and FPGA development needs. The Industrial Ethernet protocol standards supported include PROFINET, EtherNet/IP, EtherCAT, SERCOS III, Ethernet Powerlink, and Modbus TCP. Altera's partners, such as IXXAT and Softing, also support a number of fieldbus protocol standards.
Altera® FPGAs are programmable and allow you to evaluate and develop multiple Industrial Ethernet protocol standards on a single device, such as a Cyclone IV device. To take advantage of the flexible nature of Altera FPGAs, you can start with a modular industrial solutions platform such as the Industrial Networking Kit (INK) from Terasic. Table 1 shows a list of Altera’s industrial networking partners and the real-time Ethernet IP they support on the Cyclone IV E INK. For a full listing of IP that each partner supports on various Cyclone series FPGAs, please refer to Table 2 on Altera's Industrial Networking web page.
Table 1. List of Industrial Networking Partners
Cyclone IV IP on INK
Softing specializes in fieldbus technology for industrial automation, providing industrial-networking protocol software and reference designs that support Altera FPGAs and Nios® II embedded processors.
IXXAT is one of the leading suppliers of data communication technology for the industrial automation and automotive industries. IXXAT's solutions support CAN (CANopen, DeviceNet) and real-time Ethernet (EtherNet/IP, Profinet, EtherCAT, Powerlink, and SERCOS III) protocol standards. IXXAT provides industrial networking protocol software and reference designs that support Altera FPGAs and Nios II embedded processors.
Beckhoff implements open automation systems based on PC- and EtherCAT-based control technology. Beckhoff offers ideally suited components and streamlined automation systems for the EtherCAT real-time Ethernet system. Industrial PCs and embedded PCs offer a high-performance basis for PLC and motion control on the PC. With the EtherCAT I/Os, real-time Ethernet is available down to each I/O module with a large selection for all signal types. Highly dynamic servo drives permit an integrated, fast control technology. Beckhoff also offers ASICs and IP cores for EtherCAT slave implementations.
Automata develops, manufactures, and services electronics and software for small to mid-volume industrial automation customers. Automata is dedicated to the SERCOS interface and provides SERCOS II and SERCOS III solutions that support Altera Cyclone series FPGAs.
B&R offers an entire range of flexible and scalable automation products from a single source. The basis for B&R’s highly flexible and fully integrated solutions is the open real-time Ethernet technology POWERLINK. Combining the advantages of CANopen and real-time Ethernet, POWERLINK is ideally suited for both centralized and decentralized networks.B&R provides POWERLINK stack software and reference designs that support Altera® FPGAs and Nios® II embedded processors.
Figure 1 shows the INK contents. This Cyclone IV E development kit is based on the Terasic DE2-115 FPGA board, shown in Figure 2, with the following features:
Dual 10/100/1000-Mbps Ethernet
128-MB SDRAM, 8-MB flash memory, and 2-MB SRAM
Security EEPROM (for the EtherCAT slave ID)
High-speed mezzanine card (HSMC) and general purpose I/O (GPIO) connectors
Toggle switches and buttons
Status LEDs and a 16x2 character display
USB 2.0, SD card slot, audio, and video capabilities
The INK includes the ICB-HSMC board, which expands the DE2-115 board functionality with support for dual CAN, dual RS-485, RS-232, and Profibus interfaces with both DB-9 connectors and 10-pin headers. The INK comes with Quartus® II software, an INK system CD-ROM, and a quick-start guide to get you up and running with the hardware.