RZ / N2L microprocessors implement real time comms in industrial equipment

For industrial Ethernet communications that enable integrators to add network functionality to industrial equipment and devices, Renesas Electronics has introduced the RZ / N2L microprocessor range.

The RZ / N2L complies with industry standard specifications and protocols to facilitate the development of industry automation devices that require real time capabilities. The microprocessors support the time sensitive networking (TSN) Ethernet standard that ensures real time communication. They are equipped with an integrated TSN-compliant three-port Gigabit Ethernet switch and an EtherCAT slave controller to support industrial network communication protocols, such as EtherCAT, ProfiNet RT, EtherNet/IP, and OPC UA, as well as the new ProfiNet IRT. 

The RZ / N2L can be used as a companion chip to complement the host CPU and add industrial Ethernet functionality to equipment without major changes to its internal configuration, said Renesas for synchronised control in factory automation. 

“Revising the full design of equipment in order to implement Industrial Ethernet functionality creates a substantial development burden in terms of both time and cost,” said Hitoshi Shirakabe, vice president of the Industrial Automation business division at Renesas. The RZ / N2L is optimised as an add-on to existing systems, he explained to enable customers to quickly deploy industrial networks with minimal system modifications.

The RZ / N2L has both parallel and serial host interfaces that connect to the host CPU for external applications for direct connection to the CPU for high speed access. The external CPU can directly access communication data stored in the system RAM of the RZ / N2L. The microprocessor can perform network processing independently of the external CPU, for industrial Ethernet to be systems without major changes to the existing application software, confirmed Renesas.

The RZ / N2L is built around the Arm Cortex-R52 with a maximum operating frequency of 400MHz. It integrates large capacity ECC RAM and peripheral functions such as a delta sigma interface, ADC and PWM timer. The RZ / N2L can therefore be used as a standalone device to develop remote I/O, sensor hubs and inverters. 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.

The RZ / N2L can also be used as a microprocessor that supports functional safety. Renesas said it will soon offer self-diagnostic software for a functional safety version next year.

The RZ / N2L microprocessors are available now. A starter kit is also available.


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