Microchip introduces EtherCAT slave controller for industrial Ethernet and IoT applications

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April 21, 2015: Microchip Technology Inc., a leading provider of microcontroller, mixed-signal, analogue and Flash-IP solutions, has announced the  stand-alone EtherCAT slave controller with two 10/100 PHYs, the LAN9252. This highly integrated device’s dual 10/100 Ethernet transceivers support both fiber and copper, along with cable diagnostics capabilities. The LAN9252 supports traditional Host Bus and SPI/SQI communication, along with stand-alone digital I/O interfaces, providing system designers the flexibility to select from a wide range of microcontrollers when implementing the real-time EtherCAT communications standard. Additionally, the LAN9252 reduces system complexity and cost for developers using EtherCAT in factory-automation, process-control, motor/motion-control and Internet of Things (IoT) industrial-Ethernet applications.

Technology research firm ARC Advisory Group is forecasting Ethernet’s double-digit growth for use in industrial networks, partly fueled by applications in the emerging IoT segment. With EtherCAT technology’s “on-the-fly” processing and use of standard Ethernet cabling, Microchip’s LAN9252 slave controller offers the high level of integration and cost optimisation required for current and future industrial applications.

“Microchip’s history as a supplier supporting the very long product life cycles in the industrial market, combined with our leading-edge Ethernet devices, ensures customers have a reliable partner,” said Mitch Obolsky, VP of Microchip’s USB and Networking Group.”Adding EtherCAT technology, with its expanding market share, is a significant addition to our industry-leading Ethernet portfolio. The LAN9252 provides our customers with ease-of-use and configuration flexibility, taking communication and connectivity in embedded industrial designs to the next level.”

Fully compliant with the EtherCAT standard and interoperable with all EtherCAT systems, the LAN9252 EtherCAT slave controller includes 4 Kbytes of Dual-Port RAM (DPRAM) and three Fieldbus Memory Management Units (FMMUs). The LAN9252 also features cable diagnostics support that allows field service technicians to rapidly and effectively diagnose line faults and provides for fiber connectivity. This EtherCAT slave controller is available in commercial, industrial and extended industrial temperature ranges, in low pin count and small body size QFN and QFP-EP packages.

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Development support

To enable development with the LAN9252, two Microchip evaluation boards supporting various system architectures were also announced. These hardware systems demonstrate how to interface to the LAN9252 through basic input/output connections, or to microcontrollers such as the 32-bit PIC32MX family via serial communications. A Software Development Kit (SDK) is also available today, which further enables developers to immediately start device evaluation and begin building solutions for their applications, allowing them to quickly familiarise themselves with features of the LAN9252. Both boards, part # EVB-LAN9252-HBI and part # EVB-LAN9252-DIGIO, are available now via any Microchip sales representative or authorised worldwide distributor.

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