As industrial communications increasingly face the challenges of Industry 4.0, the need for processors to meet high throughput demands is growing. Texas Instruments is targeting Industry 4.0 applications with its Sitara ™ AM6x processor. The processor is designed for applications converging both Ethernet and real-time data traffic on a single network, a capability critical for real-time communication in Industry 4.0 applications.
The processor supports gigabit throughput rates for TSN standards and other industrial protocols and provides a versatile alternative to ASIC or FPGA-based processors that are dedicated only to specific networks, according to Carlos Betancourt, product marketing manager of Sitara™ processors for TI. The programmable processor can be configured to support multiple industrial protocols without hardware redesign, including time-sensitive networking (TSN), Ether CAT, PROFINET, Ethernet/IP, HSR/PRP, OPC-UA, and others.
“We’re moving to smarter, and higher bandwidth,” says Betancourt. “The challenge is putting all technologies together into processor requirements that are industrial grade.”
The integrated Sitara ™ AM6x processor has an on-chip, dual-core microcontroller that enables designers to use AM6x processors to create more dependable and functional safety-certifiable products, while reducing overall system-level complexity for applications such as programmable logic controllers and multi-axis motor drives. It can operate in an optional lockstep mode.
On-chip security features include security boot, secure storage, and smart crypto engines. The processor also supports error-correcting code memory protection for both on-chip memory and external DDR memory.
The processor can seamlessly and reuse and migrate Android, Linux, and TI-RTOS software across TI processor families. It also offers 3D graphics core options for advanced HMI.
Designed for industrial applications, the processor is rated for 100,000 power-on hours at a 105 °C junction temperature, and 200,000 power-on-hours at 95 °C.
Sitara processor-based development kits are available. They include the AM65x industrial module development kit (TMDX654IDKEVM) and AM65X evaluation module (TMDX654GPEVM), priced at $819 and $898 respectively.
Preproduction samples of the processor are now available; production samples will become available in the second half of 2019 and priced starting at $22.50 each in 1,000-unit quantities.
Filed Under: Industrial automation