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Freescale enables EtherCAT® on QorIQ, PowerQUICC and i.MX processors

A single convection-cooled device can simultaneously bridge between two industrial network protocols while controlling a complex real-time process

NUREMBERG, Germany (SPS/IPC/Drives 2010) – Nov. 23, 2010 – Freescale Semiconductor, a leader in industrial embedded processors, has collaborated with four top protocol and operating systems vendors to offer safety-certifiable industrial automation reference solutions featuring the EtherCAT® protocol on QorIQ, PowerQUICC and i.MX processors. Selected processor versions operate without fans in rugged industrial environments.

These three new reference solutions help customers quickly confirm functionality, reliability and performance of a single device that simultaneously runs a complex real-time control application, together with EtherCAT master bridging to another industrial protocol such as PROFIBUS, PROFINET, EtherNet/IP™ or DeviceNet™. The reference software dramatically reduces time-to-market and development cost for safety-certified industrial automation solutions.

Industrial reference solution for QorIQ processor, acontis EtherCAT Master and Green Hills® INTEGRITY® RTOS
This reference solution consists of the AT-EM EtherCAT master protocol from acontis technologies GmbH, integrated with Green Hills’ safe and secure INTEGRITY real-time operating system, on Freescale’s P2020 QorIQ multicore processing platform. The P2020 processor integrates extensive connectivity with fanless operation for up to 3500 MIPS of performance.

“We are pleased to provide our industry-leading EtherCAT master stack solution now on the Freescale QorIQ multicore processing platform,” said Stefan Zintgraf, General Manager at acontis technologies.

The acontis AT-EM EtherCAT master offers reliable, robust, hard real-time performance. It includes redundant ring operation and a hot-connect feature pack that enables configuration changes without impacting the operation of attached EtherCAT slave nodes.

The Green Hills Platform for Industrial Safety has long been a popular choice for high reliability, real-time industrial applications, consisting of:

  • IEC 61508 SIL3 and EN 50128 SWSIL4 safety-certified INTEGRITY real-time operating system, with a separation kernel architecture to guarantee safe real-time control
  • INTEGRITY Secure Virtualization (ISV) delivering a hybrid architecture that extends the safety and security-certified INTEGRITY real-time operating system technology to enable safe execution of trusted real-time critical software, side-by-side with untrusted applications running on general purpose operating systems (OS) such as Android™ OS
  • Comprehensive middleware suite, including graphics, USB and IPv6 networking
  • MULTI® integrated development environment (IDE)

This solution was tested during EtherCAT Technology Group plug fests in September, 2010, and will be demonstrated in the EtherCAT Technology Group booth (Hall 6, Booth 208) and the Green Hills booth (Hall 7A, booth 658) at the SPS/IPC/Drives exhibition in Nuremberg, Nov. 23-25, 2010.

Industrial reference solution for PowerQUICC processor with Koenig KPA Master EtherCAT and QNX Neutrino® RTOS
This reference solution consists of the Master EtherCAT from Koenig Prozessautomatisierungs GmbH (KPA), integrated with QNX Software Systems’ QNX® Neutrino® RTOS Safe Kernel, running on Freescale’s MPC8536 PowerQUICC communications platform.

The Koenig KPA Master EtherCAT offers easy-to-use, full-featured, hard real-time performance, with several feature packs like “Cable Redundancy”, “Hot Connect” and valuable diagnostic capabilities. KPA EtherCAT Studio, the tool for both Master and Slave, is used to configure and monitor network activity.

The QNX Neutrino RTOS Safe Kernel is certified to the IEC 61508 SIL3 and POSIX PSE52 Realtime Controller 1003.13-2003 standards. It offers both adaptive CPU partitioning and multi-core support, and is fully compatible with the standard QNX Neutrino microkernel, enabling developers to migrate without API changes.
The QNX Neutrino RTOS has a proven track record in locomotive-control systems, nuclear plants, wind turbines, process automation systems and other safety-critical environments.

The Freescale MPC8536 PowerQUICC processor integrates extensive connectivity up to 3500 MIPS.

“The KPA EtherCAT stacks are a natural fit in performance for the Power Architecture® products,” said Gerhard Spiegel, Manager at KPA.

Industrial reference solution for i.MX28x processor, acontis EtherCAT Master and Linux® OS
This reference solution consists of the acontis AT-EM EtherCAT master protocol integrated with Linux operating system on Freescale’s i.MX28x application processor family based on an ARM®9™ core. The i.MX28x processor integrates extensive connectivity with up to 500 MIPS of performance while consuming less than a half watt of power. Starting at less than $6 (USD) suggested resale price, these devices are ideal for use in medical devices, energy distribution equipment, meters, human machine interfaces and industrial controllers.

Acontis will demonstrate the solution in Hall 7A, booth 600 at SPS/IPC/Drives event.

Processors and evaluation systems are available now. To learn more about these EtherCAT solutions, please visit

About Freescale Semiconductor
Freescale Semiconductor is a global leader in the design and manufacture of embedded semiconductors for the automotive, consumer, industrial and networking markets. The privately held company is based in Austin, Texas, and has design, research and development, manufacturing or sales operations around the world.

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