Protokollstacks für TI Sitara Banner

Fieldbus & Industrial Ethernet protocols

for multiprotocol capable SitaraTM microcontroller

Get your devices ready for industrial communication

Today‘s key factors in product development are availability, product quality and time-to-market. In particular the time-to-market factor is becoming more and more important and leads to shorter product life cycles and faster development of new products. The trend is therefore away from a rather rigid product development towards a flexible, modular platform strategy.

Texas Instruments‘ Sitara™ processor family forms such a platform that meets today‘s challenges, such as easy and flexible integration into different industrial networks. For Sitara, KUNBUS provides a wide range of fieldbus and Industrial Ethernet protocols that can be used to equip your automation device with Master or Slave/Device capabilities.

Sitara processor platform

The processors of the Sitara family from Texas Instruments have been developed as SOCs (System on a Chip) especially for industrial applications. The processors cover a wide range of applications and performance. The main CPU of a Sitara processor consists of one or more ARM cores of different types, as well as other co-processors. Starting with AMIC110 as communication controller with ARM Cortex-A8, the Sitara family scales up to the currently largest model AM6548 with four ARM Cortex-A53 cores, 2 Arm Cortex-R5F cores. Texas Instruments ensures long-term availability of processors according to industry standards.

The so-called ICSS (Industrial Communication Sub System) makes the Sitara family highly attractive for industrial applications. An ICSS consists of two RISC cores (PRU), each of which is directly coupled to an MII. This enables real-time communication, as required for many common industrial protocols, e.g. EtherCAT.

Key benefits using Sitara processor

  • Control and communication tasks carried out by only one processor
  • Scalable platform concept with wide performance range
  • Multiprotocol capability
  • Master & Slave capability
  • Processor life cycle in excess of 10 years

However, the application is not limited to Ethernet-based protocols. Fieldbuses such as PROFIBUS or other real-time applications such as IO-Link or encoder interfaces such as EnDAT can also be implemented. The ICSS of the Sitara AM6x series even supports Gigabit Ethernet. This allows you to run various fieldbus, Industrial Ethernet and other industrial protocols parallel to your application on one controller.

The integrated real-time subsystem thus enables control and communication tasks to be mapped on a single chip. Expensive special hardware or FPGAs are no longer required. This saves space on the board and enables flexible product design. Last but not least, it saves manufacturing costs. The multi-protocol capability ensures fast and simple integration of different industrial networks such as PROFINET, EtherCAT or EtherNet/IP. This considerably reduces the development effort and your products are faster on the market.

Graphic: A typical connection of a communication interface to a processor (left) compared to the design of the communication interface of a Sitara processor (right).

The controller range consists of different series (e.g. AM65x). The controllers of one series have the same architecture and have the same ARM cores, e.g. ARM Cortex-A9 in the AM4x series. The individual models within a series differ in clocking, number of cores and other properties. The ICSS of the individual series are compatible with each other. The Sitara SDK from Texas Instruments offers a simple and constant interface.

If you want to scale your application or take parts of your application from an existing to a new one, porting within the Sitara family is child's play. In particular, a platform strategy for a large number of products with different requirements and performance data can be implemented smoothly. In addition to the ICSS, the Sitara controllers offer a variety of additional features. Some Sitara models offer comprehensive security mechanisms such as Secure Boot or a dedicated Crypto unit for common encryption and hashing algorithms.

Protocol stacks for Sitara

We offer software stacks for various fieldbus and Industrial Ethernet protocols. Currently PROFINET, PROFIBUS, EtherCAT and EtherNet/IP are available as slave/device versions. Further protocols are in the pipeline.

The software stacks are tailored to the Sitara platform and run on all current Sitara controllers. Together with the stacks, you receive a driver package for the respective controller and the operating system used. Currently the stacks support Linux RT and TI-RTOS. You can also use the stacks without the operating system. You get the package you want and don't have to make any adjustments yourself and you don't have to spend a lot of time searching for errors. This allows you to concentrate fully on your core competencies.

The stacks of the different protocols have largely identical interfaces (fieldbus-specific functions excluded). The adaptation effort for the integration of several protocols is therefore minimal. All this reduces your development efforts and enables a fast time-to-market.

The key advantages of KUNBUS stacks

  • Ready adapted for Sitara platform
  • Immediately executable under Linux, TI-RTOS or without operating system
  • Largely identical API for all fieldbus protocols
  • Extensive support during implementation

currently we offer protocol stacks for following networks

  • PROFINET Logo
  • PROFIBUS Logo
  • Ethernet/IP Logo
  • EtherCAT Logo

Development toolkits for easy integration

Our Development Toolkits enable you to quickly, easily and flexibly integrate your devices into the various industrial networks and thus help you to ensure the long-term success of your products. The software design combines software and hardware components and is represented in the following three blocks: The portable protocol stack as a linkable object library, the operating system and the Sitara processor. We provide you with the PRU binary code. This results in an adaptable and flexible industrial communication solution for all applications supported by the Sitara processors, including the AM65x.

To keep the development effort as low as possible, you also receive important runtime software components and documents, such as an exemplary application project in C/C++ including source code as a TI Code Composer Studio project for the respective evaluation platform. The CCStudio software is an Eclipse-based integrated development environment developed and supported by TI for embedded processor families from TI.

Furthermore, a LINUX Board Support Package incl. source code for LINUX RT (Kernel 4.14.40) with detailed documentation and examples for a quick introduction to your application development as well as a TI RTOS Board Support Package are included.

Development Toolkits scope of delivery

Our Development Toolkits (DTKs) allow you a smooth start of your development. The DTKs consist of:

  • Evaluationboard
  • The respective fieldbus stack as object library
  • PRU binary code for the fieldbus stack
  • Demo application incl. source code in C++, as TI Composer Studio project
  • Introduction tutorial
  • API documentation
  • Board-Support-Packages for the respective Sitara series, with drivers for Linux RT and TI-RTOS
  • Support coverage within the first half year after purchase (20 hours)
  • Further runtime components, such as a TCP/IP stack for EtherNet/IP.

The DTKs can be executed from a standing position using the example application. The sample application demonstrates how to boot the stack and perform rudimentary operations.

Flexible licensing models

Every customer is unique. Therefore, we offer different licensing models to suit your needs and company policy:

license packages
We offer license packages starting at 100 pcs. With each purchase of a license package you acquire half a year of support and the right to updates. The licenses are universal and can be used for any protocol or Sitara series.

Subscription
You pay a fixed monthly price. Support and updates are included for the entire period. One subscription per communication protocol and Sitara series.

Technology Buy-out
Purchase the stack for a fixed price. The buy-out includes half a year of support and an update. In addition, you have the opportunity to conclude a support and update contract.