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Multi-network controller and board-level products

For many years, Hilscher (Germany) has been offering interface solutions for serial communication systems including CAN and CANopen. At the Embedded World, MEN (Germany) has announced to use the company’s netX 6 network controllers in the future. Additionally, General Electric (USA) presented its RXi industrial computers equipped with a CANopen interface board from Hilscher.

The netX 6 comes in 244-pin PBGA-housing and provides a 64-KiB internal ROM as well as a 32-KiB ROM (Photo: Hilscher)

THE NETX 6 NETWORK CONTROLLER is based on a 32-bit micro-controller and supports multiple so-called fieldbus interfaces and industrial Ethernet protocols. This includes a CAN interface that runs the CANopen protocol stack. MEN, a manufacturer of board-level products and systems for mobile and mission-critical applications has decided to use the communication products from Hilscher. The MEN products are suitable for harsh environments; some of them are used in rail vehicle applications.

The netX 6 comes in 244-pin PBGA-housing and provides a 64-KiB internal ROM as well as a 32-KiB ROM (Photo: Hilscher)

Connected through its integrated dual-port memory, the network controller can be used in conjunction with nearly any 16/32-bit processor. The integrated micro-controller executes the time critical CAN protocol and reduces the necessary bandwidth between the netX 6 and host micro-controller. For local operations, interfaces such as UART, USB, SPI, and I²C are available on-chip.

Hilscher also uses the chip in its own board-level interface products. General Electric (GE) Intelligent Platforms connects them to its RXi series of industrial PCs and Box-PCs. They have been developed for rail vehicle and similar applications. At the Embedded World exhibition in Nuremberg, the company has linked I/O modules by Crevis (South Korea) to its products featuring PCIe slots equipped with
Hilscher’s interface boards.