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For Ethercat gateways

Micro-controller with up to six CAN modules

The XMC4300 and XMC4800 micro-controller by Infineon is suitable for CAN-to-Ethercat gateways. Besides the Ethercat slave, there are up to six independent CAN cores on the chip.

The XMC4000 family is designed for industrial control purposes (Photo: Infineon)

The XMC4000 family by Infineon includes also MCUs with one on-chip Ethercat-slave. Additionally, the chips feature multiple on-chip CAN cores. The micro-controllers are suited for gateway applications, connecting multiple CAN networks to an Ethercat backbone.

The micro-controllers address the cost-sensitive industrial control devices. Target applications comprise factory automation, industrial motor control, I/O modules, and robotics. The Cortex-M-based processors provide up to six on-chip CAN cores. They allow a gateway from CAN to Ethercat to be efficiently established through DMA transfers. Hence, gateway functionality takes place largely without interaction with the CPU. The XMC4300 offers 256 KiB of flash memory and 128 KiB of RAM. It is certified for an ambient temperature of up to +125 °C. For both, the XMC4300 and the XMC4800, volume production has already started. All XMC4300 and XMC4800 micro-controllers will be AEC Q100 qualified and therefore suited for commercial, construction, and agricultural vehicles.

“The XMC4800 series simplifies the implementation of Ethercat to a degree the market desired for years but has not seen available until now. With the XMC4800, very compact system designs with Ethercat connectivity are possible, as there is no need for a dedicated Ethercat ASIC, external memory, and clock crystal. In combination with its outstanding real-time capability, the XMC4800 series will accelerate the evolution of networked industrial automation.”

Maurizio Skerlj, Infineon’s senior director for industrial micro-controllers (Photo: Infineon)

“By adding the XMC4300 micro-controller series to the existing XMC4800, Infineon fosters the advancement of networked industrial automation and offers semiconductors for high-end and cost-sensitive Ethercat automation devices,” said Martin Rostan, Executive Director of the Ethercat Technology Group.

The development kit features just one of on-chip CAN ports with a CAN transceiver (Photo: Infineon)

Infineon offers a development board from Hitex, the XMC4300 Relax Ethercat Kit, and software development tools for immediate Ethercat node setup. The development kit is equipped with an XMC4300 and an on-board debugger, Ethercat interface, and one CAN interface with transceiver accessible by means of 9-pin D-sub connector. For software development, Infineon offers the Dave environment with libraries for low-level drives and apps free-of-charge. For Ethercat, Dave uses the SSC (Slave Stack Code) from Beckhoff. Running CANopen on the CAN interface and CoE (CAN application protocol over Ethercat) simplifies gateway solutions, because both application layers using a similar data model (CANopen object dictionary and CANopen communication services).