In addition to service providers such as IXXAT, Hilscher and port, B&R now also offers a POWERLINK Slave based on Altera and Xilinx FPGAs.
Thanks to steadily decreasing hardware prices and no license requirements, prices for POWERLINK Slaves interfaces are up to 45% lower than for ASIC-based Industrial Ethernet systems with a comparable performance.
Apart from reference designs, B&R also provides support during design, business level maintenance and a POWERLINK testing system. Due to its high performance and low production costs, the POWERLINK Slave solution from B&R is equally suited for cost-sensitive products, such as compact sensors with few electronics, and for high-performance servo drives or modular I/O systems.
The new reference design does not require manufacturers to have previous experience with POWERLINK technology. The complete package also includes a simple API which can be used via a serial connection (SPI) or via a 8/16 bit microprocessor interface, allowing for the connection of any host processor (such as ARM, x86 or DSPs) to a POWERLINK network.
Simple sensors do not require an external microcontroller and can be directly connected to the POWERLINK Slave FPGA, thereby further reducing overall costs.