A new interface from HM Computing will be of particular interest to equipment vendors with systems based on serial links, as it allows much easier system configuration and installation – based on an industrially-oriented network architecture with very high fault tolerance and robustness. Migrating to a network will be especially attractive for any system requiring large numbers of I/O channels, as the two-wire Can bus dramatically reduces cabling costs. Typical applications in this category include lift manufacturers, any large automation or manufacturing equipment such as conveyor systems, printing presses or textile machines, and equipment for automobile or railway carriages.
The new modules implement a single or dual channel interface to Canbus to provide users with great system configuration flexibility. The dual channel versions allow users to exploit Canbus, for example, by segmenting I/O into a high-priority fast data transfer segment, and a lower-speed longer distance bus, which can be up to 1km in length.
A key feature of the design is open access to the Canchips’ registers. This allows users to write their own network protocol, preserving their investment in software and minimising migration cost and time compared with rewriting their application using one of the standard software stacks like DeviceNet.
The basic architecture includes 15 registers, which can be set up to screen network traffic, offloading the task from the host processor.