Doing it fast on the factory floor

Under PC control and using Ethernet cabling, a new system called the PowerDNA can poll 800 mixed I/O points in less than one millisecond.

Developed by United Electronic Industries, a new modular PowerDNA (Distributed, Networked Automation and Control) system has been developed for engineers who require real-time I/O performance using standard Ethernet cabling.

Thanks to the patent-pending DaqBIOS protocol, which transfers commands and data over Ethernet hardware in a deterministic fashion, a PowerDNA system consisting of a PCI/PXI-based controller and multiple distributed nodes with more than 800 mixed analog and digital I/O points can guarantee a response in <1 msec. A selection of I/O configurations is available from the factory.

At the highest level, PowerDNA consists of a Central Controller card that fits into a host PC or PXI/CompactPCI system. The card itself supplies either one, two or four Ethernet ports. To each of these ports, users can attach as many as 64 I/O Cubes.

Users program their applications in C using an API that provides access to all hardware functionality. After compiling an application on a host PC, engineers can download it to an I/O Cube in several ways: over the Ethernet, over a serial link, over a USB port or even with a PDA equipped with an infrared link. The application can run under host control or as a standalone task.

The DNA-CC Central Controller starts at £1750 ($2750) with one communications port, while I/O Cubes start at £575 ($900).

On the web