Renesas Electronics Europe partners Hilscher to develop a 40-nm high-end ARM-Based SoC for industrial automation

Renesas Electronics Europe partners Hilscher to develop a 40-nm high-end ARM-Based SoC for industrial automation

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Renesas Electronics Europe and Hilscher GmbH, a leading supplier of industrial communication systems and devices, are to cooperate on the development of a new system-on-chip (SoC) for future high-end motion controls and automation control products. The SoC that will be jointly developed by Hilscher and Renesas is planned to be launched as a new member of Hilscher's next-generation, high-end communication controller series to be named netX 4000.  
By eeNews Europe


The platform-SoC from Renesas will be developed based on a dual-core ARM Cortex A9 CPU system implemented in Renesas’ 40-nanometer (nm) node process technology and uses a base set of high-speed peripherals such as PCI Express, USB 2.0 (High-Speed USB), Gigabit Ethernet, cipher unit and graphics acceleration.

Standard peripherals such as DDR2 memory interface, SRAM/flash interface, SD Card interface, high-accuracy ADCs and standard timer units are also included in the SoC to allow early software development from the start. The platform-part of the SoC is extended by a user logic area that allows customers to modify the base SoC according to their individual needs.     

In addition to common peripherals, the netX 4000 device contains one Cortex A9 CPU and a second ARM Cortex R4 CPU plus four universal communication channels to run all types of field buses and real-time Ethernet systems. This makes the netX 4000 ideal for use in all automation devices like programmable logic controls (PLCs), human machine interfaces (HMIs) and drives.

The SoC platform will not only contain hardware but will also support a set of ready-to-use operating systems such as Linux. Several software drivers related to standard peripherals and graphics software are planned in order to enable an easy-to-reuse system for integration into future high-end controls for motion control, inverter drives, logic controls, HMIs or other industrial PC-type processing.     

Hilscher’s next-generation, high-end netX 4000 device is planned for availability as initial samples at the beginning of the second quarter of 2013. The development of customer specific variants of the Renesas platform SoC are also possible from this time onwards.     

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