MCU integrates EtherCAT controller for industrial designs

The use of Ethernet for Control Automation Technology (EtherCAT) is quickly growing in the industrial networking realm, and to support this trend, Renesas Electronics has introduced a single-chip microcontroller that features an EtherCAT slave controller for industrial Ethernet applications.

The RX72M family of MCUs offers larger memory capacities for industrial equipment that mandates robust control and communication functions in applications such as compact industrial robots, programmable logic controllers (PLCs), remote I/O, and industrial gateways. Renesas claims that it’s the first RX microcontroller to include an EtherCAT slave controller featuring 1 MB of SRAM and 4 MB of flash memory.

The large-capacity SRAM allows the MCUs to run multiple memory-intensive middleware systems for applications like TCP/IP, web servers, and file systems at higher speeds without the use of external memory. The on-board flash memory operates as two 2-MB banks, which enables stable operation by executing a program in one flash memory while simultaneously conducting background rewrites in the other flash memory.

The communication chip, which combines a motor-control MCU with on-chip EtherCAT slave functions, allows developers to reduce their bill of materials (BOM) and support the miniaturization levels required for industrial equipment design. The new RX72M microcontroller has achieved the superior performance of a 1396 CoreMark score at 240 MHz, as measured by the EEMBC Benchmarks.

Samples of RX72M microcontrollers are available now while Renesas plans to take mass-production orders starting in September 2019.

>> This article was originally published on our sister site, Electronic Products: “MCU embeds EtherCAT controller to bolster industrial designs.”

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