Iono RP – An industrial PLC with a Raspberry Pi RP2040 MCU

Raspberry Pi RP2040 MCU has been used in many boards, but I think I had seen the dual-core MCU in a PLC, or even any industrial products just yet. Sfera Labs Iono RP is a compact I/O module (PLC) with a Raspberry Pi RP2040 microcontroller that’s programmable in C/C++ and MicroPython, or even the Arduino IDE.

The DIN-Rail mountable, RP2040 based industrial PLC offers digital and analog input and output lines, power relays, and an RS-485 interface, supports power input from 12V-24V with all signals accessible through terminal blocks. Sfera Labs can also provide some optional options such as an RTC or an earthquake sensor module.

Iono RP PLC specifications:

  • MCU – Raspberry Pi RP2040 dual-core Arm Cortex-M0+ @ 133MHz with 264kB on-chip SRAM
  • Storage – 16MB SPI flash, optional microSD card slot
  • Communication interface – standard RS-485 interface with electrostatic discharge protection
  • Inputs/Outputs via terminal blocks
    • 4x power relay outputs with bistable coils rated for 6A at 250V
    • 4x multi-mode inputs configurable as digital inputs, or 0 to 30V or 0 to  20mA analog inputs
    • 2x digital inputs or TTL level I/Os (1-Wire, I2C, Wiegand support)
    • 1x 0 to 10V analog output
  • Debugging – Micro USB programming/debugging port
  • Misc – Option RTC with backup battery, secure element, earthquake sensor module
  • Power supply – 12 to 28 V DC via terminal block with surge and reverse polarity protection, and 1.1A resettable fuse
  • Dimensions – 90.5 x 62.0 x 53.5 mm (3 modules DIN rail case)
  • Weight – 150 grams
  • Temperature Range –  Operating: -20…+60 °C (non-condensing humidity), storage: -30…+80 °C
  • Relative humidity – 5% to 90% non-condensing
  • IP Rating – IP20
  • Certifications – CE/FCC/IC
Internal block diagram
Connection example

Sfera Labs provides a Github repository with a header file to add to Raspberry Pi RP2020 C/C++ SDK, and a MicroPython library with IO and RS485 examples. The company also explain it’s possible to program the Raspberry Pi RP2040 PLC with the Arduino IDE using the same library as used with the company’s Arduino-based Iono Uno or Iono MKR PLCs.

There are currently three models offered with RMB10X Iono RP, IRMB10R Iono RP with RTC, and IRMB10S Iono RP with RTC and a Secure Element. it does not seem possible to order a model with the earthquake sensor module, at least not through the online store. The price of the Iono RP ranges between €189.00 and €204.00 depending on the selected options/model. You can purchase the device and find additional documentation such as schematics and a user guide on Sfera Labs online store.

Via EENewsEurope

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8 Replies to “Iono RP – An industrial PLC with a Raspberry Pi RP2040 MCU”

    1. There are multiple interpretations of the word “industrial”. It can be temperature range, not being a consumer device, having some interfaces like RS485, etc…

  1. I thought they had implemented a Siemens S7 interpreter.. technically a PLC, but most PLC developers don’t write c/c++.. I don’t see a big adoption..

  2. Perhaps this appeals to some private individuals but I don’t expect good uptake by industry.
    – No word about long term availability.
    – reliability?
    – pc languages like c/c++, python don’t give predictable real time behavior. And aren’t widely used by system integrators.
    – the price is quite high as well. An Unitronics Jazz plc is about half the price. Even a Siemens Logo is cheaper.

    1. They have much more detailed specifications in the “Specifications” tab in the shop that includes some MTBF numbers:

      • Electrical life at rated load AC – 150000 cycles
      • Mechanical life – 20000000 cycles

      I could not find long term availability info.

    2. They could be marketing them, at all the engineers brought up using RPI hardware ( only a guess, stab in the dark )

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