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Posts Tagged ‘industrial’

Microsemi VSC7513 and VSC7514 MIPS SoCs for Ethernet Switches Get Initial Mainline Linux Support

December 15th, 2017 No comments

Microsemi VSC7514 is a 10-port Gigabit Ethernet (GbE)/SMB switch supporting a combination of 1G and 2.5G Ethernet ports, and VSC7513 comes with basically the same features except it’s limited 8 ports. Both SoCs include a MIPS processor with DDR3 memory interface, and support industrial and enterprise Ethernet switching features such as VLAN and QoS processing.

Microsemi VSC751x Ocelot family was unveiled in June 2016, but I only heard about them today, as Free Electrons recently added initial support for VSC7513 & VSC7514 chip into mainline Linux with the patch series available here.

Block Diagram for VSC7514

Microsemi VSC7514 specifications & features:

  • CPU / Memory Interface – Integrated 500 MHz MIPS 24KEc CPU with MMU and DDR3/DDR3L SDRAM  controller
  • Ethernet Connectivity – 4x dual media copper ports, 2x 1G SGMII ports, and 2x 1G/2.5G SGMII ports
  • Host CPU Interfaces – PCIe 1.x and NPI CPU interface
  • Internal shared memory buffer (8 queues per port)
  • Jumbo frame support
  • Strict priority and DWRR scheduler/shaper
  • Layer 2 Switching – 802.1Q VLAN switch with 4K MACs and 4K VLANs, RSTP and MSTP support, Hardware-based and software-based learning, etc…
  • Multicast – Layer 2, IGMP and MLD Snooping
  • Industrial Ethernet – Integrated timing: VeriTimeTM (1588v2) and SyncE support, Ethernet ring protection switching (ERPS)
  • Package – 17 mm × 17 mm CABGA package
  • Temperature Range – –40 °C to 125 °C

The processor can optionally be connected to a host CPU via PCIe or NPI interface, but the MIPS processor may be sufficiency for most applications.

Typical VSC7514 Gigabit Ethernet Switch Design

Free Electrons explains the patch series adds support to boot the platform up to a shell, with interrupts, pin-muxing, GPIOs and UARTs, but additional features will such as support for the switch fabric will be implemented later (switchdev driver).

More details about the processor can be found on Microsemi VSC7513 and VSC7514 product pages, with the product brief being available publicly, but datasheets, reference designs, models, and reports requiring registration with a valid company email address. I could not find a product based on BSC7514, except for VSC7514EV board platform based on “VSC7514 device, together with NX7102 and NX7124A DC-DC controllers, and MSMCJ12A and MSMCJ12CA transient voltage suppressor”.

Future Electronics FTM Board Club actually appears to offers a free samples of the evaluation kit to qualified applicants, but the rules are not clear, except they obviously expect some return on investment since they ask about the projected production volume & date.

Compulab IOT-GATE-RPi Industrial IoT Computer is Powered by Raspberry Pi CM3 Module

November 28th, 2017 5 comments

We’ve seen several industrial products powered by Raspberry Pi 3 board or CM3 module recently, with the likes of Industrial Shields Panel PC, TECHBASE ModBerry, or Pi/104 PC/104 compliant carrier board among others.

We can now add another industrial computer based on Raspberry Pi CM3 module with Compulab IOT-GATE-RPi IoT gateway, with dual Ethernet port, support for 3G/LTE modems, a rugged case, and working in a wide temperature range of -40°C to 80°C.

Click to Enlarge

Compulab IOT-GATE-RPi specifications:

  • SoC –  Broadcom BCM2837 quad-core Cortex-A53 @ 1.2GHz with VideoCore IV GPU
  • System Memory – 1GB LPDDR2
  • Storage – 4 to 64GB of soldered eMMC flash,  micro SD socket
  • Connectivity
    • 2x 100Mbps Ethernet
    • WiFi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.1 BLE
    • 3G / LTE cellular modem via mini-PCie module)
  • Video Output – HDMI 1.3, up to 1920×1080
  • Audio – 3.5mm stereo line out jack, HDMI audio
  • USB – 4x USB2.0 host port
  • Serial
    • 1x RS232 port, ultra-mini serial connector
    • 1x RS485, RJ11 connector with EB-RPI-FCSD HAT board
  • CAN – 1x CAN bus, RJ11 connector with EB-RPI-FCSD HAT board
  • Expansion
    • RPI HAT expansion interface
    • 6x DIO, 5V tolerant, 100-mil header implemented with EB-RPI-FCSD HAT board
  • Misc – RTC Real time clock with back-up battery
  • Input voltage Unregulated 10V to 36V DC input
  • Dimensions – 112 x 84 x 25 mm (Aluminum housing)
  • Weight – 450 grams
  • Temperature Range – Commercial: 0° to 60° C; extended: -20° to 60° C; industrial: -40° to 80° C
  • Shock, vibration, dust and humidity resistance

Click to Enlarge

The gateway uses passive cooling, so no fan is needed, it supports both VESA and DIN rail mounts, and hardware protection against unintentional DC plug pull out and unauthorized boot from external storage.

The gateway runs Raspberry Pi 3 OS images such as Debian Linux (Raspbian), Ubuntu Core and Windows 10 IoT Core, and is compatible with IoT frameworks like Microsoft Azure IoT or AWS Greengrass.

Click to Enlarge

Compulab IOT-GATE-RPi will start selling next month with price starting at $110 for volume orders. Visit the product page for further information.

NXP Announces OpenIL Industrial Real-Time Linux Distribution for Industry 4.0

November 28th, 2017 No comments

NXP has announced the release of OpenIL industrial Linux distribution with real-time OS extensions and Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) support for factory-automation for the Industry 4.0 era.

The OpenIL distribution includes support for per-stream policing, time-aware shaping of network traffic, and 801.1AS time synchronization, and supports NXP Layerscape SoCs and boards such as LS1028A dual ARMv8 processor, or LS1021A-IOT IoT gateway.

Some notable OpenIL features include:

  • Xenomai real-time extensions to Unix, making porting relatively easy from an RTOS like VxWorks or pSOS
  • Extensible Markup Language (XML) and NETCONF-based network configuration utilities for TSN
  • Generalized precision time protocol (gPTP) with the linuxptp daemon
  • Drivers for the Ethernet Interfaces and the NXP SJA1105T TSN switch
  • Support for edge computing services
  • Optional instantiation of the Ubuntu user-space filesystem layout

You’ll find the source code on Gihub, and some more information on OpenIL.org website. NXP appears to be the only company involved in the project, and they’re currently demonstrating their OS during SPS IPC Drives 2017 in Nuremberg, Germany, until November 30.

Pi/104 Carrier Board for Raspberry Pi Compute Modules (Partially) Complies with PC/104 OneBank Specs (Crowdfunding)

November 21st, 2017 1 comment

The PC/104 consortium maintains various standards for embedded computer defining both the buses to use and form factors. PC/104 SBCs/boards are mainly used in rugged industrial computers, and stackable through ISA and PCIe buses. The standards were mostly designed for x86 processors, but in Q1 2015, the consortium added the OneBank option to PCI/104-Express & PCIe/104 Specification, Revision 3.0 in order to enable lower cost solutions and processors with PCIe and USB interfaces.

This brought some lower powered Intel and ARM+FPGA based PC/104 compliant boards to the market such as Winsystems PX1-C415 based on Intel Apollo Lake E3900 SoC, or Sundance EMC²-Z7030 powered by Xilinx Zynq-7030 ARM+FPGA SoC. Adam Parker (Parker Microsystems) has decided to bring the PC/104 OneBank industrial standard to the Raspberry Pi world, by creating Pi/104 a carrier board for the RPi compute modules that (mostly) complies with PC/104 OneBank for factor, and exposes the required USB interfaces (but obviously not PCIe).

Click to Enlarge

Pi/104 specifications:

  • Support for Raspberry Pi Compute Module, CM3, and CM3L.
  • Video Output / Display Interface – 1x HDMI, 1x DSI display interface
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet
  • USB – 2x USB type A ports, 1x micro USB OTG port
  • Camera – 1x CSI camera connector
  • Expansion
    • 2x IDE style connectors with 59x GPIOs
    • OneBank stackable connector with 2x USB and 5/3.3 V
  • Power Supply – 8 to 36 VDC via terminal block
  • Dimensions – 96 x 90 mm
  • Temperature Range – With Pi Compute Module: -25° C to 85° C; without: -40° C to 85° C

While Broadcom BCM2835/37 processors lack PCIe interface, there are many mPCIe cards that only use USB interfaces, for example connectivity modules (WiFi, LTE, etc…), and Connect Tech provides a PCIe/104 to mini PCIe card adapter that would be compatible with Pi/104, and allow users to leverage compatible mPCIe cards.

The carrier board is said to be especially suited for industrial automation, hydroponics/aquaponics, IoT/IIoT gateways, outdoor advertising displays, HVAC equipment, ruggedized off-road equipment, and others project were wide temperature range and/or variable power input may be required.

Click to Enlarge

The project has launched on CrowdSupply, where Adam aims to raise at least $13,000 to mass produce the board. A pledge of $130 is asked for the carrier board with shipping free to the US, and $20 to the rest of the world. Delivery is scheduled for the end of January 2018. You’d have to procure the Compute Modules from your own supplier.


Via Linux Gizmos

TECHBASE ModBerry​ M300 Linux IoT Gateway ​is Powered by NanoPi NEO Board

November 15th, 2017 2 comments

We’ve previously covered TECHBASE Modberry industrial automation gateways based on popular development boards such as Raspberry Pi 3, NanoPi M1 Plus, and Intel Cherry Trail’s UP board, and designed for applications such as PLC controllers or MODBUS gateway / router.

The company has now launched a new version with Modberry M300 powered NanoPi NEO Allwinner H3 board.

ModBerry​ M300 gateway specifications:

  • SoC – Allwinner H3 quad core Cortex A7 @ 1.2 GHz with an ARM Mali-400MP2 GPU
  • System Memory – 512 MB DDR3 RAM
  • Storage – micro SDHC card slot
  • Connectivity
    • 10/100M Ethernet port
    • Optional Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11 b/g/n, speed up to 150 Mbps, 64/128-bit WEP, WPA, WPA2), LTE/3G modem, GPS module, ZigBee, Bluetooth, LoRa, Wireless M-Bus, Nb-IoT
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 host port, 2x USB 2.0 host header
  • Expansion I/Os
    • 2x DIO ports
    • 1x RS-232, 1x RS-485
    • 1x 2-pin mBus master for up to 10 slave devices
    • Optional up to 3 ExCard I/O modules for more RS-232/485 ports, Ethernet ports, PCIe slots, analog input and output, digital I/Os, relays, M-Bus interface, etc…
  • Misc – RTC with battery, watchdog timer
  • Power Supply – 9~30V DC up to 20Watts without modem; 40W with modems
  • Dimensions – 91 x 71 x 61 mm (ABS case with DIN rail mount)
  • Weight – 100 grams
  • Operating Conditions
    • Temperature –  Standard : 0 ~ 60°C; extended range: -40 ~ 70°C
    • Humidity – 5 ~ 95% RH (non-condensing)

Modberry M300 Features and Options – Click to Enlarge

The gateway can run Debian, or Ubuntu Core based on Linux 4.11.2+ and u-boot, as well as the company’s iMod software to handle various industrial or other protocols such as M-Bus, Modbus, SNMP, MQTT, etc…

Pricing is not available just like with other Modberry gateways, and you’ll find more details on the products page. Not directly related, but found in the same TECHBASE’s November 2017 newsletter, the company also mentions M-Bus/WM-Bus support for their Moduino ESP32 gateways.

Compulab Fitlet2 Fanless Apollo Lake Mini PC is Designed for Industrial IoT Gateways

November 6th, 2017 4 comments

Compulab Fitlet mini PCs were introduced in January 2015 with AMD Mullins processors, namely AMD A4 Micro-6400T or E1 Micro-6200T both of which including Radeon graphics, and supporting up to 8GB RAM, mSATA, up to two HDMI port, up to four Gigabit Ethernet ports.

The company has now launched Fitlet2 mini PCs, replacing AMD processors by Intel Apollo Lake SoCs, supporting up to 16 GB RAM, and designed for “demanding IoT applications” with support for wide temperature range, and long term support and warranty.

Fitlet2 specifications:

  • SoC (from a choice among three)
    • Intel Atom x7-E3950 quad core processor @ 1.6 / 2.0 GHz with 18 EU HD graphics; 12W TDP
    • Intel Atom x5-E3930 dual core processor @ 1.3 / 1.8 GHz with 12 EU HD graphics; 6.5W TDP
    • Intel Celeron J3455 quad core processor @ 1.5 / 2.2 GHz with 12 EU HD graphics; 10W TDP
  • System Memory – 1x SO-DIMM 204-pin DDR3L Non-ECC DDR3L-1866 (1.35V) up to 16GB
  • Storage – M.2 M-key 2260 | 2242 (SATA 3 6 Gbps) or  eMMC (on a module) or 2.5” HDD | SSD; micro SD slot
  • Display – mini DP 1.2 up to 4K @ 60 Hz; HDMI 1.4 up to 4K @ 30 Hz
  • Audio – Stereo line-out | Stereo line-in / mic | 7.1 S/PDIF out | HDMI & DP audio
  • Network Connectivity
    • Up to 4x Gbit Ethernet (Intel I211) – two on-board and additional two through FACET card
    • Optional wireless LAN 802.11ac dual antenna + BT 4.2
    • Optional 4G cellular modem
  • USB – Up to 8x ports: 2x USB 3.0 and up to 6x USB 2.0 – 4 USB ports through FACET card
  • Serial – RS232 port (via micro USB port)
  • Extensions –  Function and Connectivity Extension T-Card (FACET Card) or M.2 E-key
  • Power Supply – DC 9V – 36V input; 5W to 15W consumption
  • Dimensions for 3 different all metal housings
    • Low power housing – 112 mm x 84 mm x 25 mm
    • Performance housing – 112 mm x 84 mm x 34 mm
    • Industrial housing – 112 mm x 112 mm x 25 mm
  • Weight – 350 grams
  • Temperature Range – Up to -40°C to 85°C
  • Relative humidity – 5% – 95% non-condensing
  • Shock, vibration, and dust resistance

The mini PC supports Windows 10 IoT Enterprise LTSB and Linux Mint, and is compatible with other operating systems. Mounting options include and VESA and DIN rail mounts. The BIOS supports automatic boot on power resume, and settings can be saved to flash memory, so Fitlet2 mini PCs can work without RTC. It’s also possible to disable the power button, a remote power-button connector is present, and an optional TPM module can be added for hardware security.

Beside the switch from AMD to Intel, a new feature of Fitlet2 is support for what Compulab calls FACET cards (Function And Connectivity Extension T-Card), basically mPCIe expansion modules, 4 of which are currently available:

  • FC-LAN with two additional Gigabit Ethernet cards (for a total of four).
  • FC-PCIe and FC-CEM with support for both 4G cellular modem and WiFi
  • FC-USB adds 4 USB ports for a total of 8.

FC-LAN FACET card (Left) connected to Fitlet2 (Right)

Other FACET cards are being working on for PoE, 2.5″ HDD/SSD, and optical LAN. Specifications and design guides for FACET cards for be found in the Wiki, so you could potentially design your own.

The company has also run GeekBench 3 on Fitlet2 computers, and compared to the previous generation Fitlet PCs, they offer both cheaper price, and better (CPU) performance.

Fitlet2 mini PC will be available from Compulab with 5 year warranty and 15 years availability. Pricing starts at $153, but there’s no buy link on their product page, and Fitlet2 is not listed on their Amazon Store yet.

PingPong IoT Development Board Supports Cellular Connectivity, WiFi, Bluetooth, LoRa, Sigfox, and More

October 19th, 2017 No comments

Round Solutions, a supplier of products, services and concepts for industrial M2M and IoT markets, has introduced PingPong IoT development board with either Microchip PIC32MZ running an RTOS, or PIC32MZ DA running Linux, and equipped with a Telit modules for either 2G or 3G cellular + GNSS connectivity.

The board can also support WiFi, Bluetooth, ISM/RF, NFC/RFID, LoRa, Sigfox, Iridium satellite, and serial interface thanks to a range of expansion boards.

PingPong IoT board specifications:

  • MCU / Flash
    • RTOS version – Microchip PIC32MZ 32-bit Microcontroller @ 200 MHz, with 512 KB RAM and 2 MB Flash Memory + 4 MB external memory
    • Linux version – Microchip PIC32MZ DA  (Full specs TBA)
  • Connectivity
    • Cellular connectivity
      • Telit xE910 module with 2G, 3G and/or 4G LTE (coming soon)
      • Data
        • GSM/GPRS – Uplink/Downlink: 9.6 kbps
        • UMTS – Downlink: 384 kbps, Uplink: 384 kbps
        • HSPA+ – Downlink: 42.0 Mbps, Uplink: 5.75 Mbps
        • LTE – Download: 100 Mbps, Uplink: 50 Mbps
      • Frequency Bands (MHz) – 1800, 1900, 2100, 850, 900
      • 2x SIM card slots, SIM on chip
      • u.FL antenna connector
    • GNSS
      • Telit SL869 module for GPS, Glonass, and Galileo E1
      • u.FL antenna connector for GPS
    • 10/100M Ethernet (RJ45)
    • Connectivity stackable expansion boards for
      • Wi-Fi/Bluetooth: with webserver on board
      • Satellite communication: Iridium
      • ISM/RF:433MHz/868MHz/915MHz/2.4GHz
      • NFC/RFID: Protocol EPCglobal Gen 2 (ISO 18000-6C)
      • Sigfox/LoRa: Ultra low power transmitter
  • Other stackable expansion boards:
    • I/O & Serial Board: 10 digital/10 analog/4 frequencies, RS485, RS232
    • Still image and video camera
  • USB – 1x micro USB port
  • I/Os
    • 2x connectors for stackable extension boards with UART, SPI, CAN, I²C
    • 1x CAN interface, 2x analog inputs, 4x 3-state logic inputs, 4x NMOSFET outputs, 1-wire interface
    • 2x current measurement inputs (24-bit resolution)
  • Sensors – Magnetometer, accelerometer
  • Power Supply – 9 to 60V DC
  • Dimensions – 85 x 52 x 23 mm
  • Temperature Range – -40 C to +85 C (industrial grade)
  • Certification CE

 

The RTOS version uses C/C++ and Python and comes with a USB CDC bootloader, while the Linux version is more versatile with support for Open VPN, IPSEC tunnels for example for IoT gateway / router functionality. The source code is available for both operating system, and the company can also provide ready-made software packages for remote metering, asset tracking, Wi-Fi/Bluetooth gateway, MODbus over TCP, or MODbus RS485.

The board is also compatible with MPLAB Harmony, and can connect to Cumulocity IoT Cloud Platform or Telit m2mAIR Cloud out of the box.

The Linux & 4G versions of the board still appear to be in development, but PingPong IoT 3G/RTOS board is available now, starting at 197 Euros with the board only, and up to 445 Euros with the WiFi/Bluetooth, and RF/ISM add-on boards.

Renesas RZ/G Linux Platform features CIP Super Long-Term Support (SLTS) Linux kernel

October 18th, 2017 8 comments

In the consumer space, some devices never get updated, and you can consider yourself lucky if the manufacturer provides updates for several years, often just two as Linux LTS (Long Term Support) kernels had been supported that long so far. Google and the Linux Foundation realized that was not enough, so they recently announced 6-year LTS kernels at Linaro Connect SFO 2017, starting with Linux 4.4 released on January 2016, meaning it will keeping being maintained until January 2022 with security patchsets and bug fixes.

But in the industrial/embedded space, they need even longer periods of support due to the longer equipment’s lifespan. I first heard about the Linux Foundation’s  Civil Infrastructure Platform (CIP) project last year, when I covered the schedule for the Embedded Linux Conference Europe 2016. The project aims at providing a super long-term supported (STLS) open source “base layer” for industrial grade software.

Several companies are partners of the project including Hitachi, Renesas, Siemens, Toshiba, and others, and Renesas appears to be the first to announce a product – Renesas RZ/G Linux Platform – featuring the industrial-grade CIP Super Long-Term Support (SLTS) Linux kernel enabling Linux-based embedded systems to be maintained for more than 10 years.

Key features of the RZ/G Linux Platform:

  • Verified Linux package – Supports the CIP SLTS kernel with BSP, multimedia functionality (H.264, 3D graphics), Qt/HTML5 GUI framework, and security.
  • Development tools – Cloud development environment within Renesas’ e² studio integrated software development tool, code validation and analysis tools
  • Third-party ecosystem and marketplace – The Renesas Marketplace provides access to software and hardware solutions, and users can buy and download security tools, embedded vision libraries, and other software.
  • Support for RZ/G1M MPU now, with other Renesas RZ/G1 MPU series coming later.

You can find more details about the RZ/G Linux platform, and supported hardware on the product page.  The RZ/G Linux Platform will also be demonstrated at upcoming event including Arm TechCon, (US – October 24-26, 2017), the Embedded Linux Conference Europe (Czech Republic – October 23-25, 2017), SPS IPC Drives (Germany,  November 28-30), and CIIF 2017 (China, November 7-11, 2017).

Via ElectronicsWeekly and LinuxGizmos.

Categories: Linux, Renesas MCU Tags: bsp, industrial, Linux, renesas