Innovasic Semiconductor announced that in recent lab tests conducted by Schneider Electric, its fido1100 real-time microcontroller achieved a worst-case Ethernet packet jitter of only 130 microseconds. In contrast, a RISC processor running at more than twice the clock rate achieved a worst- case jitter of 760 microseconds.
The difference in jitter is significant in industrial Ethernet applications where hard real-time control or mission-critical data transactions may have to co-exist with lower priority web and file transfer traffic. The use of standard Ethernet as an industrial control network can be problematic if time-critical communications are impacted by other lower priority network traffic. For example, a nuclear power plant was shut down because a spike in Ethernet traffic caused the recirculation pump controllers to lock up.
The fido1100 microcontroller, running at 66MHz, achieved a worst-case latency of 1.1 milliseconds and worst-case jitter of 130 microseconds. The processor running at 133 MHz achieved a worst-case latency of 1.8 milliseconds and worst case jitter of 760 microseconds. Both systems were tested using a Modbus/TCP application with varying amount of background Ethernet traffic. Details of the testing and results are available in a white paper at www.innovasic.com.
“With Quality of Service (QoS) becoming an increasingly important factor in many embedded applications, customers using the fido1100 microcontroller can now design systems with reliable and timely processing of high priority Ethernet traffic,” noted Keith Prettyjohns, CEO of Innovasic Semiconductor. The unique “RTOS Kernel in a Chip” architecture of the fido1100 microcontroller enabled Schneider Electric to process high priority Modbus/TCP packets in a deterministic manner regardless of the amount of lower priority Ethernet traffic that was on the same network.
Innovasic Semiconductor’s fido microcontroller family was designed to provide very secure and robust communications over conventional Ethernet, enabling designers to leverage widely-used industry standards for increasingly desirable real-time communications in industrial applications. Key fido features include four Universal I/O Controllers (UICs). Each of these is a dedicated RISC engine, which can be programmed to support a variety of I/O protocols, including standard 10/100 Ethernet. The chip includes an RTOS kernel built into the silicon that can be used to provide exceptional deterministic performance, enhancing real-time communications.
Innovasic is a fabless semiconductor company, providing replacement ICs and embedded solutions for the industrial and long life-cycle markets. The company provides solutions that directly address obsolescence problems as well as other issues of concern to industrial customers such as inventory management, hard real-time/safety-critical performance and power consumption.
The company has established itself as an approved vendor of extended life replacement ICs to many of the leading industrial equipment manufacturers, enabling them to continue to build products that rely on ICs
discontinued by the original vendor. Innovasic has developed a unique process and technology that allows the rapid design of a pin-compatible and 100 percent fully function-compatible replacement for embedded microcontrollers, peripheral ICs and analog/mixed signal interface chips.
Note: The above text is the public part of the press release obtained from the manufacturer (with minor modifications). EETimes Europe cannot be held responsible for the claims and statements made by the manufacturer. The text is intended as a supplement to the new product presentations in EETimes Europe magazine.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.