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Modern devices demand maximum performance at the smallest size when it comes to fieldbus connections. Meeting these types of individual demands requires the highest degree of flexibility while keeping unit costs as low as possible. Only an open technology like POWERLINK can provide the best solution and at the same time guarantee safety of investment for the customer.

With its POWERLINK Slave for Altera® Cyclone® series FPGAs, B&R enables designers to take advantage of the integration, design flexibility, and performance scaling benefits on low-cost FPGA technology to quickly implement a POWERLINK Industrial Ethernet interface into new or existing products.

The POWERLINK stack, running on a Nios® II processor in the FPGA, is using dual-port RAM (DPRAM) to communicate with the host controller. The connection is established via an 8/16/32-bit parallel interface. Using a dual Nios II processor configuration, even a single-chip implementation for POWERLINK Slave and host application is possible.

Alternatively, simple devices can be attached directly to the POWERLINK Slave via 32 I/O lines. A host controller is not necessary in this case.

The POWERLINK Slave Development and Testing Kit for Altera FPGAs includes:

  • IP Core and Software Package (incl. Industrial Ethernet MAC and Hub, POWERLINK Slave Software for the Altera Nios II processor, API for the host controller)
  • FPGA Evaluation Board for test implementations
  • POWERLINK Test System (X20 PLC, X20 I/Os, Automation Studio)
  • Training, support and documentation

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