POWERLINK Product Overview

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Product Overview

Real-Time Ethernet with POWERLINK

In 2001, POWERLINK was the first available real-time industrial Ethernet protocol. The POWERLINK version V2, which has been available since the end of 2003, extends the basic POWERLINK communication mechanism with a communication profile adopting the well proven CANopen concept and its mechanisms. Thus, POWERLINK version V2 includes essential new features like interoperability, flexibility and configurability which are critical in combination with fast and reliable real-time communication.

POWERLINK Protocol Stack

IXXAT started with POWERLINK Version 2 in 2003 and in mid-2004 offered the first complete POWERLINK Protocol Stack according to the POWERLINK V2 specification for Controlled Nodes, Managing Nodes and combined Managing / Controlled Node implementations. The software includes all mandatory functions of the current POWERLINK DS 1.0.0 specification as well as various optional functions.

The IXXAT POWERLINK protocol stack is available in a generic version which can easily be ported to various target platforms and operating systems. The delivery content also includes code which allows the stack to run directly on a reference system, allowing for simple and rapid development.

The POWERLINK software stack has been developed in close cooperation with leading vendors of POWERLINK-enabled devices like Bernecker & Rainer, Lenze and Hirschmann.

Industrial Ethernet Module for POWERLINK

IXXAT offers an Industrial Ethernet Module for the quick and cost-effective implementation of controlled nodes, based on FPGA technology. This “single chip“ solution allows the module to be used as a communication controller in connection with a host CPU. For this purpose, the module can be connected to the host system via a shared memory interface (DPRAM) or via a serial port. The POWERLINK module supports Poll Response latencies of less than 2 µs and cycle times of less than 500 µs.

A baseboard is available for the evaluation of the POWERLINK module which consists of a power supply and the necessary interface connections to various host systems. Various processor modules of Phytec and Spectrum Digital can also be plugged directly into the baseboard as a host CPU.

For customized device integration, the module is also available as design-in solution. This includes the wiring diagrams as well as the binary code to program the FPGA on the Industrial Ethernet Module.

POWERLINK PCI Interface Card - PL-IB 300/PCI

The POWERLINK PCI interface board from IXXAT connects a PC-based host system with a POWERLINK system. The board has two independent Ethernet interfaces for an easy connection with the POWERLINK bus system. The POWERLINK functionality is completely processed with high performance on the interface board. Data exchange with the host system is handled via the PCI bus. For the host side, a POWERLINK API is provided.

The POWERLINK PCI board can handle large networks with up to 240 CNs as well as small networks with a minimum cycle time of 200 µs. Customized device integrations of the PCI board are possible by using the POWERLINK FPGA MN IP Core design-in solution.

POWERLINK / CANopen Gateway

Due to its high bandwidth and the very close relationship to CANopen, POWERLINK offers the ideal possibility to extend or integrate existing CANopen networks. With the aid of the POWERLINK / CANopen Gateway, it is very easy to exchange process and service data between POWERLINK and CANopen devices. This enables the use of the real-time industrial Ethernet protocol POWERLINK, for example, as a backbone network for networking several CANopen sub-segments.

POWERLINK Configuration Framework and Configuration Tool

The POWERLINK Configuration Framework enables the integration of a projecting and configuration function in OEM tools such as SPS programming environments or other system tools whilst maintaining a uniform look and feel.

The framework provides all necessary components and mechanisms required for the creation and management of configuration data of an POWERLINK project.

The Powerlink Configuration Framework is also available with a graphical user interface as stand-alone configuration tool for POWERLINK networks.

Further POWERLINK Services and Products

  • Code introduction and implementation support
  • Consultation and training
  • Customized hardware and software development
  • Powerlink Node Manager (in preparation, please ask)
  • Integration services and support for POWERLINK Safety development projects