Networking: Embedded systems get better communications
Green Hills Software (GHS) announced their plans to add support for CANopen, IEEE 1588, EtherNet/IP and Profinet protocols to the company’s royalty-free RTOS running on Freescale Semiconductor’s embedded microprocessors and microcontrollers. GHS says that this effort will deliver powerful design flexibility, allowing customers to address per-unit-cost and time-to-market pressures with the widest range of options for proven, integrated communications solutions targeting the industrial, manufacturing, power systems and medical device markets. At the Freescale Technology Forum held Oct. 16-17, 2007 in Munich, Germany, GHS demonstrated how a central communications/gateway processor (the MPC8360) can communicate with a master/slave CANopen combination of two independent ColdFire processors, providing a real-world demonstration of the Integrity IEC 61508 SIL3 certified RTOS running on the Freescale PowerQUICC processor-based Reference Design Kit (MPC8360E-RDK) in combination with Integrity andμ-velOSity running on ColdFire devices executing the CANopen protocol stack.
In other embedded communications news, Moxa [www.moxa.com] launched Moxa Protocol Converter (or MPC for short), a software engine that runs on any of the company’s ready-to-run embedded computers. The company says that MPC was designed to establish bi-directional data stream channels between any two of the embedded computer’s ports, and loads custom-written drivers (written in C) that audit the data stream as it flows from one port to the other. Traditionally, solution providers needed to write new code for each data stream channel to ensure that data is transmitted successfully. The MPC engine allows developers to establish a communication channel that connects any combination of two channel ports without additional programming. Moreover, port-to-port communication for any device is driver programmable. Users can program drivers either by modifying an existing driver or adding a driver to a channel that performs specific tasks. MPC is also easily configured with the Windows-based Moxa Device Manager (MDM), a remote management tool for managing Moxa’s ready-to-run embedded computers on a local area network (LAN). MPC supports Modbus TCP, Modbus RTU, Modbus ASCII, and RFC-2217. MPC also allows solution developers to add proprietary protocols and applications.
— C.G. Masi , senior editor