NXP and QNX combine with automation partners to optimize industrial automation development time with PLC Reference Platform. The QorIQ programmable logic controller (PLC) reference platform eases development of industrial control systems. It provides a ready-made platform for developing quickly and easily with some of the innovative and standard automation technologies - like EtherCAT, one of the fastest growing Ethernet-based communication protocols, and like ladder-logic, functional block diagram and more.
Maintaining deterministic and real-time performance in the system is key for productivity, reliability and safety. Industrial Ethernet technologies like EtherCAT offer higher speed and lower cost communications over traditional fieldbus systems.
Hardware integration at the SoC level (core(s), memory, I/O, DMA, etc.) is critical but so is the software integration. The EtherCAT PLC reference platform for the QorIQ P1 processor integrates the KPA EtherCAT Master stack, ISaGRAF PLC Firmware and QNX Neutrino® RTOS. ISaGRAF 6 Workbench and integrated KPA Studio combine to form the offline automation development environment.
The EtherCAT PLC reference platform allows users to quickly create new solutions which take advantage of the latest industrial ethernet and real-time automation technology while allowing them to reuse or adapt existing automation algorithms built using ladder logic or functional block diagram. The reference platform delivers 1 ms cycle time with less than one percent CPU overhead.
"OEMs in industrial control applications are challenged by increasingly compressed time-to-market windows and the need to cost-effectively maintain and evolve these systems over long product lifecycles," said Chris Ault, Product Marketing Manager for QNX Software Systems. "QNX Software Systems provides an ideal operating system platform for reliability and easier programming of industrial control systems. A pre-integrated reference design platform combining the QNX Neutrino RTOS with NXP, KPA, and ISaGRAF solutions represents an extremely compelling offer to meet these challenges."