NETX 500 - Network controller for Real-Time Ethernet and fieldbus master and slaves with display controller
- Flexible “high end” network controller or highly integrated single chip solution for application and communication
- Four communication channels as Real-Time Ethernet or fieldbus interface individually configurable
- 32-bit/200 MHz CPU ARM 926 with 200 MIPs computing power for Windows CE and Linux
- Dual-port memory, AD converter and graphic controller on chip
The netX is a highly integrated network controller with a new system architecture optimized for communication and maximum data throughput.
Based on the 32-bit CPU ARM 926EJ-S clocked at 200 MHz, the netX has a memory management unit, caches, DSP, and Java extensions. The internal memory of the 144 KByte RAM and 32 KByte ROM, that contains the boot loader, is sufficient for smaller applications. For Windows CE and Linux, the memory is externally supplemented with SDRAM, SRAM or FLASH via the 32-bit memory controller. The connection to a primary Host is carried out via the Dual-Port Memory interface which is also configurable as a 16-bit extension bus for stand-alone applications.
Extensive peripheral functions, serial interfaces such as UART, USB, SPI, I2C as well as the integrated graphic controller enable a large variety of applications. The unique feature and distinguishing characteristic of the netX as a “high end” network controller, however, is the central data switch and the freely configurable communication channels with their own intelligence. The data switch connects the ARM CPU as well as the communication, graphic, and host controllers with the memory or the peripheral units via five data paths. The controllers thus transmit the data in parallel, contrary to the traditional sequential architecture with merely one common data bus and additional bus allocation cycles.
The controllers of the four communication channels are identical and have a two-level structure. They consist of dedicated ALUs and special logic units that receive their protocol function via microcode. Two channels additionally contain an integrated PHY for Ethernet. The Medium-Access-Controller xMAC sends or receives the data according to the respective bus access process and encodes or converts the data into a byte representation. The Protocol Execution Controller xPEC compiles the data into packets and controls the telegram traffic. The data is exchanged block-by-block via DMA with the ARM memory. As an alternative, each channel has a Dual-Port-Memory for status information or as a local data image.
With the intelligent communication ALUs, the netX can realize the most diverse protocols and protocol combinations and synchronize them regardless of the reaction time of the CPU – an absolutely new feature in the industrial communication technology.