NEC Electronics develops new class of Industrial Ethernet PHY

NEC Electronics recently announced its development of a family of Industrial Ethernet physical layers (PHYs) for 10Base-T and 100Base-TX/FX, optimized for existing industrial Ethernet protocols used in industrial automation products.

December 16, 2009 -- NEC Electronics recently announced its development of a family of Industrial Ethernet physical layers (PHYs) for 10Base-T and 100Base-TX/FX. The company says the new PHYs will offer high-speed industrial connectivity and advanced cable diagnostics, and are optimized for existing industrial Ethernet protocols used in industrial automation products.

Related CIM Article:Optimizing Ethernet systems in manufacturing plants

The use of Industrial Ethernet has consistently ramped up in recent years and now has a wider use in automation systems throughout the industry. NEC Electronics’ new PHYs address the expansive and unique needs of system designers in the industrial automation market to interconnect industrial controllers from different manufacturers throughout a process plant.

According to NEC Electronics, the new PHYs enable low node latency, delivering high-speed data transmission and reception without failure. With powerful link control, the PHYs provide high-speed link-up and link-down control mechanisms. For example, this feature can be applied in robotics that require very fast link-up and link-down control.

The new PHYs also enable consistent cable quality monitoring for easy maintenance, and support easy repair during the maintenance cycle. The cable diagnostic feature is based on the time domain reflectometer (TDR) function that determines and localizes cable problems. Further, with the time stamping of transmitted and received packets, the PHYs provide outstanding timing precision by enabling continuous and automatic processes where the clock differences are noted and automatically adjusted. The time stamping of transmitted and received packets allows designers to determine the differences between clock frequencies and correct for them to achieve real-time performance.

NEC Electronics says the new PHYs provides users of Ethernet communication in industrial environments with unique features that are not available in existing implementations. The new PHYs are compatible with standard industrial Ethernet communication protocols such as EtherNet/IP, SERCOS III, EtherCAT and Profinet. They are also compliant with IEEE802.3 and qualify for robust industrial environments.

NEC Electronics expects that the new PHYs will enhance the company’s other Ethernet-based product offerings such as V850 Ethernet-based microcontrollers (MCUs), ASSPs and ASICs, and are also available as embeddable macros for these products.

“Our new PHY family demonstrates NEC Electronics’ commitment to the industrial automation markets and underlines our leading position in communication networks today,” says Kazuyoshi Yamada, vice president, 1st SoC Operations Unit, NEC Electronics Corporation. “Our PHY technology provides robust, high-performance Ethernet-based network solutions to deliver multiple innovations for the industry’s automation systems.”

NEC Electronics will be announcing the first member of its industrial Ethernet PHY family in March 2010 with mass production expected to start in Q3 of 2010.

More information can be found at NEC Electronics.

More in Network Protocols