Atmel, HMT Microelectronic, and MESCO Engineering teamed together to create a turnkey solution for integrated IO-Link devices. The solution provides designers overall savings in bill-of-material and board space. The IO-Link reference design combines Atmel’s AVR , HMT’s PHY IC, and MESCO’s IO-Link stack to create the industry’s smallest IO-Link reference design. IO-Link is the upcoming industrial control communication standard that will introduce several benefits for the end user, including easier cabling, remote diagnostics, and configuration.
For many sensor designers, the physical size constraint is the key factor for integrating the IO-Link capability. Atmel, HMT, and MESCO Engineering have placed a strong focus on saving board space throughout the development and can now offer the TM96.0 GENIE Explorer Variant A reference design. Measuring only 6 by 20 mm, this is the smallest reference design available in the industry today.
The TM96.0-A reference design demonstrates high integration of the Atmel, HMT, and MESCO solution. It acts as an IO-Link device and is equipped with a push button, 2 LEDs and a potentiometer to allow developers to add stimuli to the system. The reference design runs the MESCO IO-Link stack on an Atmel ATtiny88 microcontroller and communicates on the IO-Link cable using HMT’s HMT7742 PHY IC. The implementation used in the reference design does not require external protection to sustain reverse polarity or to comply to the EMC surge protection defined in the IEC 60255-5 standard.
Atmel’s AVR microcontrollers and HMT’s PHY IC are available in small packages to allow implementations in size-constrained environments. All AVR microcontrollers, including the picoPower, high performance XMEGA featuring 12-bit ADC and DAC, can be used to run the MESCO stack and connect to the HMT7742 PHY IC. This makes the solution scalable and allows developers to find the perfect fit for their application and reduce their bill of material.
The MESCO IO-Link device stack firmware provides the developer of an IO-Link device full access to all features and services defined in the IO-Link Specification version 1.0. The firmware also supports features like Service PDU, Interleave Mode and diagnostics handling with event details. Using a modular design which is optimized for the AVR architecture, the library is scalable and allows a quick implementation of customer specific commands. The TM96.0-A reference design comes with a demo application of the MESCO IO-Link device stack firmware. For IO-Link product development, the TM96.0-B evaluation and debugging board is available. It is equipped with all the required connectors and provided with the MESCO firmware library. Optionally the customer can purchase the related source code. A developer using this solution benefits from an IO-Link tested, proven, interoperable and maintained device stack firmware, reducing significantly the time to market and associated development risks.