New software helps speed safety of EtherCAT as leading industrial network

02-10-2020 | Renesas | Subs & Systems

Renesas Electronics has extended the RX Functional Safety solution, with the release of its Functional Safety over EtherCAT (FSoE) Application Software Kit, the first software to support functional safety on EtherCAT from a semiconductor manufacturer. The company's solution is a kit for industrial automation applications that lessens the complexity of IEC 61508 SIL3 certification, an international standard for functional safety.

The company’s new software is based on the FSoE standard published by the EtherCAT Technology Group. Developers can get an FSoE protocol stack as well as an RX MCU with functional safety support and the software, all in a single package, speeding up the evolution of industrial equipment including FSoE. This provides the quick implementation of communication functions required to support functional safety, such as essential alarms indicating danger or emergency stop signals employing an RX MCU.

“As the trend toward smart factories continues, there is a growing need for autonomous machine-to-machine communication, robust communication bus systems that support safety implementation through industrial Ethernet, and redundant systems design to ensure safety and reliability,” said Sakae Ito, vice president of the IoT Platform Business Division at Renesas. “By providing early access to the FSoE, which is the de facto standard for the industrial Ethernet, I am confident that Renesas will accelerate the development of functional safety products to meet their needs.”

RX Functional Safety support is now expanded to all MCUs built around the RXv3 core (e.g., the RX72M, RX72N, RX72T, RX66N, and RX66T) as well as the previously supported MCUs constructed around RXv1 and RXv2 cores. Utilising the certified software removes the requirement for users to develop MCU-specific functional safety software and enables them to focus on designing their own application software. RX MCU users can also use their existing software assets when creating equipment with functional safety support, thereby significantly lowering overall development time.

By Natasha Shek