Multi-protocol microcontroller supports Ethernet and Industry 4.0

As industrial environments move towards industry 4.0, it can be difficult to enable seamless industrial connectivity across both time-sensitive and real time communications. To address this, a crossover microcontroller with integrated Gbit time sensitive networking (TSN) switch has been released by NXP. 

The i.MX RT1180 crossover microcontroller enables both time-sensitive and industrial real time communications and supports multiple communications protocols. According to NXP, it bridges the gap between existing industrial systems and industry 4.0 systems. It is claimed to be the first crossover microcontroller to include an EdgeLock secure enclave, a pre-configured, self-managed and autonomous on-die security sub-system for robust, system-wide security intelligence for industrial IoT applications. 

Package options start from 10 x 10mm BGA, making the i.MX RT1180 one of the smallest real time industrial networking-capable devices, said NXP. It can integrate TSN and industrial networking capabilities into a variety of industrial use cases, including I/O management, motor control, compact motion control or gateway applications. 

It can also serve as a network companion chip, providing all required industrial network connectivity to a host processor via scalable connectivity stepping up to seamless Gb direct communication with the host without on-board PHY.

The i.MX RT1180 is also suitable for automotive connectivity applications, which increasingly rely on Ethernet TSN support for both high bandwidth and real time control data. This allows the i.MX RT1180 to act as an intelligent switch between different automotive engine control units (ECUs).

It features dual-core architecture, including an 800MHz Arm Cortex-M7 and Cortex-M33 and is designed for power efficiency with target use cases starting from 250mW and has an integrated PMIC (power management IC) to optimise energy efficiency, as well as reduce board complexity and cost. It has up 5Gbit ports to support the latest TSN standards, as well as multiple industrial real time network protocols, including EtherCAT, Profinet, Ethernet/IP, CC-Link IE or HSR. The i.MX RT1180 is also designed to help OEMs ease device compliance for ISA/IEC 62443-4-1, -4-2. 

The microcontroller operates in the extended industrial qualification temperature range (-40 to +125 degrees C).

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