Dirk Naurath, Dipl.-Ing.
System Architect
Published: July 27, 2023

Industrial Ethernet and time-sensitive networks (TSNs) are on the rise. They are very common in the industrial communication domain utilizing protocols like EtherCAT or PROFINET. In the past, these systems were running at 10Mbps or 100Mbps; however, the hunger for more speed was inevitable. New systems need to be capable of 1Gbps to further decrease latency and increase the amount of data transferred per second by a factor of 10 simultaneously. This can be achieved using our latest RZ/N2L MPU.

However, gigabit speed and its associated frequencies require sophisticated schematics and PCB design, which can be challenging and/or beyond the experience of many industrial customers. Signal integrity and power integrity need to be thoroughly considered to avoid issues in the field, and a combination of the right components is crucial for the successful realization of a high-speed network. 

Hence, to enable our customers to keep focused on their application, and to remarkably speed up their development time and therefore time-to-market, Renesas has developed a Gigabit Industrial Ethernet System-on-Module (SoM) solution (Figure 1) together with our preferred partner MXT, containing all mission-critical components:

  • RZ/N2L MPU
  • 2x Gbit Ethernet PHY
  • AT25SF128A 128Mbit SPI Flash memory
  • 32MB SDRAM
  • R1EX24016ASAS0I 2kB EEPROM for EtherCAT configuration
  • XLH336025.000000I 25MHz ultra-stable clock generator
  • DA9083* power management integrated circuit (PMIC) to generate all required voltage rails from a single 3.3V input with an appropriate current rating and the power sequence required
  • SLG46117 reset circuit

*DA9083 is the OTP31 version, specifically dedicated for use with RZ/N2L or RZ/T2M MPU to handle the appropriate MPU’s power supply requirements.

Gigabit Industrial Ethernet System-on-Module (SoM) Solution
Figure 1. Gigabit Industrial Ethernet System-on-Module (SoM)

To demonstrate the capabilities and universal connectivity of the SoM module, we have also developed a carrier board (Figure 2) with many interfaces including two gigabit industrial Ethernet ports:

Gigabit Industrial Ethernet System-on-Module (SoM) Carrier Board Block Diagram
Figure 2. Carrier Board

Moreover, we also added the following.

  • 2x PMOD to allow connection of our QCIOT PMOD modules (see the Quick-Connect IoT Platform page for more details):
    • 1x Type 6A/I2C (or SPI) for QCIOT sensor PMOD modules (or third party)
    • 1x Type 3A/UART (or SPI) for QCIOT connectivity PMOD modules (or third party)
  • Arduino interface which can operate as
    • Arduino host, i.e., to carry Arduino shield boards on top of the carrier board, incl. 4x analog input, UART, I2C, HSPI, several digital I/Os, 3.3V power output
    • Arduino shield, i.e., for the carrier board to add industrial Ethernet to any of our MCU/MPU boards, to run the main application on a second MCU/MPU, and let the SoM RZ/N2L do the GbE industrial Ethernet connectivity; 3V3 power input can be supplied by the host
    • Mode switch to select the type of operation, host or shield
  • CAN bus interface
  • EtherCAT interface to allow an EtherCAT controller to run the carrier board as an EtherCAT slave without requiring MPU activity
  • USB I/F
    • USB device to connect to a PC
    • USB On-the-Go (OTG) to connect to a USB stick or drive (incl. 5V supply from the carrier board)
  • General Purpose I/Os, that can be used for PLC functionality with
    • 16x Digital In (from dip switches)
    • 15x Digital Out (to LEDs)
    • 8x Digital Out + 8x Digital In (to header)
  • Integrated Segger compatible J-Link® debugger using our S124 MCU
  • Several power supply options with automatic power OR-ing switching (no jumpers required)
    • 24V DC
    • 5V via Micro USB
    • 5V via the integrated debugger
    • 3V3 from Arduino (when running as a shield)
  • 3V3 power supply to
    • Arduino shield (when running as a host)
    • PMODs

Renesas’ Gbps Industrial Ethernet SoM solution has been thoroughly tested at a certified lab and has a CE Declaration of Conformity making it easier for a customer to pass CE and FCC-related requirements. Customers can use this as a baseline for their own development of an RZ/N2L-based communication system.

Upon request, Renesas provides all collateral necessary for customers to quickly start their development.

  • Schematics
  • Bill of Materials
  • Layout
  • Demo software showcasing a web server to control LEDs and read dip switches on the SoM module via a web browser
  • Further software samples coming soon

The SoM module can be ordered as a ready-to-use part via our preferred partner MXT, who is ready to support customers with contract engineering if desired.

For more details, please check our Gigabit Industrial Ethernet SoM and our YCONNECT-IT-RZN2L RZ/N2L Industrial Network SoM Proof of Concept kit (Figure 3)

Quick-Start the Gigabit Industrial Ethernet Solution
Figure 3. YCONNECT-IT-RZN2L Industrial Network SoM Proof of Concept Kit

If you have any questions and/or are looking for samples, please contact one of our regional Renesas sales offices.
They can also put you in contact with our preferred partner, independent design house (IDH) MXT Creation, if you are looking for contract engineering for the RZ/N2L or if you want to purchase the SoM module.

In summary, Renesas provides all the necessary ready-to-use components and supporting documentation to allow you to quickly start your gigabit industrial Ethernet solution right away!

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