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Kayoko Nemoto
IoT Segment Marketing
Published: March 25, 2021

There has been a rapidly increasing need for data collection in industrial automation, as well as demand for remote maintenance management of equipment due to the impact of the COIVD 19 pandemic. The most common way of data collection is to have a one-way direct communication to send data to the upper-level devices. The number of equipment to be installed has multiplied and for a wide coverage area; this is posing an increase in the cost to introduce a new communication protocol to the original wiring.

To minimize this additional cost impact, I am going to introduce a relatively low-cost, bidirectional 3-wire IO-Link communication, which can be implemented in a small space and has been used for such equipment.

Renesas proposes IO-Link for a Temperature Controller solution based on the RX23E-A 32-bit MCU, which realizes temperature measurement using an on-chip high-precision analog front-end (AFE) for signal processing, and communication control via IO-Link PHY within a single chip.

The integration of the analog and MCU functions in 1 chip helps reduce board size significantly. This solution also contributes to reducing investigation time at the beginning of the development by providing an application note, sample program with protocol stack, BOM, and circuit diagram which are all easily downloadable from Renesas’ website.

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IO-Link Communication Structure Diagram

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Details of Solution Structure

Below is a picture of our demo kit running the sample program, which is operating real-time threshold updates from the upper layer. Users can easily test bidirectional communication, which is one of the advantages of IO-Link communication.

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Bidirectional communication demo

With this solution, you can build your own IO-Link evaluation environment easily. This solution has been published on the web as an application note, “RX23E-A Group Example of IO-Link device (temperature sensor) “(document No: R01AN5676eJ0100). In addition, peripheral parts and other related components have been introduced on our "Industrial Sensor Network Solution" Winning Combination webpage. Please refer to these materials during initial examination of space-constraints IO-Link communication.

Additional Resources

RX23E-A IO-Link Temperature Sensor Solution Reference Design
IO-Link Device Applications
Industrial Sensor Network Solution Winning Combination
RX23E-A Analog Front-End Mounted 32-bit Microcontroller
Renesas Solution Starter Kit for RX23E-A

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