August 17, 1998 Design News
Interbus chip makes bus design easier
Michael Babb, London
OEMs who want to build small Interbus systems for specialized
applications now have a low-cost integrated circuit
which simplifies the design task. Called Interbus UART,
the chip allows users to cost-effectively configure
their own Interbus masters for systems that may involve
as few as six intelligent factory devices.
Typical Interbus systems consist of hundreds or even
thousands of nodes, usually hosted by a PC or programmable
controller. This requires a "master" controller
card with an Interbus ASIC, a Motorola 68332 microcontroller,
and Interbus firmware.
By contrast, the Interbus UART implements the same
master controller functions, but works with any microprocessor
and uses free software available from the Interbus Club's
web site. It does not have the functionality of a full
master, but is suitable for scaled-down systems.
"We developed the UART chip to cover all the small
and simple solutions where a bus system is needed,"
explains Dipl.-Ing. Martin Müller, manager of system
marketing for Phoenix Contact. "For example, drive
manufacturers told us they wanted to connect several
drives together to build multiaxis motion control systems.
Previously, their only option was to use CAN chips and
build proprietary solutions, because the Interbus master
card was too sophisticated and expensive for them."
For additional details, contact Phoenix Contact GmbH
& Co., P.O.B. 1341, D-32819 Blomberg, Germany; Tel:
+49 52 35 34 1845; Fax: +49 52 35 34 1825 or http: www.interbusclub.com