FireWire Coupler Tailors I/O Ports

DN Staff

March 15, 2004

2 Min Read
FireWire Coupler Tailors I/O Ports

The key trends in motion control I/O, according to Dean Norton, marketing manager at WAGO, are solutions that eliminate "wasted I/O points" and expand both support for multiple protocols and compatibility with existing control architectures.

"We continue to see a great demand for compact, granular I/O solutions," says Norton. "The ability to support multiple protocols is also seen as being very important, so that vendors can ensure compatibility with existing control architecture. We have seen tremendous growth in Ethernet applications and expect that, in the future, FireWire will become a major consideration due to the high data transfer rate, connectivity to the PC world, and relatively low installation and cable costs."

WAGO recently started shipping a new FireWire or IEEE-1394 fieldbus coupler for the WAGO I/O System 750 that offers fast real-time communication and automation. The coupler reads the signals coming from digital and analog input and output modules, and transmits them in the form of asynchronous or isochronous data packages.

With a baud rate of up to 400 Mbit/sec, WAGO claims that FireWire offers bandwidth up to 30 times greater than USB. Norton adds that synchronization mechanisms allow for deterministic behavior with extremely short jitter times of under 1 musec, which is especially important in power transmission engineering and measurement applications.

The FireWire bus coupler has the same footprint as other WAGO bus couplers and is compatible with all of the 750 Series I/O Modules. The company notes that a coupler for the new 1394b standard, which will allow for fieldbus segments up to 100m, is already in development.

Norton adds that the trend toward 1, 2, 4, or 8 channel I/O modules allows the customer to order the exact number of I/O required for the application. Small numbers of I/O points can also be easily added if the application changes or requires additional I/O points. WAGO

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