RZ/N Series accelerates industrial networking development
The Renesas RZ/N series of industrial networking communication microprocessors (MPUs) brings together multiple industrial networking technologies within a single chip, enabling system manufacturers to develop systems supporting a variety of industrial network protocols and network redundancy protocols in less time. It is designed for use in industrial network devices such as network switches, gateways, programmable logic controllers (PLCs), operator terminals, and remote I/O units.
Renesas also delivers broad ecosystem support to facilitate system manufacturers’ software development by offering a general application programmable interface (API) that provides a unified support for network protocol stacks implemented by Renesas partners, in addition to compiler and OS environments. The RZ/N lineup comprises three product groups for scalability: the RZ/N1D Group for high-end applications, the RZ/N1S Group for mid-range applications, and the RZ/N1L Group for low-end applications.
With the recent advancement of Industry 4.0 to implement network connections in factories for increased efficiency, there are growing demands for network devices with support for industrial network protocols enabling real-time processing, protocol gateway functionality, protected networking functionality, and support for network redundancy protocols to ensure highly reliable and efficient communication.
Due to factors such as differing time constraints and network control technologies, existing factory networks consist of field networks, which implement communication between control devices and other devices, and control networks, which implement communication between control devices and other control devices. Field networks require real-time control and use real-time industrial network protocols such as EtherCAT, EtherNet/IP, ETHERNET Powerlink, PROFINET, Sercos, and CANopen. In contrast, control networks, which prioritize reliability, use network redundancy protocols such as Rapid Spanning Tree Protocol (RSTP), Parallel Redundancy Protocol (PRP), and High-Availability Seamless Redundancy (HSR). Thus far, there has been little development in unifying these two types of networks, which meant that when developing network devices, it was necessary to use components supporting one or another of the available protocols.
The new RZ/N Series was developed in response to this situation as a single-chip solution that will greatly simplify the development of industrial network devices by providing support for both field network real time protocols and control network redundancy protocols.