Renesas announces chip for industrial networking of sensors

Renesas Electronics announced a new chip to help with the Industrial Internet of Things, as companies network smart sensors in manufacturing sites and other settings. (Renesas Electronics)

Renesas Electronics announced an application-specific chip for industrial automation networking that uses the latest version of the Actuator Sensor Interface (ASi) specification.

The ASi-5 ASSP is designed as a fieldbus integration option for developers that work with sensors, actuators and other equipment that require easy and inexpensive fieldbus connectivity, Renesas said Wednesday.

It is the industry’s first chip to meet the ASi-5 standard, Renesas claimed. It offers superior performance over the ASi-3 spec and delivers cycle time as low as 1.27 ms with connections of up to 96 devices in an industrial setting. It can support up to 200 m of cable with 16 data bits per transport channel.

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Reference samples of the chip are now available, although mass production won’t begin until March 2020. Pricing wasn’t announced.

The new chip is fully backwards compatible with ASi-3 devices. The shorter cycle times and faster bandwidth in the new chip come from using Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing and enhanced diagnostics.

Renesas said that the Industrial Internet of Things is a sweeping across production facilities and factories which makes the ASi-5 interface timely. It will assist digitization of millions of connected industrial endpoints and devices at the edge, said Niels Trapp, senior director of industrial automation at Renesas. Smart sensors are becoming an “integral part of the industrial IoT,” he added.

Renesas also makes the RZ/N and R-IN32M series of network processors. The company is based in Tokyo and employs about 20,000 workers. Last month, the company said it will support Microsoft Azure’s microcontroller and microprocessor portfolio.

RELATED: Renesas teams with Microsoft on IoT development

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