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netX 90 – A Powerful Base for Next Generation Communications

netX 90 is a versatile and powerful interface for connecting network-side protocols such as EtherNet/IP and PROFINET and device-side protocols of almost any type, all in a single package that is entirely software configurable.  It is TSN-ready and supports OPC UA and MQTT, so is ideal for enhanced control and IIoT-oriented applications.  There are rich security options on-board, plus resources for embedding applications.  At 10mm x 10mm, is netX 90 the smallest, most advanced multi-protocol System on a Chip (SoC) available today? Hilscher thinks so and is using it for its own Motion Control solution (see netMOTION article).

With netX 90, engineers don't have to create different designs to meet worldwide market needs. They don't even have to engage in the detail of protocol selection because netX 90 comes with pre-certified stacks.  All that's needed, once an application is finalized, is to load appropriate firmware for the customer's requirements.  One product can therefore serve many markets.

 

Hilscher of course has offered multi-protocol network connectivity for decades. What's different with netX 90 is that the chip is divided into two halves, each with its own ARM CPU, and both sides are fully programmable.  Logical separation of application and communications allows field-side to be separated from network-side, reducing or eliminating external cyber-security risks.


Shared on-board resources include security features such as firewalls and root-of-trust boot systems.  On the device-side are multiple options supporting most field device and sensor communications types. These range from basic voltage and current signals up to popular motion control protocols such as EnDaT and BiSS. Thus, netX 90 can become an embedded solution in which just one board product can serve multiple markets. It's a powerful component for next-generation automation systems and is already being used in Hilscher's in-house solution for Motion Control, called netMOTION.


netX 90 enables systems to be designed in accordance with IEC 62443 specifications (incorporating HTTPS, TLS, etc.) and a complete “ecosystem” of development tools, software and support is available to enable rapid prototyping.


Chip Carrier Option


 

netX 90 can also be supplied on a chip carrier called netRAPID 90    – a compact “System on a Module” containing all necessary peripheral circuitry. This can cut development times and costs still further, and significantly shorten “time to market.” With netX 90 and netRAPID 90, field devices can easily be made Industry 4.0 and IIoT-ready today. As such netX 90 is perfect for next-generation products such as IIoT systems and Motion Control.

Download netX 90 Datasheet
Download netX 90 Whitepaper