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New Networking Chip Adds IO-Link to More Compact Devices

Feb. 26, 2020
The chip is more compact than other solutions on the market and can be mounted on smaller PCBs slapped on IO-Link devices. With its advanced protection features, the chip can also be used to cut out discrete components, further saving PCB space.

Dialog Semiconductor rolled out a new networking chip that adds IO-Link communications to more space-constrained, price-sensitive sensors and other devices on wired industrial networks. The chip, CCE4503, consumes small amounts of power and is protected against overheating, voltage and current surges and other hazards in factory automation systems.

IO-Link is a short-distance serial communications standard used on factory floors to connect sensors and actuators to any type of fieldbus, including industrial Ethernet. The protocol, which enables point-to-point, bidirectional communications, is an important part of industrial Internet of Things networks. The interface can be used to transfer data from sensors and actuators to any IO-Link master device over any fieldbus within 60 feet or so.

The chip is self-protected against overcurrent, undervoltage, and overheating so that IO-Link communications on the industrial networks will not be delayed or distorted by the harsh environment on a factory floors. The chip also bolsters ESD performance, including burst and surge protection. The IO-Link PHY is also designed to be cheaper than other solutions on the market so that it can be easily integrated into any industrial network, Dialog said. 

The CCE4503 is the latest in its IO-Link family, including the CCE4510 and CCE4502, which have higher pin counts, broader footprints, and more advanced features. Its latest chipset measures 3mm by 3mm so that it can be mounted on far more compact PCBs used in IO-Link devices. With its advanced self-defense features, the new chip can also be used to cut out a number of discrete components, further saving space on the PCB, Dialog said.

"Industrial sensors and actuators are integrating more functionality in smaller form factors with greater demands for cloud connectivity," Lutz Porombka, vice president of industrial at Dialog, said in a statement. The company is also rolling out development tools and IO-Link software that can be paired with the networking IC, which was introduced at the Embedded World conference. The IO-Link PHY has started sampling to early customers, Dialog said.

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