Semiconductor Equipment

Reference design kit acts as modern smart industrial sensor

15 December 2021

ST Microelectronics said that its new reference design kit acts as a modern smart industrial sensor, simplifying the development of compact IO-Link (IEC 61131-9) sensors for fieldbus-independent, point-to-point bidirectional communication.

The STEVAL-IOD04KT1 kit consists of a main board, programmer and debugger tool, 14-pin flat cable and an M8-to-M12 standard industrial connector adapter. The main board integrates an STM32G0 microcontroller with ST’s L6364W IO-Link dual-channel device transceiver, which supplies power to the microcontroller unit, sensors and other logic devices.

A new reference design kit is designed to simplify the development of compact IO-Link sensors. Source: ST MicroelectronicsA new reference design kit is designed to simplify the development of compact IO-Link sensors. Source: ST MicroelectronicsThe L6364W transceiver is part of ST’s family of integrated circuits designed to simplify IO-Link physical-layer implementation. It features 3.3 V and 5.0 V low dropout voltage regulators on-chip and a digitally configurable step-down DC/DC converter, enabling it to source current up to a 50 mA load — and helping developers to meet the efficiency and electromagnetic compatibility requirements of their application.

The L6364W transceiver also eases the STM32G0’s workload by handling IO-Link communication. Digital features include wake-up recognition, a 15-byte data buffer and quartz-free IO-Link clock extraction. Surge-pulse protection (up to ±2.5 kV), electrostatic discharge and reverse-polarity protection are all on-chip — features that can save users from designing-in additional components while also saving PCB space and reducing bill-of-materials costs.

In addition to the L6364W, the board also features a high-accuracy three-axis digital output magnetometer, the IIS2MDC, and an inertial module with machine-learning core, the ISM330DHCX. One might imagine that all these integrations would translate to a large device, but an extremely small sensor enclosure is possible thanks to the tiny chip-scale package (CSP) options of the components. Dimensions of the main board are just 45.8 x 8.3 mm.

The board can be connected to a master IO-Link hub or suitable PLC interface. The use of a 10-pin expansion connector enables extra sensing modalities.

The kit’s companion STM32Cube software pack, the STSW-IOD04K, provides an IO-Link Device Description (IODD) file, ST-proprietary IO-Link demo-stack, and routines for managing the L6364W and MEMS sensors. Hot-plug activation is supported. The software contains libraries to assist in the development of various types of sensors, and it can be integrated with additional X-CUBE software to further expand sensor functionality.

For more information on the new kit, visit the product overview page on the ST Microelectronics website.

To contact the author of this article, email engineering360editors@globalspec.com


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