After accumulating some experience with other Industrial Networks on FPGA, we converged on retaining only POWERLINK as well as our own Ultra-Low Latency Gigabit ring.
POWERLINK is a fast real-time field bus based on standard Ethernet. openPOWERLINK is an open-source implementation of this protocol, and comes with example designs targeting Intel (previously Altera) FPGAs.
Our experience with POWERLINK was very successful :
- We quickly mastered the POWERLINK Slave Development Kit
- We were able to build fully working slaves on very low cost FPGA boards (including the $25 BeMicroMax10 !)
- The interaction with the openPOWERLINK maintainers was easy and productive.
- B&R offers a serious support for Powerlink adopters.
Take a look at this presentation to find out more details about the systems we implemented.