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Custom chip halves gateway power consumption
Published:  01 April, 2011

The Swedish industrial networking specialist HMS has announced a new generation of gateways which, it says, will simplify integration between serial buses, fieldbuses and industrial Ethernet networks. The new versions of its Anybus Communicator and X-gateway products are based on a new custom chip which allows smaller housings to be used, and reduces power consumption by up to 50% (drawing just 150mA from a 24V DC source).

The new DIN-rail or wall-mounting gateways are split into two ranges. The Communicator modules convert data between almost any connected network and Ethernet TCP/IP, without programming or needing hardware and software changes to a connected device. They support customised Ethernet TCP/IP or UDP/IP protocols as well as customised CAN protocols, allowing users to connect any Ethernet TCP/IP-enabled device to fieldbus or industrial Ethernet networks. Typical applications will include linking intelligent sensors and actuators to networks such as Profibus, and DeviceNet.

The second range are the X-Gateway convertors, the first of which is a Modbus-TCP version. This allows data to be exchanged easily between Modbus-TCP devices and common fieldbuses and Ethernet networks, providing easy connections to most PLCs. They can be used to migrate existing fieldbus installations to industrial Ethernet networks. By July 2011, HMS plans to be offering versions for EtherCat, Profibus, DeviceNet, ControlNet, CANopen, Modbus RTU and TCP, Ethernet/IP and Profinet.

Setup for both ranges is achieved using a Windows-based configuration tool and needs no programming or scripting. Both offer integrated Web servers with SSI, e-mail clients and FTP servers on all Ethernet versions.

The network connectors are tilted 18 degrees downwards for easier cable connection, while a dual-port switch allows Ethernet daisy-chaining. Data exchange between several gateway modules is possible using an integral backplane option. This option will allow future modules to extend the gateways’ functions.

Prices for the new gateways will be in the range €290–690. HMS will also be producing brand-labelled versions to order.

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