The Chinese New Year celebration in February 2011 marked the end of the “Year of the Tiger”. This also coincided with an important milestone for PROFINET. Joerg Freitag, Chairman of PROFIBUS & PROFINET International (PI) reported: “Today (4th April 2011) we are able to issue the first certificate for a Tiger chip TPS-1 product for conformance classes A, B, and C to Gunnar Lessmann, Project Manager TPS-1 Development of Phoenix Contact.” The certificate was issued for the TPS-1 ASIC development kit. Device manufacturers can now start developing their PROFINET interfaces with the Tiger chip. According to the manufacturer, the chip will be available in series production quantities by the end of 2011.
The PI certificate ensures that TPS-1 is fully compatible with the PROFINET specification. Its single chip concept simplifies the development of PROFINET interfaces in field devices. Costs are also drastically lowered. For the first time, a PROFINET interface designed especially for compact devices or drives can be furnished with comparable costs and effort as a fieldbus interface.
By the partnership with Siemens it is guaranteed that the TPS-1 is fully compatible with both, the approved PROFINET specification V 2.3 and the ASICs Ertec 200, Ertec 400 and their successors. The Tiger chip supplements the previously available basic technology solutions by rounding out the product range at the lower end.
This represents a significant step towards broader distribution of PROFINET in the market, according to Freitag. “PROFINET is already the leading Ethernet-based communication system in industrial automation today. We expect a further significant increase in the size of the installed base in upcoming years.”