Xilinx and port GmbH announced the industry’s first complete programmable solution based on Ethernet Powerlink (EPL) real-time protocol. Designed specifically for use in industrial communication applications, the Xilinx Spartan-3 FPGA enabled solution consists of a protocol stack, MAC controller, and frame filter. The solution offers fast and efficient data transfer while leaving the software and CPU available for other system functions.
The IEEE 802.3u compliant MAC controller IP core is optimized to respond automatically to EPL requests by the Xilinx Spartan-3 FPGA. The completely integrated protocol stack running on Xilinx MicroBlaze soft processor is implemented on a single Xilinx Spartan-3 FPGA. Special receive filters implemented in the FPGA deliver only those EPL frames needed by the processing software, thus relieving the CPU from processing frames that are not relevant to the software.