Manufacturers are continuing to design and introduce products and components aimed at the growing Internet of Things (IoT). Two recent announcements confirm the continued manufacturer interest and response
Texas Instruments (TI) announced 46 new ultra-low-power MSP430 FRAM (ferroelectric RAM) microcontrollers (MCUs) with more memory, features and integration. TI’s MSP430FR69x MCUs are scalable up to 128 KB non-volatile FRAM memory and include smart analog integration, such as an extended scan interface (ESI) and a differential input analog-to-digital converter (ADC) that consumes 140 µA at 200 KSPS. Developers can also leverage the integrated 320-segment LCD controller to add a display and a 256-bit advanced encryption standard (AES) hardware accelerator to increase security of data transmissions.
The key focus here is the memory. Fast write speeds and 10 billion times more write-erase cycles than flash solutions results in memory that can reduce power, increase data accuracy over time, and even extend product lifetime. FRAM also does not require pre-erasure of segments and can be accessed at the bit-level, enabling constant on-the-fly data logging and faster, simpler wireless firmware updates.
The integrated ESI module, differential ADC and LCD controller make the MCUs ideal for smart flow metering designs for water, gas and heat as well as new smart wearable mobile health and fitness devices.
On the networking end of things, Rockwell Automation is partnering with Cisco to launch a new training course to address network convergence challenges as more and more devices and systems come online and the industrial plant floor and corporate enterprise become more connected. The new training helps candidates prepare for the recently introduced Cisco Industrial Networking Specialist certification.
The hands-on, lab-based course – Managing Industrial Networks with Cisco Networking Technologies (IMINS) – provides the foundational skills needed to manage and administer networked, industrial control systems. The course is designed to help control system and traditional network engineers in manufacturing, process control, and oil and gas environments better understand networking technologies.
“With an anticipated 220,000 IT and OT engineers needed every year to scale the Internet of Things, Rockwell Automation and Cisco are taking the steps necessary to address the skills gap challenge” said Jeanne Beliveau-Dunn, vice president and general manager at Learning@Cisco.
The IMINS course is available for open enrollment in the United States with 28 classes planned through April 2015. Participants who enroll before Oct. 3 will receive a 10 percent discount. Classes begin globally this October.