Collaborators Provide Scalable Multi-Protocol Industrial Ethernet Platform

Collaboration between STMicro and Hilscher yields the I-NUCLEO-NETX expansion board for use with any STM32 Nucleo-64 or STM32 Nucleo-144 development board, and the

I-CUBE-NETX, an STM32Cube software expansion for combining Hilscher’s netX 52 network controllers with a host microcontroller (MCU) from ST’s extensive STM32 family. The I-NUCLEO-NETX contains a netX 52 network controller IC with integrated Real-Time Ethernet switch, and has two RJ45 ports for line and ring topologies. netX 52 supports all Real-Time Ethernet protocol specifications and evolutions, including EtherCAT, PROFINET, EtherNet, Ethernet/IP, POWERLINK, CC-Link IE, Modbus TCP, and SERCOS III. It can also support Fieldbus standards like CANopen and emerging standards such as Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN), as well as OPC-UA and MQTT for Cloud data exchanges, making it ready for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).



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The I-CUBE-NETX software package comes with a loadable pre-certified firmware for free evaluation of EtherCAT, PROFINET, and EtherNet/IP protocols. The package also includes the Hilscher cifX API and cifX Toolkit that allow all Real-Time Ethernet protocols to be used in the STM32 ecosystem and minimize software effort when porting from one protocol to another. Application examples help users get the I-NUCLEO-NETX expansion shield running and evaluate the free protocols.


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