Scensys Ltd announces, PowerDNA - which refers
to Distributed, Networked Automation and control
- a system that sets a new industry standard for hard realtime
I/O using conventional Ethernet cabling. Developed by United
Electronic Industries, the modular system is optimised for
realtime control applications requiring both large numbers of
analogue and digital I/O points in distributed locations as well
as extremely fast response. Thanks to the patent-pending
DaqBIOS protocol, a PowerDNA system consisting of a
PCI/PXI-based controller and multiple distributed nodes with
more than 800 mixed analogue and digital I/O points, can
guarantee a response time in less than imsec. In addition, when
control situations arise, the latest algorithms allow as many as
64 PID loops to be operated.
Under PC control or using PXI/Compact PCI (as shown above),
and communicating through conventional Ethernet cabling, the
PowerDNA system can poll up to 800 mixed I/O points in less
than I msec. Users can configure the remote I/O Cubes with a
variety of analog and digital I/O options.
At the highest level, PowerDNA consists of a Central Controller
card that fits into a host PC or PXI/CompactPCl system. To each
of its two Ethernet ports users can attach as many as 64 I/O Cubes.
Each I/O Cube in turn consists of a metal enclosure typically
4" x 4" x 4" that contains a Communications layer, a CPU layer
with an embedded realtime kernel, and positions for either three
or six I/O layers. Customers select the desired functionality from
a range of I/O layers, which are factory installed, configured and
When configuring an I/O Cube, users can select from several I/O Layers:
* analog input (16 or 32 channels, 16-bit resolution, sampling rate to
* direct temperature-sensor inputs (25 channels, 24-bit resolution,
sampling to 500 Hz)
* analog output (8 channels, 12- or 16-bit resolution, update rate to
160 kHz samples/sec)
* digital I/O (with 16 inputs, 16 outputs, or 48 mixed I/O)
* serial communication (eight RS232/485 ports)
Users program their applications in C using a straightforward API that
provides access to all hardware functionality. After compiling an
application on the host PC, engineers can download it to an I/O Cube
in several ways: over the Ethernet, over a serial link or over a USB port.
The application can run under host control or as a standalone task.
"We have listened to the voice of the customer and have developed
PowerDNA, which will easily meet the needs for distributed hard
realtime I/O for the next decade, "comments Shaun Miller, president
of UEI. "For several years engineers could purchase Ethernet-based
I/O but with insufficient realtime response to address future system
requirements. However, our extensive investment in developing the
DaqBIOS protocol has solved this problem."
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