TAIPEI - This week, Texas Instruments introduced two new Ethernet physical layer (PHY) transceivers which are to be added to the TI portfolio of Industry 4.0 technologies announced in 2018. TI believe that the DP83825I low-power 10-/100-Mbps Ethernet PHY and the DP83869HM copper/fibre gigabit Ethernet PHY will increase the interconnectivity of information and operational technologies on the warehouse floor. This should expand connectivity options for designers of both space-constrained applications and enabling the first real-time time-sensitive networks (TSNs).

Industry 3.0 focused on robots working as singular caged off units completing a specified task, but factories are getting smarter. The advent of cyber physical systems has created the 4th industrial revolution, otherwise known as Industry 4.0, and the robots have been released from their cages.

As Industry 4.0 gets into full swing, new challenges appear with regularity, such as time sensitive and secure networks, ownership of data and the distribution of intelligence. These are some of the key challenges that TI’s new suite of components hope to overcome. TI announced their AM6x processors last November, built for real-time communication through the convergence of both Ethernet and real-time data traffic on a single network. TI also introduced us to 60-GHz mmWave sensors which provide up to 4 GHz of ultra-wide bandwidth to detect objects and motion.

These advances have allowed intelligent autonomy at the edge. This has led the way for advancements in Autonomous guided vehicles (AGVs), robots that use intelligence, rather than tracks, to find the shortest route to transport goods across the warehouse floor. Unprecedented resolution through ultra-wide bandwidth which can detect fine motion as small as breathing or typing which finds application in robots deciphering human motion vs mechanical motion to reduce false positives.

TI Ethernet (Source: Texas Instruments)

TI’s new Ethernet PHY transceivers will further complement existing components through increased integration while battling latency issues across the TSN. The DP83825I is the industry’s smallest Ethernet PHY with an extra-long 150-metre cable reach to help designers shrink system designs while increasing the physical span of their networks. The DP83869HM boasts the industry’s widest temperature range and high ESD immunity, helping improve Ethernet system reliability in high-temperature and static-prone industrial environments such as factory floors.