Zero Downtime Industrial IoT Using Programmable SoCs

factory with robotic welders

Armando Astarloa, SoC-e CEO

Michael Zapke, Xilinx Product Marketing Manager

Matthew Brown, Avnet Technical Marketing Manager

Abstract

Industry 4.0 and Industrial IoT (IIoT) systems rely on robust communication networks. Protocols such as HSR (High-availability Seamless Redundancy) and PRP (Parallel Redundancy Protocol) ensure high availability for networks on critical infrastructure, offering zero-delay recovery time and no frames lost in the case of a network failure. This paper describes an IP design from SoC-e for the Xilinx Zynq®-7000 SoC, providing a flexible solution for equipment that will be connected to HSR rings, PRP LANs, or will work as a network bridge in the context of IEC 61850. In order to demonstrate the design, we use Avnet’s MicroZed™ Industry 4.0 Ethernet Kit to evaluate different modes of operation and node topologies regarding time-aware (IEEE 1588) high availability networks.

Understanding HSR and PRP Networks

Reliable Ethernet Networks are gaining acceptance for many Industrial Automation applications. One illustrative example of this evolution is the adoption by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) of the High-availability Seamless Redundancy (HSR) Ethernet based protocol and Parallel Redundancy Protocol (PRP) for Power Substations Automation (IEC 62439-3 clauses 4 and 5). Both protocols offer zero switchover delay time, no-frames lost in case of failure, and strong means for network supervision at Layer 2. Moreover, both protocols support IEEE 1588 synchronization over redundant paths.

Figure 1: PRP Redundant Topology
Figure 1: PRP Redundant Topology

The redundancy of PRP is implemented in the nodes rather than in the network. Specially adapted nodes (Dual Attached Nodes- DANs), are connected to two independent Ethernet networks (LAN A and LAN B), and send the same frames over both networks. Figure 1 depicts a basic PRP network representation. In a fault-free state, destination nodes (Single Attached Nodes – SANs) consume the first received frame and discard the duplicates. In case of a fault in one of the networks, the frames will still be transmitted and received through the other.

End nodes that require redundancy but lack two network ports and do not themselves implement PRP are connected to both networks through a so-called redundancy box (RedBox). The RedBox provides connection to both LANs and serves as a proxy for these end nodes. In this topology, nodes behind a RedBox appear as DANs on the network and are therefore referred to as Virtual DANs (VDANs).

In the case of HSR, redundancy is provided by sending packets in both directions through a ring network. This type of network consists of HSR capable Doubly Attached bridging Nodes (DANHs), each having two Ethernet ports. An HSR capable node sends the same frame over both ports. An HSR capable destination node receives, in a fault-free state, two identical frames over both ports respectively within a certain interval. The first received frame is accepted while the duplicate is discarded. In the event of an interruption in the ring, the frame will always be received through the other port. Figure 2 summarizes a basic HSR network configuration.

 
Figure 2:HSR Example of Ring Configuration for Multicast Traffic
Figure 2:HSR Example of Ring Configuration for Multicast Traffic

Often a system will implement both protocols in order to increase reliability and provide greater safety. Figure 3 depicts an application implementing both HSR and PRP protocols together in the automation for a Power Substation. HSR has been designed to meet the strict communications requirements set for Process Bus in the IEC 61850. Thus, it is applied for Intra-Bay communications. HSR interconnects Intelligent Electronic Devices (IEDs) in each bay. Thanks to each IED functioning as a DANH there is no need for additional switches to conform the ring. As can be seen in “Substation Bay 2,” the conventional Ethernet devices (with single Ethernet ports) are attached to the HSR ring through a RedBox device.

PRP is suitable to be used for Station and Inter-Bay Buses. Thanks to its flexibility, it can attach many heterogeneous devices. Equipment with redundant needs is connected to both Ethernet LANs (LAN A and LAN B in Figure 3). As with HSR, network devices with RedBox topology can be used to attach equipment with a single Ethernet port to a PRP set-up composed of two independent LANs.

Figure 3: Example of HSR and PRP Networks in Substation Automation Systems
Figure 3: Example of HSR and PRP Networks in Substation Automation Systems

As depicted in this example, in order to maintain redundancy in the communications, the interconnection between PRP and HSR networks is performed using redundant gateways. Each HSR link is connected to each PRP LAN using two gateway devices. Thus, a potential single point of failure is avoided.

Other critical systems like Transportation and Industry benefit from these high availability protocols. Zero delay recovery time means, from the functional point of view, seamless “Plug and Work” operation. As an example, Figure 4 shows an HSR topology suitable for train communications. In this setup, the plug and un-plug operations among vehicles do not interrupt the communication.

Figure 4: HSR Use Case for Train Communications
Figure 4: HSR Use Case for Train Communications

All Programmable SoC for Deterministic Connectivity

Designers of HSR and PRP equipment face multiple challenges when deploying robust yet flexible hardware. For example, industrial communication comes with requirements that go beyond the features of standard IT network connectivity. Pure software implementations of protocols like HSR and PRP suffer latency and compromise determinism as more is demanded of the host processor. On the other hand, typical system architectures place a communication processor and/or an application processor next to the industrial network interface. A heterogeneous integration of controllers with deterministic hardware is needed.

The challenge is further complicated by the constant evolution of Industrial IoT protocols, even if they rely on IEEE and IEC standards. HSR and PRP have seen changes in IEC 62439-3 with influence on their implementation. A programmable solution with deterministic circuits is the most flexible and efficient way to meet this challenge while maintaining compatibility with the installed base and new networks.

Finally bandwidth requirements differ across applications. Solutions ideally support scaling without performance loss, allowing the addition of multiple instances of an interface in one system-on-chip or the flexibility of I/Os to communicate with various physical layer devices.

All Programmable SoCs provide ideal device architecture: Programmable Logic (also known as FPGA fabric) for deterministic network frontends in hardware circuitry, resources for executing communication stacks in a softcore microcontroller, and Dual ARM® Cortex™ A9 application processors. Xilinx’ Zynq product lineups have devices with different sizes of Programmable Logic, so that scaling to multiple network interfaces without compromising performance is more practicable than with any other device technology. In addition, the Processing System of Xilinx Zynq comes with built-in peripherals for Gigabit Ethernet, memory controllers, CAN, USB, etc. This provides all functions for differentiating features on the same chip with high performance and strictly deterministic networks.

Leading innovation drivers provide the newest network technologies as IP Cores implemented in the Zynq Programmable Logic. This allows for almost immediate prototyping and fast time to market with the capability to remotely adapt to standards evolution even in products which are already in stock or even shipped to the end customer. HSR/PRP switching IP cores from Xilinx Alliance Partner SoC-e are evidence for this as they have innovative features, high performance, and suitability for a respectable number of applications in various market segments. These IP Cores have already been licensed to more than 30 companies worldwide.

Anatomy of the SoC-e HSR/PRP Switch for Zync

Figure 5: MicroZed Industry 4.0 Ethernet Kit
Figure 5: MicroZed Industry 4.0 Ethernet Kit

The SoC-e HSR/PRP Switch IP is implemented entirely in the Programmable Logic (PL) of a Zynq-7000 device. Figure 6 presents the block diagram of the design executed on Avnet’s Industry 4.0 Ethernet Kit (I4EK), based on their MicroZed™ System-on-Module (SOM) shown in Figure 5.

MicroZed SOMs are compact modules designed for prototype and quick integration into your end application, even within industrial temperature environments. Embedded processing with the Zynq Z-7010 or Z-7020 SoC integrates a Dual ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore processor subsystem (PS) with programmable logic (PL). MicroZed provides built-in peripherals like USB 2.0, Gigabit Ethernet, and DDR3 memory. A module like this forms a pre-built embedded processing and control system, allowing differentiated features and interfaces to be added as a custom carrier card.

In this system a VITA57 compliant daughter card (AES-FMC-ISMNET2-G) presents two 10/100 Mb/s Ethernet interfaces and a variety of other industrial-type connections. The MicroZed FMC Carrier provides power to the MicroZed SOM, connection to the FMC card, and expansion Pmod™ I/O headers.

The SoC-e Switch IP uses the Zynq PL to host the 1588-aware HSR/PRP Switch (HPS) and the Precise Time Basic (PTB) IP. HPS in this design is configured with three Fast Ethernet ports. Port A and Port B are the external connections. The remaining port internally links the Zynq PL-based switch to one of the Zynq PS GMAC peripherals. An external enterprise Ethernet port is also provided at Port C using the other Zynq PS GMAC peripheral. The PTB module is in charge of time stamping and sniffing IEEE 1588v2 traffic. Additionally, this IP embeds a 64 bit IEEE 1588v2 synchronized timer. Finally, the design also includes connections to a Zynq PS UART for testing purposes and to provide simple means to interact with the demo.

Figure 6: HSR/PRP/PTP/ Implementation on MicroZed I4EK
Figure 6: HSR/PRP/PTP/ Implementation on MicroZed I4EK
 
Figure 7: SoC-e HSR/PRP Network Surveillance Tool
Figure 7: SoC-e HSR/PRP Network Surveillance Tool

In order to evaluate the IP on the MicroZed I4EK platform, SoC-e provides Linux-based applications for configuration and network visualization. From the software point of view, the demo boots Linux from an SD card located on the MicroZed SOM. An HTML5 RESTAPI runs under Linux and provides a user-friendly interface to configure the switch, monitor the network, and remotely update firmware (see Figure 7). A PTP Software stack runs an IEEE 1588v2 Ordinary Clock functionality on the nodes.

While useful for evaluation and development, this software is in no way required to operate the HSR/PRP network. The 3-port Ethernet HSR/PRP switch executes autonomously in the Zynq PL and therefore does not require any software to provide HSR/PRP networking. Similarly the IEEE 1588v2 P2P Transparent Clock operation is autonomously performed by the dedicated IP in the Zynq PL.

 

Getting Started

Getting started with an HSR/PRP demonstration on the MicroZed I4EK is easy. Simply download the boot file, copy it to the provided SD card, and boot the system. To start designing with the IP an example Xilinx Vivado™ project is provided after signing a license agreement.

When you are ready to move your design from prototype to production, MicroZed SOM was built for end-product deployment and may be purchased in volume. The MicroZed portfolio includes versions rated for industrial temperature ranges.

SoC-e IP cores support flexible licensing schemes, from royalties to site source code. These modules are fully configurable by VHDL generics, in order to provide optimized solutions from a simple Fast Ethernet 3 Port Switch up to multi-port complex GbE switching matrixes combining different network protocols. SoC-e also offers custom modification and dedicated engineering support team.

More Information

 

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The Internet of Things at Cruising Altitude: Airlines and the IoT
March 10, 2017
What are your thoughts when you step onto an airplane? “Where’s my seat?” “Is this a Wi-Fi flight?” “I hope I make my connection.”
shiping yard vehicles, airplan with IoT icons overlay
How the IoT will Change the Supply Chain?
March 10, 2017
The potential applications of Internet of Things (IoT) technology across any industry or sector are vast. Existing and future IoT applications promise new ways of value creation and revenue streams for businesses in a digital world.
bee polinating a puple flower field
What’s All The Buzz About? Bees And Smart Map Technology
March 8, 2017
You’ve heard about the problems with the bees, right? Their population numbers are dwindling and that’s not good news.
two racks of hanging clothing
The Internet of Slacks? IoT and Smart Clothing
March 8, 2017
When you think of wearable technology you probably think about those fitness trackers that you wear on your wrist. What you probably don’t think about is your shirt, your pants or even your socks.
Using Programmable Logic to Build Power-Efficient Systems
March 8, 2017
The successful implementation of the Internet of Things (IoT) requires new thinking about how to power connected devices.
diagram of smartphone and connected devices
IoT Security: Real Problems and Solutions
By Guillaume Crinon   -   March 8, 2017
Learn about the real issues behind “IoT security,” and challenges for customers both from hardware and embedded / server software aspects.
key against a map of the world
Differentiated FPGAs Provide Security in Today’s Hyperconnected World
March 8, 2017
FPGAs offer the fastest way to integrate a specific design into a single device. See why an FPGA might be the perfect solution for your next project.
Yellow rainboots and gardening tools on flowerbed
The Internet of Things Has Thumbs – And They’re Green
March 8, 2017
It’s no surprise that technology, data and intelligent systems are transforming industrial agriculture.
man pointing to the word insurance
Risky Business: IoT’s Impact on Insurance
March 7, 2017
Risky Business: IoT’s Impact on Insurance By Steve Gereb August 25, 2016. I enjoy reading about how the data collected by Intelligent Systems will help people live better lives.
conceptual image of hand with legs and city background
Smart Cities: What To Look For In 2016 And Beyond
March 7, 2017
In a recent article in Government Technology, IDC research director Ruthbea Yesner Clarke discusses three trends emerging around the growing smart cities movement
woman on laptop with smart phone and smart watch
Will HaLow Open the Door for More Intelligent Systems?
March 7, 2017
Reporting on the recent announcement of the “long-awaited Wi-Fi HaLow standard for products incorporating IEEE 802.11ah wireless networking technology,” Jim Hunter of Tech Crunch explains why this new standard may pave the way for more connected
man holding tablet with chart image
Study: Digital Intelligence Driving Massive Business Transformation
March 7, 2017
The Internet of Things (IoT) is widely regarded as the next revolution in technology. Cisco predicts that by 2020, there will be 50 billion things connected to the Internet, generating revenues of $19 trillion.
bnr-one-click-manufacturing-could-It-really-be-that-easy
One-Click Manufacturing: Could It Really Be That Easy?
March 6, 2017
One click manufacturing (OCM) is a concept that arose from the 3D printing world: design a 3D model of a part ...
blue digital screen
LEDs: The Eyes and Ears of the Internet of Things
March 6, 2017
It may seem to be a stretch to assert that LEDs play a truly important role in the future of the Internet of Things. After all, by themselves, they’re just lights. However, with sensors tucked neatly inside and a bit of intelligence...
business man standing on small rowboat in the ocean
What To Do With All That Data
March 6, 2017
Just as important as the hardware and the data it collects in an Intelligent System are the tools we need to process and analyze information. Otherwise, an Intelligent System does nothing to serve our purposes.
blurry servers in a data center
Securing LED Networks in the Age of the Internet of Things
March 6, 2017
Recently, in Nuevo Arenal, a little sleepy village in the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica, a dozen criminals cut the lights to the town’s main street during the quiet 3 a.m. hour, and then injured...
graphic spelling out internet of things
Microsoft and GE Partnership to Make Industrial IoT More Accessible to Businesses
March 6, 2017
General Electric (GE) and Microsoft Corporation recently announced the beginning of a new alliance. The technology collaboration will make available GE’s Predix platform for Industrial Internet on the Microsoft Azure cloud for industrial businesses
beer taps in a row
Internet of Beer? Avnet Helps iKeg ‘Tap’ Into the Internet of Things
March 5, 2017
You might think that running out of beer is only a major concern if you are the “refreshment coordinator” for a college fraternity, but it turns out that beer inventory management is actually a pretty big deal for bar and restaurant owners these
cat and dog together on bed
Strange Bedfellows: Marketing and IT
March 5, 2017
The Internet of Things (IoT) is creating a special alliance between two business departments that aren’t always a natural fit: Marketing and IT.
military plane taking off
Defense/Aero Spinoffs Remain an Exceptional Source for Breakthrough Technology
March 5, 2017
Yes, automatic across the board cuts within the Department of Defense (DoD) will put the squeeze on many within the defense/aerospace supply chain.
hands with black gloves breaking into a laptop
Mitigating Cyber Attacks MCU Hardware Accelerators Boost
March 5, 2017
Over the years, cyber attacks on finacial institutions and news organizations have garnered the lion's share of attention...
conceptual image of IoT icons forming a cloud shape in a cloud server room
32-bit MCUs Penetrate IoT Ecosystem
March 3, 2017
While 8-bit and 16-bit MCUs are well suited for IoT end-node applications, the 32-bit MCU has a key function in the IoT pyramid: It provides the data throughput, reading sensors and sending real-time sensor data over an IP-based network.
hand navigating smart car dasboard
Automotive Electronics: Top 5 Tech Trends of Tomorrow’s Smart Cars
March 3, 2017
In the United States alone, motor vehicles travel well over four trillion miles each year according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.* To gain a sense of this distance, consider that while it takes light approximately eight minutes to travel
citi rooftops with conception IoT lights connected to one another
Antennas for RF Designs in the IoT
March 3, 2017
The physical connection for many IoT nodes leverages legacy wired networks found in homes, offices, schools, factories and other areas. As we become mobile, wireless physical connections are becoming the norm. Each wireless connection requires at lea
blue curcuit board close-up
Accelerating the Motor Control revolution Using New MCU and FPGA Solutions
March 2, 2017
Motors provide the muscle for electronic controls to interact with the physical world. Whether in transportation, process control, robotics, appliances or even just opening a garage door, motors are the primary movers in our connected and controlled
man touchign IoT wireless icons
Going Up? Elevators, Windows 10 And The Internet Of Things
March 2, 2017
People are excited about the Internet of Things for a variety of reasons. It’s already made us more connected. And as more and more things are connected, a number of industries are poised to become faster, more efficient and more reliable.
a fridge, diswasher, and smart phone on counter saying,
Alarm Bells Ring for Unsecured Connected Devices
March 2, 2017
A hot topic at the annual Black Hat cybersecurity conference in Las Vegas this summer was the increasing risk companies are facing with the Internet of Things (IoT).
network icons over an abstract color background
A “Canned” Module/IC Solution Simplifies Wireless Implementation, but Potential Design-in Issues Remain
March 2, 2017
Incorporating wireless connectivity into a product is now a standard design requirement for Wi-Fi, IoT, and other applications.
Pigeons perched on the side of a building
London’s Pigeon Population Flocks to IoT
February 25, 2017
In one of the strangest, most innovative uses of Intelligent Systems we’ve seen so far, DigitasLbi Creative Director Pierre Dequesnoy came up with the idea of using pigeons equipped with sensor-loaded backpacks to analyze pollution in the UK’s ca
leaves, colorful blocks with letter designations, CFL lightbulb in shape of flower
Internet of Things: Low Power, Low Cost Connected Devices Fuel Demand for Microco
February 25, 2017
At the heart of the devices that make up the Internet of Things (IoT) are a variety of ultra low power microcontrollers (MCUs), sensor networks, systems-on-chip (SoC) and communications protocols such as ZigBee. These underlying technologies operate
cyber security chip on circuit board
IoT Proliferation Teeters on the Edge
By Alex Iuorio   -   February 6, 2017
Cybersecurity and the irony of what happened during U.S. President Barack Obama's January 12, 2015 speech to the Federal Trade Commission on the growing threat, during which he declared: “If we’re’re going to be connected, we’ve got to be pro
illustration of clouds with data storage symbols
The Internet of Things Pushes the Possibilities Offered by Big Data
January 29, 2017
The concept of the Internet of Things (IoT) encompasses things as tangible as a light switch, things as ethereal as a cloud, and all things in-between.
3D cityscape with IoT icons
Invest in the Future with IoT
January 20, 2017
You and I have known for a long time that connected devices are becoming pervasive throughout society, and it seems like the investment world is finally catching up.
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