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  New ASIC Offered For FOUNDATION™ H1 Devices

Unified Fieldbus Controller provides alternative single-chip solution for device developers

February 22, 2007 — The Fieldbus Foundation, conducting its 2007 General Assembly in Houston, Texas, today announced the availability of a new fieldbus ASIC for device developers incorporating FOUNDATION™ H1 (31.25 kbit/s) technology in their field devices and controllers. Developed jointly by Softing and Aniotek Inc., the UFC100-F1 (Unified Fieldbus Controller) is a fully pin- and software-compatible alternative to the Yamaha YTZ420 (“FIND1+”) chip.

Conformance, interoperability and physical layer tests were performed to verify that the UFC100-F1 is a direct replacement for the YTZ420 ASIC. The advantages of the new chip include, but are not limited to, improved jitter tolerance and a larger first-in/first-out (FIFO) memory—resulting in fewer interruptions to the field device processor.

According to Dr. Wolfgang Trier, chairman of Softing’s management board, automation equipment suppliers no longer have to rely on the FIND1+ ASIC as the only non-proprietary, single-chip solution for FOUNDATION device development. “In our opinion, the lack of alternative controller products was a liability for fieldbus device developers and a threat to the technology itself,” said Dr. Trier. “Should the FIND1+ chip become unavailable, instrument suppliers using non-proprietary components would be faced with redesigning many of their fieldbus devices. For this reason, we decided to come up with a solution that is fully compatible with the current ASIC configuration.”

The Fieldbus Foundation’s manager-fieldbus products, Stephen Mitschke, welcomed the development of the UFC100-F1 chip. “Clearly, the introduction of this versatile, cost-effective ASIC will benefit the global fieldbus developer community,” said Mitschke. “Instrumentation designers now have access to a choice of fieldbus ASICs with many desirable performance characteristics. This will ensure continued innovation by device developers without the concern of product obsolescence.”

The UFC100-FI chip is compliant with the IEC 61158-2 Physical Layer standard at 31.25 kbit/s, as well as the IEC 61158-4 Data Link Layer standard. It features integrated digital filter circuits providing a significantly better noise immunity when compared to the existing ASIC solution. The chip’s low power consumption and wide operating temperature range make it ideally suited for use in bus-powered H1 devices. Plus, the progressive design of the controller offers additional functionality for firmware engineers to significantly enhance future products.

For more details, please visit: http://www.softing.com/ or http://www.aniotek.com.

  About Softing

In industrial automation, Softing is a specialist for fieldbus technology and has established itself as a competent partner for networking automation systems and control solutions. In fieldbus technology, Softing is an expert for FOUNDATION fieldbus, PROFIBUS, and CAN/CANopen/DeviceNet. The company’s wide range of expertise also includes solutions for OPC, FDT and Real-Time-Ethernet Systems such as e.g. PROFINET IO, EtherNet/IP, and Modbus.

Softing provides customers with solutions to connect devices, controls and systems with the leading communication systems. It also provides the means to implement diagnostics, from protocol software and processor solutions, to PC interface boards and gateways, as a mediator between fieldbus systems and Ethernet. Learn more at www.softing.com.

  About Aniotek

Aniotek Inc. is a privately held company that specializes in fieldbus technology. It develops and enhances ASICs and other fieldbus-specific components that are used in I/O devices, controllers, linking devices and host interfaces. Aniotek also provides technical support to help customers develop their own product using its fieldbus components. For more information, go to www.aniotek.com.

  About the Fieldbus Foundation™

The Fieldbus Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation consisting of over 350 leading process and manufacturing automation companies worldwide whose major purpose is to provide an open and neutral environment for the development of a single, international, interoperable fieldbus. In this environment, end users, manufacturers, universities and research organizations are working together to develop the technology, provide development tools, support and training, coordinate field trials and demonstrations, and enable product interoperability. Visit their web site at www.fieldbus.org.