congatec introduces an embedded real-time hypervisor computing platform

  congatec Introduces Integrated Real-Time Hypervisor Computing Platform

9. May 2018 Congatec – A Provider of Standardized and Custom Embedded Computer Boards and Modules – Introduces a Virtualized Embedded Computing Platform for PLC and UI Prior to Hardware Consolidation. The demo platform with a hexapod robot playing a piano is based on congatec's standard embedded hardware platform; Hypervisor technology from Real-Time Systems (RTS); IEC 61131-3-compliant CODESYS SoftPLC runs on real-time VxWorks OS; and a virtualized GUI based on Microsoft Windows 10. Using standard building blocks, the logic of the platform includes everything needed to control motion systems in a modular and cross-platform format. The demo controller of the platform connects to the three servo motors of the Hexapod and is programmed to press piano keys. The graphical user interface (GUI) is powered by Microsoft Windows and is similar to a jukebox to select the music to be played by the robot. To demonstrate the independence of the Microsoft Windows real-time operating system running in parallel, the GUI can be restarted while the robot continues to play the piano. This demonstration will be presented at the IoT / M2M Expo Japan.

The basic building blocks of the platform have been validated for collaboration. Congatec's acquisition of the hypervisor provider RTS contributes to this optimized interaction between hardware and hypervisor.

The underlying hardware platform builds on congatec computer-on-modules and real-time real-time hypervisor. In a quad-core configuration with Intel Xeon E3-1505M V6 (4 x 3.0 / 4.0 GHz, 8MB cache), the platform supports up to 8 threads for parallel control of up to 8 real-time axis drives or includes Smart Vision and deep learning support. The design is based on the COM Express Type 6 computer-on-modules from conga-TS175. The modules are mounted on a conga IT6 carrier board. Users of this Mini-ITX based Computer-on-Modules backplane can scale their applications as needed to all relevant generations of processors and manufacturers.

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Hardware enabled in real-time hypervisor can be customized to any required communication logic in a project. This includes several hardware interfaces, i. H. Ethercat, MelsecNet and FINS, or CC-Link, CANopen, DeviceNet, and RS-232, as well as all other open Industrial Ethernet and Fieldbus standards. A 60-day license version of the Real-Time Hypervisor is available on request.

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