Encoder interface for CompactRIO enables access to position data

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Encoder interface for CompactRIO enables access to position dataS.E.A. Datentechnik, a long-term Alliance Partner of National Instruments (NI), is presenting the SEA 9521 BiSS interface module for the NI CompactRIO platform at this year’s Embedded World. The interface module allows developers of control and test systems to link position encoders directly to CompactRIO measurement devices. This opens up new applications in plant engineering and creates opportunities for implementing more efficient and leaner approaches in instrumentation and control systems.

Many drive systems and position control loops require data exchange with high transmission rates from encoders. To meet this need, the open BiSS standard provides a high-performance interface for bi-directional communication between control systems and digital sensors. The SEA 9521 BiSS interface module supports BiSS clock rates up to 8MHz and allows position data from rotary encoders and linear position systems to be transmitted with high precision and resolution, even as absolute values. This gives control units direct access to position data, eliminating the need for complicated data processing, such as homing or synchronisation pulse mechanisms.

The SEA 9521 BiSS interface module has three parallel ports for connection of position encoders using industry-standard M12 connectors. These ports also provide an isolated and regulated 5V supply for sensors. Integrated field-programmable gate array (FPGA) technology ensures precise timing and enables reliable synchronous handling of three-axis communication.

Using the BiSS-C protocol this interface module also enables the continuous transmission of sensor data, such as temperature or sensor type. Thanks to the hardware compatibility of the BiSS standard with the Synchronous Serial Interface (SSI) standard, users can also operate the module in SSI mode with suitable position encoders if desired.

The new SEA 9521 BiSS interface module is the latest member of S.E.A.’s portfolio of plug-in modules for NI’s CompactRio platform, which includes products for geopositioning, mobile telecommunication and wireless technology, as well as interface modules that extend all NI CompactRIO reconfigurable embedded control and data acquisition systems. Software integration within the CompactRIO system is implemented using convenient functional nodes in the NI LabVIEW FPGA development environment. Matching software drivers are available for LabVIEW 2011 and later versions.

To find out more, visit NI at Hall 4, Stand 4-422, Embedded World, Nuremberg, 26–28 February 2013, or go to the S.E.A. website at

15 February 2013

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