Dialog Semiconductor’s IO-Link ICs Bring Connectivity to IIoT Sensors and Actuators

February 26, 2020 by Robin Mitchell

Dialog Semiconductor's latest IO-Link IC integrates advanced circuit protection and low power dissipation into a 3 mm x 3 mm package.

Dialog Semiconductor has announced the release of their latest IO-Link IC, the CCE4503. This device, which is small enough to integrate into almost any industrial sensor or actuator, includes advanced circuit protection and low power dissipation.


Dialog Semiconductor ASIC chips

Dialog Semiconductor claims to offer ASIC designs that will make way for Industry 4.0. Image used courtesy of Dialog Semiconductor

Significantly, the company has highlighted that this new IC can be used as a drop-in replacement for Texas Instruments' TIOL111 devices.


What is the IO-Link IC Solving?

With large, bulky actuators, designers can easily add sensors and increase connectivity since size is not an issue. But when a designer needs to consider connectivity for small actuators and existing sensors, they may be faced with a few problems.

The first issue when integrating connectivity into small sensors and actuators is the physical space available to mount an external PCB with all needed components, including communication and circuit protection. The second issue is finding an IC small enough that supports an industrial communication protocol that can be easily integrated into the existing industrial network.


Introducing the New IO-Link Transceiver

To solve these issues, Dialog Semiconductor has announced the CCE4503 IO-Link IC.



The CCE4503. Image used courtesy of Dialog Semiconductor

This IC complements the already existing IO-Link range of devices that uses the IO-Link communication protocol, which is a global standard designed for automation.


IO-Link Compliance

The CCE4503 is a fully IO-Link compliant PHY with integrated LDO and IO-Link wake-up capability. It features a three-wire IO-Link interface that is protected against misconnection and reversed polarity. 

Since the CCE4503 uses the IO-Link protocol, it can quickly connect devices to pre-existing network infrastructure. Using the IO-Link protocol system then allows for multiple device platforms to access information, including computers, tablets, and phones. 


Protection Circuitry

Dialog has explained that the device is self-protected against overheating and over- and under- voltages. It also contains an advanced ESD clamp for high ESD performance, including transient burst and surge protection, making it suitable for industrial environments. 

Because of the fully dielectric isolated SOI process technology, the device significantly decreases quiescent current consumption and leakage currents.

Dialog has expressed that the chip's design was positively influenced by the company's acquisition of Creative Chips. It's also the first official product from Dialog’s Industrial Mixed Signal business unit.


Miniscule Package

Dialog Semiconductor’s existing IO-Link product family, including CCE4510 and CCE4502, offers features like integrated frame handlers and advanced power management; these devices have higher pin count and larger package sizes, though. The CC4503, by contrast, is housed in a 3 mm x 3 mm DFN package while still offering the necessary features for IO-Link-compliant communication.


CCE4510 (left) and CCE4502 (right).

Other members of Dialog Semiconductor's IO-Link IC family: CCE4510 (left) and CCE4502 (right). Image (modified) used courtesy of Dialog Semiconductor

The CCE4503 solves typical problems found when integrating connectivity into pre-existing equipment.

"Industrial sensors and actuators are integrating more functionality in smaller form factors with greater demands for cloud connectivity," explains Dialog's VP of the Industrial Mixed-Signal Business Unit, Dr. Lutz Porombka.

The physical size of the CE4503 means that it can be mounted to very small PCBs. The inclusion of protection circuitry also means that designers can cut back on external components, further reducing PCB size.


The "Hardware Backbone of Industry 4.0"

Dialog has described IO-Link as "the hardware backbone of Industry 4.0." This new IC, when used for a range of IO-Link products, fortifies that backbone by better facilitating the data communication between sensors, actuators, and the PLC domain of an industry 4.0 system architecture. 

Dr. Lutz Porombka asserts, "The CCE4503 and its optimized feature set is the result of customer-driven demand for a smaller, more cost-efficient IO-Link solution that enables the next generation of Industry 4.0 devices.” 



Do you see IO-Link as the essential link for Industry 4.0? Share your thoughts in the comments below.