Renesas Releases ASi-5-Implemented Silicon Transceiver for Industrial Network Equipment

November 22, 2019 by Cabe Atwell

Renesas claims that the new ASI4U-V5 ASSP transceiver is the industry's first solution to implement the ASi-5 standard.

Renesas has unveiled its new ASI4U-V5 ASSP (Application Specified Standard Product) silicon transceiver that implements the ASi-5 standard (managed by AS-International), which is designed for Industry 4.0 applications.



ASI4U-V5. Image from Renesas

These applications may include smart sensors, actuators, and networked industrial automation devices.


What is the ASi-5 Standard?

The ASi-5 (Actuator Sensor Interface) standard is an industrial networking solution used with PLC, DCS, and PC-based automation platforms. It’s used for connecting I/O devices in manufacturing and process applications.


The ASI4U-5 ASSP is backwards compatible

The ASI4U-5 ASSP is backward compatible with ASi-3 devices and offers protection against electromagnetic interference. Image from Renesas


The ASi-5 standard offers a cyclic transmission of 16-bits with up to 32-bytes per participant and up to 256-bytes for each connected device. According to Renesas, “ASi-5 offers superior performance and usability over ASi-3, delivering 1.27 ms cycle time, 200m cable length and 96 slaves per segment.

The field-proven ASSP delivers an easy-to-use fieldbus integration option for developers working with sensors, actuators, and other industrial equipment requiring easy and cost-efficient Fieldbus connectivity.”

ASi-5 also allows for backward compatibility with devices that use the previous iteration.


Notable Features of the ASSP Transceiver

Renesas states that the new ASSP transceiver utilizes OFDM (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing), which is a signal modulation method of digital data encoding on multiple carrier frequencies.

It’s widely used in wideband digital communications, including DSL internet, 4G, wireless networks, digital television, and audio. It also features high spectral efficiency, offers protection against ISI (Intersymbol Interference), and adapts to severe channel conditions.


The new transceiver is compliant to the ASi version 5 standard and version 3 standard.

The new transceiver is compliant to the ASi version 5 standard and the version 3 standard. Image from Renesas

Beyond OFDM, the ASI4U-5 ASSP is outfitted with verified firmware that doesn’t require any additional programming from engineers, which also helps to mitigate any design risks. The ASSP supports all topologies, including line, star, and tree, and can also be integrated into other industrial protocols such as HART and IO-Link. 

The ASI4U-5 is offered in 64-pin QFN (Quad-Flat No-Leads) package with a 9mm x 9mm and a 0.5mm pitch. It uses under half of a watt of power in typical applications and operates in a temperature range from -40°C to +85°C, making it useful in any industrial setting. 



Niels Trapp, Renesas' senior director of the industrial automation business division, stated:

“As the digital transformation wave sweeps across industrial factories and production facilities, the ASi-5 interface constitutes the shuttle into digitization for millions of connected industrial endpoints and devices at the edge... We are excited to bring the first ASi-5 silicon solution to market and enable faster transmission of larger data quantities and more efficient integration with smart sensors that are becoming an integral part of the Industrial IoT." 

Renesas’ ASI4U-5 ASSP transceiver adds to the company’s portfolio of existing hardware designed for industrial automation applications, which include the RZ/N MPU and R-IN32M line of network processors, along with the TPS-1 Profibus chipset and IDT’s ASI4U and SAP5 devices that use the ASi-3 standard.