Toshiba Launches Latest Opto-Isolator for PLC and Industrial Environments
Toshiba recently released the TLP2363, a high-speed logic-level output photocoupler for specific digital inputs used often with PLCs and other control technology.
Opto-isolators vary in speed, size, and operating voltage, and choosing the right type is essential. Why is Toshiba's new TLP2363 important and how does it affect automation?
Importance of Isolation in Industrial Environments
Most industrial processes are controlled by PLCs, which consist of a CPU, memory, I/O controllers, and other logical components. As a result, PLCs like any other logic-based circuit will be particularly vulnerable to voltage spikes commonly found from ESD, switching circuits, and sensor noise.
To protect against such problems, PLCs (or their I/O controllers) incorporating isolation circuits allows digital information to be transferred between two circuits while keeping them electrically isolated. This means that any sudden electrical surges on one side of an isolator cannot conduct to the receiving circuit.
While there are multiple methods for isolation, the most common type is the opto-isolator.
An opto-isolator is a device that consists of an LED and a phototransistor whereby a noisy circuit turns the LED on and off to transmit digital data. The phototransistor is used by the receiving circuit to read the digital data emitted in the form of light by the LED.
Meet the TLP2363
Toshiba recently announced its latest device, the (PDF) TLP2363, an opto-isolator using an inverting logic circuit (open collector) and housed in an SO6 package. It has a wide supply voltage range of 2.7 V to 5.5 V, making it ideal for both 3.3 V and 5 V logic. It also has a maximum input threshold current of 2.4 mA.
The TLP2363 opto-isolator. Image used courtesy of Toshiba
Two features that make the TLP2363 stand out from other isolators are the inbuilt faraday cage and its high-speed capability. The inbuilt faraday cage allows the TLP2363 to be immune to common-mode transients of up to ±20 kV/µs while also having an isolation voltage of 3750 Vrms.
The TLP2363 is capable of operating at data rates of 10 Mbps and the TLP2363 operates over a temperature of -40°C to +105°C. The TLP2363 is compliant with multiple safety standards including UL, cUL, VDE, and CQC and adheres to the IEC 61131-2 Type 1 specification.
Packaging and pin assignment of the TLP2363. Image used courtesy of (PDF) Toshiba
Opto-isolators and Industrial Automation
Automated designs are becoming more advanced with the integration of sensors and AI, which puts pressure on designers to create data links with higher data rates. Since industrial environments are especially noisy and dangerous for logic circuits, the use of opto-isolators cannot be understated.
Therefore, devices such as the TLP2363 will most likely play a critical role in next-generation industrial systems where sensors can be communicated in real-time while providing protection to sensitive circuitry.
What is your experience with opto-isolators? Let us know in the comments below.