Industrial Controllers Focus on Performance

By Al Presher – Current application targets include high performance, vision-guided motion control, and/or smart machine applications where there is a need to combine motion control systems with vision, remote I/O, and human machine interfaces (HMIs). Integrating machine condition monitoring is another function, where there is significant work being done to develop effective solutions.

Along with processing power of the main CPU, a FPGA (field programmable gate array) can be used as a co-processor for all types of digital data. This includes implementing custom digital I/O on the FPGA, or an ability to do custom processing for decoding an encoder on a production line, for example.

But Eric Jalufka, product manager – vision at National Instruments, said that where the technology is highly effective is its ability to do co-processing of visual data such as applications for cameras and related equipment.

The CPU and the FPGA can be used together with a strategy of offloading processing intensive tasks to the FPGA. more>

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