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Rugged remote I/O module runs FreeRTOS on Cortex-M4

Jul 12, 2016 — by Eric Brown — 850 views

Artila’s “RIO-2015PG” remote I/O module runs FreeRTOS on an Atmel SAM4E16E Cortex M4 MCU, and offers isolated RS485 and analog and digital I/O.

Artila Electronics, which is known here primarily for its Linux-ready ARM9 Matrix control computers, has turned to a Cortex-M4 microcontroller platform running the open source FreeRTOS for its new RIO-2015PG remote I/O module. The programmable module, which follows an earlier FreeRTOS-based RIO-2010PG module with an NXP LPC1768 Cortex-M3 MCU, targets lightweight device networking and remote monitoring.

(click images to enlarge)

Like Artila’s Matrix computers, the RIO-2015PG taps an Atmel processor, but this time it’s a 120MHz, 32-bit Cortex-M4 SAM4E16E MCU equipped with 128KB RAM and 1MB flash. This is the highest-end model of Atmel’s SAM4E series, some of which have only half the flash and lesser I/O counts for interfaces such as CAN.

Atmel SAM4E block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

The RIO-2015PG module is further equipped with its own complement of 128KB SRAM, giving the device a total of 256KB RAM, as well as 2MB flash via SPI expansion, or 3MB flash total. Additional storage is available via a microSD slot.

The RIO-2015PG has a 10/100 Ethernet port with 1.5KV magnetic isolation, plus an RS232 port and an isolated RS-485 port. The device is further equipped with four opto-isolated digital inputs, four isolated analog inputs, and two isolated analog outputs. You also get a pair of relay outputs and a Maxim 1-Wire interface for temperature or humidity sensors, including an optional digital thermometer.

The device has a 9-48VDC power input and a 0 to 70°C temperature range. Options include a 100-240VAC to 12VDC, 1-amp power adapter and a console cable

The RIO-2015PG ships with a FreeRTOS board support package (BSP) with an open source, lightweight IwIP TCP/IP stack. You also get a “tiny” web server, BSD socket library support, a Windows configuration utility, and a device manager utility featuring device discovery, network configuration, user’s web page, and firmware upload, says Artila.

Example programs demonstrate serial and Ethernet data communication, web configuration, and I/O controls. One example program demonstrates how to push sensor data to the IBM Bluemix cloud platform using MQTT “for quick sensor to cloud application development,” says Artila. You can also download the Atmel Studio toolchain from Atmel’s web site.

Further information

The RIO-2015PG is available now at an undisclosed price. More information may be found at Artila’s RIO-2015PG product page.

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