Renesas Electronics, a supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, has announced its plan to establish the R-IN Consortium, aimed at providing global support for the development of industrial equipment incorporating industrial Internet communication functionality, including manufacturing equipment, security cameras, and robots. R-IN is a development platform based on multi-protocol communication chips incorporating the R-IN engine, which combines high-speed, real-time performance and low power consumption, and interfaces supporting a variety of industrial Ethernet communication standards, such as EtherCAT, CC-Link IE, EtherNet/IP, and PROFINET. The R-IN platform also includes protocol stacks and evaluation kits.

Starting today, the new consortium is seeking corporate partners willing to supply software, OSes, development environments, system integration services, etc., and plans to commence official activities in April 2015.

The new R-IN consortium will provide members with the latest information about Renesas, encourage members to share information on trends in the industrial market among themselves, and make available examples of industrial solutions on the R-IN Consortium website, to be launched soon by Renesas. By engaging actively in information dissemination on a global scale, the consortium will serve as a venue for generating collaboration between Renesas and its partners.

System designers will be able to utilise the website as a one-stop source of essential information and consulting support, and this will help them to reduce the time required to develop industrial equipment.

Industrial Ethernet communication technology refers to networking technology intended to make smart factories more efficient. Many different communication protocols have become standardised in the industrial Internet market, and system designers of industrial equipment wishing to implement the various protocols demanded by the market, or wishing to implement multiple protocols in the same piece of equipment, are faced with the problem of increased development time and man-hours.

To address these issues, Renesas introduced the R-IN32M3 industrial network controller ICs in April 2013, supporting multiple protocols on a single chip. In addition, starting in June 2014, Renesas has been introducing a variety of Internet communication protocol stacks to expand the development platform.

The decision to establish the R-IN Consortium was prompted by recognition of the importance of the “fourth industrial revolution,” exemplified by worldwide technology trends such as the Internet of Things (IOT) and Machine to Machine (M2M), and shows Renesas’ intention to be an active participant in this area.