Industry 4.01 marks the fourth industrial revolution, characterized by distributed, intelligent control systems. Breaking from a past with large, centralized programmable-logic controllers, Industry 4.0 allows for highly configurable, highly modular factories, which accept an ever increasing number of sensor inputs, while operating at a higher output than ever before. The ultra-small PLC, or MicroPLC, lies at the heart of the Industry 4.0 factory, providing high performance with ultra-low power consumption, in an ultra-small package. MAXREFDES63# is Maxim Integrated’s Micro PLC octal-channel, digital output card.
The MAXREFDES63# reference design (Figure 1) features eight-channel digital outputs with isolated power and data. The design integrates a 600VRMS data isolation (MAX14850); a STM32F1 microcontroller; a FTDI USB-UART bridge; a high-efficiency DC-DC converter (MAX17515); and isolated/regulated +22V, and +5V power rails (MAX17498C). The entire system typically operates at less than 400mW and fits into a space roughly the size of a credit card.