Advantech

Assisting Advantech to innovate smart Industrial IoT edge devices

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In image, from left: Ben Tsai and Chris Lin from IAR Systems, & Adam Lin and Konami Lin from Advantech.

The rapid development of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) has led to a substantial growth in the demand for smart edge devices. Because of its ability to perform calculations on the device side, it can play the role of an intelligent network node in an IoT application, to meet the needs of environmental monitoring and make application configurations easier and faster.

Advantech is a global leader in the IoT intelligent system and embedded platform industry, and has been a customer of IAR Systems for more than 16 years.

In the design and manufacturing of its data acquisition I/O modules, Advantech has been looking for compiler vendor for IoT solutions. When Advantech developed 8051 MCUs in the early years, they chose IAR Embedded Workbench because of its excellent functions. Since IAR Embedded Workbench supports a variety of MCUs, Advantech could continue to innovate using IAR Embedded Workbench when they switched to Arm-based MCUs.

After a long and careful evaluation, we finally chose IAR Embedded Workbench for two reasons. First, its support for mainstream MCUs is quite extensive. The example projects are also very complete. No matter which manufacturer’s MCU we choose, IAR Systems is able to provide support, which makes our team’s future product development planning more flexible. Secondly, IAR Systems’ products are very stable. The products developed by Advantech are industrial-grade products, and after strict control, the most stable development tools are needed to maintain quality. This is an advantage that no other development tools supplier can provide.

- Adam Lin, senior R&D manager of Advantech's Industrial Internet of Things business group, Advantech

At the beginning of development, Advantech also tried free compiler software, but found out that it often caused misjudgment of coding problems, which caused many project time delays and product development problems. Today, IAR Embedded Workbench is the Advantech's development team’s unified benchmark when selecting compiler software.

- Adam Lin continued.

Developing latest remote edge devices with IAR Systems tools

When Advantech began to develop its latest intelligent remote I/O device, ADAM-6300, it also achieved industry innovations through the use of IAR Systems tools.

Advantech ADAM-6300 series is an innovative OPC UA Ethernet I/O module with Modbus protocol, linking to SCADA and the cloud without need for gateways. OPC UA, short for Open Platform Communications Unified Architecture, is an open standard that ADAM-6300 series supports that enables interoperable and cross-vendor collaboration of machines in production and makes communication between machines and systems possible. I/O data can either be processed through Modbus to legacy Operational Technology (OT) systems, or be integrated in SCADA and the cloud via OPC UA.

ADAM-6300 can be widely used in equipment and robot condition monitoring, as well as in combination with Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) and Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) systems in factories.

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ADAM-6300 can be said to be a masterpiece of the Advantech brand. It has achieved many breakthroughs in application functions. It can implement programs that originally need to run on a PC rather on an embedded platform. This can only be developed and realized through the use of IAR Embedded Workbench.

- Adam Lin, senior R&D manager of Advantech's Industrial Internet of Things business group

Excellent compiler performance and wide range of debug features made ADAM-6300 development efficient

The firmware of ADAM-6300 is relatively large. Advantech compared the performance of other solutions, but found out that the performance of IAR Embedded Workbench compiler technology is quite excellent. It can not only compile four execution sequences at the same time, but in terms of speed, the general compilation may take one hour and 15 minutes. With IAR Embedded Workbench, it only took 15 minutes, which means that Advantech’s R&D efficiency could be increased by 5 times.

When it comes to complex product development environments and the C++ programming language support IAR Embedded Workbench also provided the most complete syntax support for it, according to Advantech.

In addition, the full range of debugging features in IAR Embedded Workbench, which can quickly find problems with code stacking, memory view, and stack overview, is frequently used by the Advantech development team. The developers can also use the de-assembly function to view how to modify the code to achieve less instruction calculations and complete the optimization requirements of reducing the program and increasing the speed.

IAR Embedded Workbench generates small codes to make the most out of the MCU memory capacity, and through this reduce the hardware costs. With pragma and macros, it can improve the program execution performance and reduce power at the same time, and the debugging function can make debugging more convenient. All these features have effectively shortened the product development cycle for Advantech.

Highly reliable solutions help to continue development of intelligent IIoT applications

The ADAM OPC UA and Fieldbus remote I/O data acquisition modules developed by Advantech are equipped with functionality that enables IoT. They are widely used in vertical applications, such as water and electricity, Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) station gates, nuclear power plant training classroom simulation, and power generation, stations and other hydroelectric power generation measures, power generation factors, heavy power control, smart power saving and smart factories. All with a focus on ensuring quality regardless of indoor or outdoor, and harsh environments.

IAR Systems Taiwan office was established in 2020.

 

Because industrial computers require high stability, Advantech is very pleased to use IAR Systems highly reliable solutions, which help us continue to pursue perfection in industrial computers and network security solutions, and achieve long-term mutual growth for both parties. Especially after the establishment of the Taiwan branch of IAR Systems, they have demonstrated highly efficient professional services. Regardless of any problems encountered during the development process, IAR Systems has provided fast and correct technical support, and even provided technical training for Advantech on a regular basis.

- Adam Lin, senior R&D manager of Advantech's Industrial Internet of Things business group

ADAM-6300 can be described as a pioneering work in the industry, but it wouldn’t been possible to achieve without IAR Systems. We hope that our stable connection with IAR Systems will continue for future growth and for promoting Taiwan's innovative technology to the world.

- Adam Lin, Senior R&D Manager of Advantech Industrial Internet of Things Business Group

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