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Corona reference design simplifies isolated digital inputs

04 Sep 2013  | Steve Taranovich

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Maxim Integrated recently debuted the Corona (MAXREFDES12#) reference design, providing designers with a way to reduce power, system cost, and size programmable logic controller (PLC) digital-input sub-systems. The design reduces isolated channels and leverages analogue integration for industrial control and automation applications.

One method of reducing the size of I/O solutions in PLCs is to reduce the number of digital channels that need to be isolated. Integrating three Maxim products including a transformer driver, the Corona design reduces isolated channels and eliminates the need for power-hungry optocouplers and discrete parts. These savings reduce power by 16 per cent, solution size by 38 per cent, and cost by 23 per cent. The devices used in Corona are designed specifically for harsh industrial environments with operating temperature ranges from -40°C to 125°C, so they are ideal for use in PLCs and other automation applications.

Corona's integrated products include the MAX31911, an industrial, octal, digital input translator/serialiser that delivers best-in-class power consumption and reduces component count on the board and the MAX14850, a 6-channel digital isolator that enables low power consumption and stable high-temperature performance; UL1577, CSA, IEC 60747-5-2 safety certified. Also included is the MAX13256, a 36V H-bridge transformer driver that simplifies isolated power designs.

block diagram

Figure 1: Corona sub-system design block diagram.

The following picture illustrates a test case for system operation on the ZedBoard platform. A 24V DC supply is applied on the TP3 and TP4 input power connectors. 24V is applied on channel 2 and channel 8 of the digital inputs. All other digital inputs are grounded. The OLED shows the register value as 0x8218. The LD7 (corresponding to input channel 8) and LD1 (corresponding to input channel 2) LEDs are lit up.

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