STMicroelectronics has introduced a new transceiver, L6364, which provides additional flexibility for IO-Link connections. The L6364 features dual communication channels that allow configurable output doubling for extra drive strength, in addition to a DC/DC converter and dual-mode UART.

The L6364 supports IO-Link at COM2 (38.4 kbaud) and COM3 (230.4 kbaud) modes, as well as standard Single-Input/Output (SIO) communication. The dual outputs, comprising an IO-Link CQ pin and standard DIO pin, each have surge-pulse and reverse-polarity protection. The maximum drive strength is programmable up to 250mA and the two channels can be paralleled to supply up to 500mA.

An SPI port connects the L6364 to the host microcontroller (MCU), with an additional interrupt pin for diagnostic reporting. Sensor data can be exchanged with the MCU through the UART or by using single-byte or multi-byte (SPI) modes. The integrated UART, which supports IO-Link message sequencing (M-Sequencing), can be programmed to operate in IO-Link or standard Single-Input/Output (SIO) mode and allows unlimited M-Sequence size in single-octet IO-Link. An internal data buffer supports up to 15 octets.

In normal operation the L6364 is configured by the MCU via the SPI interface at start-up. It starts operating in SIO-device mode, driving the output lines as configured by the MCU. If the device is connected to an IO-Link master, the master can initiate IO-Link communication by a wake-up request.

The highly integrated transceiver contains a DC/DC buck converter with programmable output voltage. There are also 3.3V and 5V low-dropout regulators (LDOs) with 50mA output current. The LDOs can be powered from the external supply voltage, or from the DC/DC converter, and are connected to external pins to supply the MCU and sensors.

The design of the L6364 emphasizes flexibility and ease of use, including a wide operating-voltage range from 5V to 35V. There are also flexible protection features, with configurable thresholds for thermal-shutdown, UVLO (Under-Voltage Lock Out), and under-voltage, overvoltage, and overload detection. Short circuit, and ground and Vcc disconnection, are also provided. In addition, the transceiver reports extended diagnostics to the MCU through the Interrupt pin, including wake-up recognition, short-circuit, under-voltage, and 7-bit calibrated temperature-sensor reading that indicates when the programmed threshold has been exceeded.

The L6364 is in production now and available in a 4mm x 4mm QFN-20L for $2.26 in quantities of 1000 units. A 2.5mm x 2.5mm 19-bump wafer-level chip-scale package will be available by the end of 2020.

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