LONDON, May 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Based on its recent analysis of the industrial communications processors market, Frost & Sullivan recognises HMS Industrial Networks with the 2013 Europe New Product Innovation Award. The company is commended for its highly innovative, flexible, easy-to-use and energy-efficient network processor – Anybus NP40 – which has the ability to support virtually all available industrial networks.
"Features such as an innovative design and high functionality, combined with the ability to support various industrial networks in a user-friendly and cost-effective manner, make these chips very attractive to diverse end users, such as equipment manufacturers who will have the possibility to offer universal communication interfaces to their customers," noted Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Emil Lazarski.
High performance and flexibility
As this novel solution is capable of providing almost zero delay between the networks and the host API, it brings numerous benefits for industrial customers, especially in the most demanding, high-end fieldbus and industrial Ethernet applications. This yields high performance and significant flexibility and consequently translates to faster ROI.
To meet HMS Industrial Network's goal of designing an interchangeable and highly flexible solution that would be used to facilitate customers' work and reduce development efforts, the Anybus NP40 incorporates the industrially proven ARM® Cortex™-M3.
"Apart from the high-performance processor, researchers have included a field-programmable gate array (FPGA) fabric," added Lazarski. "It is built in the chip in order to enable real-time interfaces when the ARM Cortex is used for running the protocol and application stacks."
One chip, many networks
The NP40 chip is Flash-based and, therefore, has the ability to adapt to various industrial Ethernet networks with the use of special firmware. In order to support a specific type of network, the only requirement is to download firmware.
Therefore, the entire process is simple and intuitive. Moreover, in order to ensure unrivaled functionality, the hardware network controllers, as well as protocol stacks, have been optimised.
Another key advantage of the Anybus NP40, compared to competing solutions, is its very low-energy consumption. This is extremely important for modern companies that want to become greener and meet increasingly demanding environmental regulations.
"In addition, compared to competing alternatives, all solutions based on the NP40 can gain from having a highly integrated design and being more compact," remarked Lazarski. "This is beneficial for customers because they can easily integrate HMS Industrial Networks' solution into their final product with a minimal physical footprint."
As customers have different needs in terms of level of integration of their solutions, HMS Industrial Networks offers products in three formats within the Anybus CompatCom™ product family: a single chip option for customers who want to build their own solutions, a "brick" option for customers who want to use the network card, but want to use own network connections, and a complete and interchangeable module with all functionalities. All of these are fully compatible with each other.
"From the customer's perspective, this means faster ROI because instead of adapting a developed solution to the commercially available product, it is possible to use one of the options that are adjusted to specific client needs, reducing expenses," stated Lazarski. "This, in turn, translates into a competitive gain for the customer."
Ready for the future
'Future included' is another significant benefit offered to customers. Through this, HMS Industrial Networks assumes responsibility for maintenance, updates, and adding new network capabilities as they are developed and included in different network specifications. Hence, the technology is further developed by HMS Industrial Networks, offering considerable advantages for the customer.
This award is presented to the company that has excelled in developing an innovative product that leverages leading edge technologies and offers significant value added features/benefits. The product is also acknowledged for its potential for increased customer ROI and customer acquisition/penetration.
Frost & Sullivan Best Practices awards recognise companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research to identify best practices in the industry.
About HMS Industrial Networks AB
HMS Industrial Networks is the leading independent supplier of products for industrial communication including remote management. HMS develops and manufactures solutions for connecting automation devices and systems to industrial networks under the Netbiter, Anybus and IXXAT brands.
Development and manufacturing take place at the headquarters in Halmstad, Sweden and in Weingarten, Germany. Local sales and support are handled by branch offices in China, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, UK, and USA. HMS employs over 350 people and reported sales of 58 million EUR in 2012. HMS is listed on the NASDAQ OMX in Stockholm.
Christan Bergdahl, Product Marketing Manager
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