Patent Number: 6,298,393

Title: Industrial control systems having input/output circuits with programmableinput/output characteristics

Abstract: A programmable analog I/O circuit for use in an industrial control systemhas a first mode of operation as an input circuit and a second mode ofoperation as an output circuit. In the first mode of operation, adevice-side I/O terminal is adapted for receiving an analog input statussignal from an analog input device. In the second mode of operation, thedevice-side I/O terminal is adapted for transmitting an analog outputcontrol signal to an analog output device. According to another aspect, aprogrammable I/O circuit that drives an output device in an industrialcontrol system comprises a plurality of configurable gain stages and aplurality of programmable isolating links. The plurality of programmableisolating links are coupled to the plurality of configurable gain stagesand are programmable to determine a series or parallel arrangement of theplurality of configurable gain stages. The output control signal producedby the parallel arrangement is a high current, low voltage output signalas compared to the output control signal produced by the seriesarrangement. According to another aspect, an integrated circuit fabricatedon a single semiconductor chip comprises an I/O interface, a control/logiccircuit, and a communication interface. The integrated circuit may beadvantageously used to provide a highly distributed industrial controlsystem in which control is distributed all the way to the device level.

Inventors: Hopsecger; Edward C. (Mentor, OH)


International Classification:

Expiration Date: 10/02/2013