LabVIEW® driver software enhances Digital Dynamics SuperIOr® Controller

SCOTTS VALLEY, CA, MAY 29, 2017 - Digital Dynamics, Inc. (DDI) has added LabVIEW drivers to the SuperIOr family of I/O (input/output) controllers. The addition has enabled customers to create a cost effective process control system for emerging new markets.  The drivers were developed by AltaStream, Inc., DDI’s marketing partner. AltaStream engineers are experts in industrial automation control software. DDI is a leader in the design and manufacture of I/O controllers used in major semiconductor processing tools.

LabVIEW (short for Laboratory Virtual Instrument Engineering Workbench) is a system-design platform developed by National Instruments™. LabVIEW’s graphical approach allows designers to build test and measurement programs by dragging and dropping virtual representations of lab equipment and other gear.

The SuperIOr Controller with LabVIEW can take the place of an expensive commercial host control system and allows engineers to make rapid changes to process and easily add measurement devices.

The SuperIOr Controller system consists of a Master Control Module (MCM) providing precise coordination with as many as 16 configurable Remote I/O Modules (RIMs) distributed throughout a tool (up to 250 linear feet from the MCM). The use of distributed RIMs drastically reduces the complexity of cables needed to communicate with and control sensors and actuators located around a tool. Signals are routed using CAT6 cables and standard interconnects with significant cost savings in both materials and labor.
The SuperIOr Controller can handle up to 1000 mixed-signal inputs and outputs, including sequences and data monitoring, at speeds up to 8 kHz. System safety integrity is ensured throughout with redundant configurable hardware interlocks.

The distributed RIMs can be tailored to machine requirements using a broad family of plug-in I/O cards, just like PLC modules, only much smaller.Configuration cards include digital and analog I/O, thermocouples and bi-directional UARTs and more, adding to the overall versatility of the system. And interface connections are customer specific.

The SuperIOr Controller system can be configured to support either Ethernet or EtherCAT® protocol. In an Ethernet system, SuperIOr can provide the highest possible performance without the need for the overhead typical in an EtherCAT system. In an EtherCAT system, the SuperIOr Controller can improve the performance of the host computer by handling high speed control sequencing, interlocks and data collection tasks. In addition, it can parse through collected data, or notify the host when certain thresholds are crossed.

SuperIOr Controllers are designed to meet SEMI-S2 and IEC 61508 SIL 3 safety standards and incorporate patented technology.
In summary, probably the best way to think about the SuperIOr Control system is as a single I/O controller with all the I/O and interlocks directly available to the CPU in the MCM. In fact, all the I/O exists within the CPU’s address space. The dual redundant FPGA hardware takes care of updating the CPU registers at an 8 KHz rate independent of the number of RIMs or their size. All I/O across all RIMs are updated simultaneously on the tick of the 8 KHz clock. Cables in different lengths are even compensated for speed of light delays to be sure that all digital outputs everywhere switch together.

The SuperIOr Controller system is the newest family of industrial control products designed and manufactured by DDI in our facilities in Scotts Valley, California. DDI is an ISO 9001 registered company with over 40 years of design and manufacturing experience and a worldwide installed base of more than 50,000 I/O controllers. 

AltaStream, Inc. provides total solutions for system software and services for industrial equipment. AltaStream's flagship product, ASWorx, is customized to provide a full suite of system software features for job control, graphical user interface, MES communication, data logging and monitoring, alarm management and more.