Foundation Fieldbus Chipset Migration

The Fieldbus Foundation recently distributed a “Hot off the Wire” Press Release to inform everyone that one of the manufacturers of an approved chip set on which the FF Stack is built is to be discontinued in March 2015 with a final day to place orders of next week September 4.

Because the FF ‘Check mark’ relies on a two-step process; the first being using an approved ‘stack’ that has been tested by the Fraunhofer Institute, and then developing the FF services on the resulting stack any device that uses the above chip will have to be recertified.

To reduce development time I believe most manufacturers that rely on the Yamaha Kagoshima YTZ420-VZ chip will likely therefore use one of the other Fraunhofer Institute approved five other chip set suppliers after verifying which of these chips will require the least modification to the balance of their device electronics.

The good news for End Users is that because of the ITK test that provides the ‘FF check mark’ any replacement device will be fully compliant with all other FF devices. The added benefit is that these new devices will also have to be certified against the latest ITK 6.2 which includes many new user friendly features as well. Hopefully, what could be a ‘rush’ of new device approvals will not put too large a strain on the Foundation’s test lab.