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How Being Bold Brings Smart Automation Solutions

October 27, 2020

Jeff DeAngelis  By: Jeff DeAngelis
 Vice President, Industrial Communications; Maxim Integrated 

In the Spring of 2019, Maxim Integrated's CEO, Tunc Doluca, took a bold step and released his first book called Maximum Impact: Maxim's Quiet Rise as Silicon Valley's Most Prolific Analog Chip Maker. This book chronicles Maxim's founders along with the company's growth over the past 37 years. While I am still considered a short-timer at Maxim Integrated with 16 years of service, the Maxim story parallels the passion, inspiration, and innovation that is woven into the very fabric of Silicon Valley.

This fabric provides the "it" factor for a company to set itself apart in the industry and gain the necessary momentum to succeed. The most successful companies set themselves apart from the pack with their fearless approach to challenging the status quo, their ability to execute their strategy, and their drive to return shareholder value. Simply put, they are the ones who are "Being Bold."

At Maxim Integrated, "Being Bold" continues to be our calling card in how we deliver industrial solutions that move intelligence to the edge while empowering smart automation. The Go-IO development platform introduced at electronica in November 2018 is a great example of delivering on this promise. This platform demonstrated Maxim's latest digital IO, power, and IO-Link technology by implementing an industrial IoT solution to control and monitor Maxim's soccer ball factory on the show floor using real-time health and status information delivered by these technologies. However, an astute EE Times editor from Japan asked during our pre-electronica 2018 press tour, "How does this ultra-small Go-IO module support analog IO?" At the time, I smiled and pointed to an empty 9mm x 9.5mm gold footprint on the Go-IO module in my hand and asked him to see me at electronica 2018 for a more detailed answer.

Intelligence at the Edge with Maxim Integrated's Configurable IO-Link Solutions
1:53 October 26, 2020

The reality at that time was, my team had developed a new revolutionary analog IO IC that we decided to road-test in secrecy on our Go-IO modules used to control the soccer ball factory for 4 days while processing over 1,000 soccer balls for 10 hours each day. The result: our new software-configurable analog IO solution proved it was up to the challenge as it delivered to the cloud thousands of cycles of vibration, temperature, and IC diagnostic data during the show. That same EE Times editor who asked his fateful analog IO question was now at electronica, where I was able to show him the power of the Go-IO module in operation controlling the soccer ball factory and delivering diagnostic data about the health and status of the factory to the cloud. As I showed him the Go-IO module, he noticed the previously empty 9mm x 9.5mm gold footprint now was populated with a new IC that was masked so no one could see the part marking. This part was our new software-configurable analog IO solution that was being road-tested in our very demanding soccer ball factory on the floor of the Maxim Integrated booth. Over those four days at electronica, Maxim gained performance insights by battle-testing our new software-configurable analog IO solution.

So, in keeping with our promise of "Being Bold," today Maxim announces the industry's first true software-configurable universal analog IO solution called the MAX22000. This new platform solution can operate as an independent 4x 24-bit universal analog input and a 1x 18-bit universal analog output or, when combined with our configurable digital IO companion solution MAX14914A, it provides the automation industry's first true universal IO port that can operate over a common single 2-wire interface or support 4-wire RTD temperature / TC operation. This revolutionary product supports bipolar operation and requires < 200mW of current for the complete single-channel universal analog IO + digital IO solution. This complete, compact, single-channel universal IO design requires < 0.5 cubic inch of space and provides low-power operation to enable customers to pack eight software-configurable universal IO channels in a 3in x 5in x 0.25in size space (< 4 cubic inches).

Achieving this new level of true 2-wire configurability provides process automation installers a common universal IO port that eliminates all wire marshalling burdens and the need to match the sensor to the correct IO port or module, as existing solutions require. Since the MAX22000 can determine if an analog sensor is a current or voltage mode sensor, this eliminates the need for a technician to physically re-wire ports. As a result, this reduces installation costs and provides an easy way to accommodate expansion needs over the lifetime of a facility by simply using these new universal ports on an industrial controller to adapt to any analog input, analog output, digital input, or digital output sensor on command.

Our new universal analog IO solution is just the latest example of how Maxim Integrated continues "Being Bold" to help you solve your toughest industrial application design challenges.