ZMDI high-voltage line driver with integrated DC-DC conversion addresses I/O Link factory automation standard and applications

Dresden, Germany, September 3, 2009 ZMDI AG, a global supplier of analog and mixed-signal solutions for automotive, industrial, and medical applications, has introduced the ZIOL2401, a high-voltage line driver with IO-Link functionality. The first member of a family of high-voltage line drivers, the chip offers two independent I/O-channels that meet the physical layer requirements of sensor and actuator systems used in factory automation applications. The ZIOL2401 combines an advanced two-channel IO-Link driver with a DC-DC converter capable of producing up to 15 Volts. This can power external sensors, as well as the ZIOL2401, and saves space and cost in board designs. The IO-Link drivers are fully programmable, including slew rate and current limitation, and offer complete diagnostics as well as over temperature protection.

IO-Link is an open standard used in factory automation for linking sensors and actuators, and works with all types of factory data buses. IO-Link serves the growing need for faster, smarter communications that are compatible with the harsh factory environment while remaining cost-effective. IO-Link provides a point-to-point connection between a sensor or actuator and the system that controls it. The flexible field-bus-independent solution is extremely easy to install and allows existing sensor networks to be quickly upgraded.

“ZMDI is a leading supplier of ASI (Actuator Sensor Interface) ICs. Extensive experience in smart sensor technologies and high-voltage processes enables us to provide solutions that truly meet the demands of our customers – in terms of energy efficiency, board space, configurability and ease of use,” stated Bernhard Huber, ZMD AG Standard Products Business Line Manager. “With IO-link, we close the communication gap at the basic sensor/actuator-to-controller level in a way that simplifies the overlapping range of existing interfaces, such as PNP, push-pull, 4-20mA, 0-10V, RS232 and RS422. Furthermore, we added error checking and diagnostics which enable the validation of machines and equipment down to the lowest sensor and actuator level.”

ZMDI's new high-voltage IO-Link line driver provides a wide range of configurable system features. An adjustable output slew rate allows the customer to achieve excellent EMC behavior. The maximum current driven by the output stages can be set to a value that best fits the customer’s application. All configuration parameters are stored in an on-chip EEPROM and automatically loaded during power up. The ZIOL2401 reports all status information, such as an overload condition or over-temperature. An SPI interface supports the access to configuration and status registers.

In addition to IO-Link device and master ports, the device supports standard I/O and works with both 3.3V and 5V systems. It also offers wake-up detection and fast direct event signalling.

The EEPROM read/write functionality is guaranteed across the entire operating temperature range in combination with a low core voltage supply of 3.3V. The integrated DC/DC converter has an adjustable output voltage from 3V to 15V to provide power for the application circuit. The powerful CMOS mixed signal technology allows supply voltages up to 36V.

The application kit includes an evaluation board and a Windows-based configuration tool, with a USB interface between the PC and the board. Developers can easily evaluate configurations and save the results. In-system programming via SPI is also supported, allowing full customization after manufacturing.

Operating temperature is -25 degrees C and +85 degrees C. The IC comes in a space saving 4mm x 4mm QFN24 package. An exposed die paddle ensures optimum heat distribution. Unit prices start at EUR 3,50, or US$ 5.00, in volumes of 1000 devices or more. The ZIOL2401 is targeted for volume production in Q2 of 2010. Samples are available now.

This news release can be downloaded at Product information can be found at

About ZMDI

Founded in 1961, ZMDI is a leading supplier of on-time, innovative, robust, high precision, and cost-effective analog mixed-signal silicon solutions for energy efficiency in automotive, mobile medical appliances, industrial automation and consumer devices. ZMDI specializes in design and marketing of high temperature, high voltage and ultra low power application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) and application-specific standard products (ASSPs). Its advanced circuit-design expertise allows it to offer ICs with operating temperatures as high as +160°C, and voltages from 0.85 V to 40 V. Headquartered in Dresden, Germany, ZMDI has 270 employees worldwide and serves customers from the company’s offices in Dresden, Stuttgart, Munich, Germany; Milano, Italy; Paris, France; Pocatello, Idaho; Melville, New York; Tokyo, Japan; and Taipei, Taiwan. ZMDI has design centers in Dresden, Stuttgart, Germany; Varna, Bulgaria and Madison, Wisconsin.


Barbara Kalkis
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