FPGA Implementations of Ladder Diagrams

Neil William Bergmann, Peter Waldeck, Sunil K. Shukla


The performance of programmable logic controllers is often constrained by the microprocessor and the real-time firmware of the controller. Field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) are an attractive potential implementation medium for high-speed control because of their fast and parallel execution and programmable nature. Ladder Diagrams are a standard graphical programming method for industrial controllers, but compilers from Ladder Diagrams to FPGA hardware do not yet exist. This paper explores the comparative speed of four different classes of FGPA implementation of Ladder Diagrams - Interpreted Software, Compiled Software, Interpreted Hardware and Compiled Hardware. It also explores parallel versus serial execution of Ladder Diagrams in hardware, and identifies timers as a major resource user in parallel implementations. Overall, a Shared Timer Serial Compiled Hardware system for FPGA implementation of Ladder Diagrams is recommended. Using comparable FPGA resources to other alternatives it provides a 20-600 times speed improvement over other solutions whilst maintaining correct Ladder Diagram semantics.

Full Text:


DOI: https://doi.org/10.5539/mas.v7n3p64

Copyright (c)

Modern Applied Science   ISSN 1913-1844 (Print)   ISSN 1913-1852 (Online)  Email: mas@ccsenet.org

Copyright © Canadian Center of Science and Education

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the 'ccsenet.org' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.