I was a little surprised that my OPC Xi post didn’t generate at least a few more comments or emails. Kind of like I thought that this issue really hasn’t hit the user community, yet. But it’s getting there. I was just corresponding with OPC President Tom Burke about building momentum for OPC UA and wondered about the status of products. Users won’t care much until they can actually use the technology, after all.
Well, here came a note from Liam Power of Embedded Labs in Ireland. It has released an OPC UA embedded server module dubbed fasaLink. It’s designed to minimize development cost and time to market for OEMs adding OPC UA server functionality. It enables high performance remote access to any data values the host system wishes to expose and can be integrated into an existing product with minimal redesign.
The small footprint module adds an OPC-UA Server to any product via an integrated RJ-45 Ethernet interface and ARM microcontroller. Based upon an optimized protocol stack developed by Embedded Labs, host processor connectivity is via a choice of SPI, I2C and UART interfaces. An ANSI C serial communication library is provided, minimizing the need for host software development. The rich OPC-UA information model enables interaction with the server from generic OPC-UA client software applications. Production quantities will be available in Q4, 2010.
Shane Robinson of Embedded Labs said, “OPC-UA is the future for standardised, multi-platform device connectivity. The fasaLINK OPC-UA Server Module will be the fastest, easiest and lowest cost way to ‘OPC-UA enable’ your existing product line.”
OPC-UA is definitely building momentum and we’re very excited to see Embedded Labs releasing their product. OPC-UA has been a chicken and egg game wherein OPC-UA server developers have had products ready for some time now, but since OPC-UA visualization clients haven’t been available (that I know of), what’s the point of releasing pushing OPC-UA servers? We hope we have broken this chicken and egg conundrum by releasing Ignition which comprises both an OPC-UA server and visualization client.
Thanks for the comment, Steve. I’d like to see a few other suppliers comment about what’s in development or released for use.