Ethernet-based I/O system reaches high speeds

Beckhoff reports that its I/O bus system, EtherCAT, sets new standards where conventional fieldbuses reach their limits. For example, using commercial, off-the-shelf Ethernet network cards, EtherCAT can scan 1,000 points in 30 microseconds. The company says EtherCAT can achieve this speed because it has a straightforward wiring structure, and it is open to all Ethernet protocols.

01/01/2004



Beckhoff reports that its I/O bus system, EtherCAT, sets new standards where conventional fieldbuses reach their limits. For example, using commercial, off-the-shelf Ethernet network cards, EtherCAT can scan 1,000 points in 30 microseconds.

The company says EtherCAT can achieve this speed because it has a straightforward wiring structure, and it is open to all Ethernet protocols. EtherCAT uses a simple line structure for a bus, the way Ethernet was originally deployed back in the 1970s. This avoids costly Ethernet star topologies with their expensive infrastructure components, such as Ethernet switches.

EtherCAT draws on many familiar Ethernet devices, but at the core of its operation it is much different from the Ethernet TCP/IP that is so common in today's IT environments. Ethernet TCP/IP sends out packets that are received, then interpreted, and copied as process data. www.beckhoff.com

  • Scans 1,000 points in 30 microseconds

  • Simple line bus structure aids speed

  • Straightforward wiring

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