Collaboration on real-time Ethernet controllers

By Control Engineering Staff January 30, 2006

Kawasaki, Japan — NEC Electronics Corp. and Siemens AG announced an agreement to team up on the ERTEC (enhanced real-time Ethernet controller) series of graded family Ethernet controllers. The products, developed by Siemens Automation and Drives and manufactured by NEC Electronics, will be marketed through the worldwide sales and distribution channels of Siemens and NEC Electronics.

The new Ertec200 and ERTEC400 Ethernet controllers for automation applications support the Profinet protocol, enabling isochronous real-time (IRT) communication and data transmission rates as fast as 100 megabits per second. The devices include an ARM9 processor, and are based on sensitive power requirements. Ertec400 is an Ethernet controller with integrated 4-port switch tailored to the power requirements of motion control systems, while the Ertec200 is a low-cost controller with integrated 2-port switch designed primarily for drives or comparable products, enabling the line cabling of field devices normally used on fieldbuses to be used in Ethernet networks.

Data throughput is guaranteed as the performance matrix for the real-time communication allows control for up to 150 axes with a cycle time of 1 ms, and 6 megabytes per second of simultaneously transferable standard TCP/IP data.

The companies estimated that the total number of industrial Ethernet nodes will exceed 13 million nodes by 2010, and NEC Electronics expects to achieve sales on the order of

In Europe, samples of the Ertec400 are available now and samples of the Ertec200 will be available in the second-quarter 2006, through NEC Electronics Europe and Siemens A&D. Development kits for the products will also be available. Availability in other regions will follow in fourth-quarter 2006.

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Richard Phelps , senior editor, Control Engineering