PC-based control software with 64-bit support
Beckhoff Automation’s TwinCAT 3.1 has new features for eXtended Automation. and supports 64-bit operating systems and the Microsoft Windows 8 operating system. Support of IEC 61131-3 programming languages, object-oriented programming (OOP), C/C++ and Matlab/Simulink is continued and provides numerous optional tools to the TwinCAT programmer.
Another highlight in TwinCAT 3.1 is the possibility to reserve individual CPU cores of a multi-core processor exclusively for TwinCAT. This feature, known as “CPU Isolation,” gives the full performance of the reserved cores solely to TwinCAT.
Real-time use of C and C++
TwinCAT 3.1 also provides a method to use C and C++ inside the TwinCAT real time kernel and provides deterministic cyclic access to field inputs and outputs as well as cyclic access to variables in the traditional IEC 61131-3 languages. An exciting tool included in TwinCAT 3.1 allows the programmer to make a Live Watch window to monitor and write to C/C++ variables without stopping the process. This was not possible in any C or C++ IDE until TwinCAT 3.1. Code written in C/C++ can be easily packaged and used as function blocks in the traditional IEC languages.
Improved support for source control tools
The integration of TwinCAT into Visual Studio also offers the option to use familiar source control techniques used by the IT world. In addition to saving and backing up source code, source control is increasingly used for revision control. Comparison tools are available in TwinCAT 3.1 for displaying the differences between the versions and it is possible to view which nodes have been modified. If a difference is detected, more details can be made visible by a double click. The comparisons are available in all IEC 61131-3 languages.
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