EtherCAT is a high-performance, low-cost, easy to use Industrial Ethernet technology with a flexible topology. EtherCAT is the fastest Industrial Ethernet technology, but it also synchronizes with nanosecond accuracy.
EtherCAT™ is optimized for real-time transmission of process data and is transported directly within the Ethernet frame thanks to a special Ethertype. It may consist of several EtherCAT telegrams, each serving a particular memory area of the logical process images that can be up to 4 gigabytes in size.
The unique way EtherCAT™ process frames makes it the fastest industrial Ethernet technology; no other technology can top EtherCAT’s bandwidth utilization or the corresponding performance.
In addition it its speed, an EtherCAT™ network can support up to 65,535 devices without placing restrictions on their topology: line, bus, tree, star – or any combination thereof. Fast Ethernet physics allows two devices to be up to 100m (330ft) apart, and greater distances are possible with the use of fiber optics.
Trinamic slave controllers connect peripherals optimized for embedded motion- and motor control applications to the fast fieldbus and allow for accurate synchronization of distributed drives. Trinamic EtherCAT slave controllers come with sophisticated I/O functionality optimized for embedded motion- and motor control applications, ranging from Step- and Direction output to control stepper motors to full-blown integrated hardware FOC controllers.
The TMC8460 is the first EtherCAT slave controller IC to incorporate PWM and Step/Dir I/O peripherals that do not require routing through the firmware of an application processor, eliminating latency for applications requiring real-time response.