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Cyclone III FPGAs support EtherCAT technology

Posted: 23 Jul 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:intellectual property support? Ethernet? EtherCAT protocol?

Giving industrial equipment designers greater flexibility in implementing real-time Ethernet communications, Altera Corp. has announced intellectual property (IP) support for the EtherCAT protocol from the EtherCAT Technology Group, a body dedicated to promote and advance the EtherCAT technology. Previously qualified on Cyclone II devices, the IP now targets Altera's new low-cost, low-power Cyclone III FPGAs.

"In the extremely competitive factory automation equipment market, companies are looking to incorporate new functions and features quickly to differentiate their products," said Martin Rostan, executive director for the EtherCAT Technology Group. "With EtherCAT support on Cyclone III FPGAs, designers can easily add real-time Ethernet capabilities in a cost-effective manner."

EtherCAT is a high performance technology among real-time industrial Ethernet protocols. The protocol can update data from over 1,000 distributed I/O nodes in 30?s over low-cost twisted pair.

To support Cyclone III FPGA-based industrial designs, EtherCAT Technology Group members are also offering development kits. The Cyclone III development kit by member company Beckhoff consists of a slave device evaluation board with an EtherCAT slave controller, the slave protocol stack in source code, reference hardware design information, an evaluation license for EtherCAT master, manuals and cables.

Industrial Ethernet solutions using Altera Cyclone series FPGAs are immediately available and sells at $12.50 in 1,000-unit quantities.

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