Real-time Ethernet: the EtherCAT solution
The use of Ethernet as a physical communication layer for automation technology is increasing worldwide. Ethernet is already established at the command level for factory networking and inter-control communication. Ethernet at the field level has its problems. It is not optimized to send short, frequent messages. The commonly used star topology for switched Ethernet leads to excessive cabling and highly cascaded communication dependencies. The new system is called EtherCAT (Ethernet for control automation technology) and the system is very fast. From a Ethernet point of view, an EtherCAT bus is simply a single large Ethernet device that sends and receives Ethernet telegrams.