Cost-effective EtherCAT and CANopen Master for DIN rail mounting

January 15, 2013 // By Nick Flaherty
IXXAT Automation is offering a powerful and extremely flexible EtherCAT Master solution for DIN rail mounting at what it says is a very compelling price.

In addition to the EtherCAT Master solution, IXXAT will soon also offer a CANopen master solution based on the IXXEC-100.
The EtherCAT Master functionality in the IXXEC-100 is provided using the proven protocol software from acontis for EtherCAT Master Class A and B devices. A specially optimized link layer allows the IXXEC-100 to operate with cycle times of less than 1ms. The selected EtherCAT Master implementation, as well as the included drivers and the Linux operating system, enable the fast implementation of customized EtherCAT applications and rapid adoption of existing applications to the compact and powerful IXXEC-100. In addition, the available EtherCAT Master "feature packs" are supported, including hot connect and ring redundancy.
During the development of the IXXEC-100 special attention was paid to the requirements of the various fields of application. Thus, the unit has, despite of its fanless design, an extended temperature range from -40°C to + 70°C, and enough power and interfaces to become the optimal solution for various applications.
The basic version of the device has four Ethernet interfaces, two CAN interfaces and two USB ports. Customer specific interfaces or functional enhancements (e.g. digital and analog I/Os, DVI output) can be implemented quickly and easily using expansion slots or the implemented FPGA.
IXXEC-100 uses a dual core Cortex A9 CPU with 256MB of internal RAM memory that can be extended up to 1GB. Operating system and programs are stored in flash memory on a SD card.
The IXXEC-100 provides a high degree of flexibility by using a unique combination of interfaces, FPGA, software and services. This makes the IXXEC-100 an ideal platform for application-optimized and customer specific solutions. For this purpose, IXXAT offers a comprehensive Linux board support package enabling the quick and easy implementation of custom software solutions on the IXXEC-100 (e.g. gateways).
Besides the version within the robust metal housing, the IXXEC-100 also works as a board-level product for integration into existing customer applications.