Beckhoff Automation announces EtherCAT G gigabit communication technology |

Beckhoff Automation announces EtherCAT G gigabit communication technology

November 292018
Beckhoff Automation announces EtherCAT G gigabit communication technology

November 29, 2018 – Beckhoff Automation has announced EtherCAT G gigabit communication technology, which by delivers the Gbit Ethernet speeds needed to support data-intensive applications. The latest industrial Ethernet technology expansion is compatible with the globally established 100 Mbit/s EtherCAT standard. In addition, the branch controller model for EtherCAT G enables operation of multiple network segments in parallel.

EtherCAT G supports standard Ethernet transmission rates of 1 Gbit/s. The transmission rates beyond the standard 100 Mbit/s provided by EtherCAT is designed to increase the possible data throughput. With propagation delay times through devices as a limiting factor on the one hand, but boosted by branch model on the other, EtherCAT G can deliver a performance increase, depending on the application.

Fully compatible with the globally established EtherCAT standard, EtherCAT G provides the same capabilities, including built-in diagnostics, high-precision synchronization and telegram processing on the fly. It also conforms to the IEEE 802.3 Ethernet standard.

EtherCAT G has been developed specifically in anticipation of large-scale applications and greater use of data-intensive equipment, such as machine vision cameras, complex motion control systems and measurement equipment operating with high sampling rates.

EtherCAT and EtherCAT G can be combined within a heterogeneous network. This means that EtherCAT G slaves can operate in a 100 Mbit/s EtherCAT network, and vice versa. In both instances, EtherCAT G equipment falls back to the 100 Mbit/s rate. With the EtherCAT G branch controller model, though, EtherCAT branches can be set up to enable the parallel operation of 100 Mbit/s segments within a 1 Gbit/s network through a conversion of transmission rates. For instance, the upcoming EK1400 EtherCAT G Coupler can create a branch that steps the data rate down from 1 Gbit/s to 100 Mbit/s, making available the range of standard EtherCAT Terminals for use as I/Os on an EtherCAT G network. Based on the branch controller capabilities of the EK1400, the 1 Gbit/s data rate on the EtherCAT G trunk remains unaffected.