Today, Altera (Nasdaq: ALTR) announced intellectual property (IP) support for the EtherCAT protocol from the EtherCAT Technology Group. Previously qualified on Cyclone(R) II devices, the IP now targets Altera’s new low-cost, low-power Cyclone III FPGAs. EtherCAT is the performance leader among real-time industrial Ethernet protocols. The protocol can update data from over 1,000 distributed I/O nodes in 30 microseconds over low-cost twisted pair.
To support Cyclone III FPGA-based industrial designs, Beckhoff is also offering development kits. The Cyclone III development kit 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(R) Cyclone series FPGAs are immediately available and are priced as low as $12.50 in 1,000 unit quantities.