Altera now offers a fully verified EtherCAT (Ethernet for Control Automation Technology) protocol intellectual property (IP) for Altera FPGAs. With the offering, engineers can leverage the performance and integrate a discrete EtherCAT device in an existing FPGA with confidence and minimum effort.
The offering is the result of collaboration between Altera, EtherCAT Technology Group (ETG) and Softing Industrial Automation GmbH. The collaboration offers a licensing structure that gives developers access to leading Industrial Ethernet protocols with no upfront license fees, no per-unit royalty reporting or protracted negotiations, ultimately simplifying the integration of FPGA-based Industrial Ethernet designs.
Altera’s Industrial Ethernet solutions implement both the protocol IP and software stack into an FPGA using programmable logic and a soft embedded processor. In this way, a single board with the same Altera FPGA can work with a range of protocols without hardware modifications. The same FPGA can also be used to implement various industrial automation functions, such as sensor interfaces, accelerators and custom control logic in addition to the communication function.
Altera provides an out-of-the-box Industrial Ethernet solution that includes no up-front license fees, no per-unit royalty reporting and no protracted negotiations. Customers simply download the entire EtherCAT protocol IP including the software stack from Softing. The protocol IP and reference designs are hardware tested on both the Altera Industrial Networking Kit (INK) the Softing FPGA RTEM Cyclone III kit.
More info: Altera Industrial Ethernet for FPGAs