Why PI Uses EtherCAT to Connect
EtherCAT (Ethernet for Control Automation Technology) is an Open Real Time Ethernet-based fieldbus system.
The goal during development of EtherCAT was to apply Ethernet for automation applications requiring short data update times (also called cycle times; ≤ 100 µs) with low communication jitter (for precise synchronization purposes; ≤ 1 µs) and reduced hardware costs.
EtherCAT is becoming increasingly popular for control and system engineers as a robust, high-speed real-time network for machine control solutions. With deterministic and high speed update rates and extremely precise synchronization of all network devices, machine builders and system integrators can take advantage of dedicated motion and machine controller platforms utilizing EtherCAT to easily construct a full machine control solution while still maintaining the highest level of performance and a low cost structure.