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EtherCAT® was originally developed by Beckhoff to enable on-the-fly MAC packet processing and deliver real-time Ethernet to automation applications. It can provide scalable connectivity for entire automation systems, from large PLCs all the way down to the I/O and sensor level.

EtherCAT® is a protocol optimized for process data, using standard IEEE 802.3 Ethernet Frames. Each slave node processes its datagram and inserts the new data into the frame while each frame is passing through. The process is handled in hardware (at the MAC layer) so each node introduces minimum processing latency, enabling the fastest possible response time.

EtherCAT® is a MAC layer protocol and is transparent to any higher level Ethernet protocols, such as TCP/IP, UDP, Web server, etc. It can connect up to 65,535 nodes in a system. The EtherCAT® master can be a standard Ethernet controller, thus simplifying the network configuration. Due to the low latency of each slave node, EtherCAT® delivers flexible, low-cost and network-compatible industrial Ethernet solutions.


EtherCAT® ESI Downloads

 REV 10000 – XML file for encoder purchased during 2019 and earlier

 REV 10002 – XML file for encoders purchased during 2020 and later

See EtherCAT® Documentation below for additional PDF downloads.


EtherCAT Documentation

Ethernet Licensing Declaration IP >= V1.00
EtherCAT Technical Reference Manual - PDF
TB-541 Ethernet Absolute Installation Guide - PDF
TB-542 Model A58E Series Quick Start Guide for EtherCAT - PDF