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1 EtherCAT Network
EtherCAT Communication Unit USER’S MANUAL (I574-E1)
1-2 Overview of EtherCAT
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1-2-1 Features of EtherCAT
1-2 Overview of EtherCAT
Ethernet Control Automation Technology (EtherCAT) is a high-performance industrial network system
based on Ethernet system and can realize faster and more efficient communications.
Each node achieves a short cycle time by transmitting Ethernet frames at high speed.
In addition, even though EtherCAT has its own communication protocol, it uses standard Ethernet tech-
nology in its physical layer. This provides a universal design feature because commercially available
Ethernet cables can be used. Its effectiveness can be fully utilized not only in large control systems
where high processing speed and system integration are required, but also in small to medium-sized
systems.
EtherCAT has the features shown below.
Ultra high-speed communication of 100 Mbps
The I/O response time from the generation of the input signal to the transmission of the output signal
is greatly reduced. The optimized Ethernet frame band is fully utilized and transfer is performed with
the high-speed repeat method, which enables the highly efficient transmission of various types of
data.
Use of standard Ethernet technology
EtherCAT is a global open network that uses standard Ethernet technology in its physical layer. This
means that universally available parts can be used, such as commercially available Ethernet cables,
connectors and tools.
1-2-1 Features of EtherCAT
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