New flexible and powerful starter kit enables easier development of Ethernet nodes

05-07-2017 | Avnet | Development Boards

Avnet Silica has a new EtherCAT starter kit for the development of a wide range of fast industrial Ethernet technology-based applications. Implementing the standard Ethernet data-packet format, which provides connectivity to existing Ethernet networks without special routers or switches, EtherCAT delivers highly-efficient, real-time performance enabling data insertion and/or extraction ‘on the fly’.

The kit is based on Microchip’s LAN9252 EtherCAT slave controller chip, the easy-to-use node-development starter kit offers Pmod and Arduino-compatible interfaces including SPI/QSPI, in addition to a header with all I/Os of the device, which enables direct connection to a wide selection of microcontroller or microprocessor starter kits for fast prototyping.

Target applications for the kit include motor-based motion control, robotics, communication modules and I/O interface cards in factory and process automation, rotary encoders and sensors, or control of devices such as actuators, valves and drives in hydraulic and pneumatic valve systems, among many other applications. In addition, the new EtherCAT starter kit can be integrated into the Avnet Silica Visible Things platform for the development of IoT projects and applications.

‘Microchip and Avnet Silica have a long-standing relationship, and we are both dedicated to working closely with our customers to understand and meet their industrial networking needs. EtherCAT is an established, proven standard which is preferred by most motor control, grid autorotation and data acquisition companies,” said Ian Saturley, worldwide marketing manager for USB and Networking at Microchip. He added, “Many topologies in place are now also calling for Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things (IoT) which are embraced within EtherCAT. In generating the PMOD-COM-ETHERCAT system, Avnet Silica has responded to customers’ requests with a fast time to market and low cost of entry evaluation platform.’

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