As originally announced at Hannover Messe 2016, the EtherCAT Technology Group (ETG) has now published a first draft of the official EtherCAT P technology specification, together with the extension of all corresponding documents on its website. Additionally, an application note has been finalized as a guideline to implement EtherCAT P slaves.
EtherCAT P is a groundbreaking new industrial Ethernet technology that combines EtherCAT communication and power lines into one standard 4-wire Ethernet cable. Soon after the introduction of EtherCAT P by Beckhoff Automation, this technology extension to EtherCAT was included in the work of the EtherCAT Technology Group. Ever since, the ETG has been developing an official specification document and the first draft has now been published. The document, ‘ETG.1030 EtherCAT P Specification’ defines the basics of EtherCAT P as an extension of the physical layer of the EtherCAT technology. As such, all other EtherCAT standard documents in which EtherCAT P will be integrated have also been extended.
In order to help developers of EtherCAT P devices successfully kick-start implementation, Beckhoff has published an EtherCAT P application note, providing a guideline for designing EtherCAT P slaves. This application note includes the according extension of the EtherCAT implementation including the associated connectors, electrical specifications as well as recommendations for EMC-compliant design. In addition, the application note highlights the different design requirements, especially with regard to the usage and connection of supply voltages, and describes calculations on the basis of existing currents and voltages in the network.
When the ETG accepted EtherCAT P as an addition to the EtherCAT standard, the first large users signaled high interest in the technology extension. With the publication of the specification documents and the corresponding application note, EtherCAT P can now be included in the development and implementation of a wide range of new products.
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