The resulting smaller PC size saves valuable control cabinet space, but, like standard PCI fieldbus cards, the interfaces are optimized for fast controllers and real-time tasks. When using Ethernet Mini PCI cards, the Industrial PCs contain a third available Ethernet port with 10Mbit/s, 100Mbit/s or 1000Mbit/s communication. The fieldbus cards are most powerful when using the vendor’s TwinCAT PLC and NC software. But other applications benefit from highly intelligent PCI cards that can handle fieldbus protocols efficiently on their own processors, says the vendor.
Beckhoff Automation LLC