The NAMC-ECAT is an EtherCAT (Ethernet for Control Automation Technology) slave interface in AMC (Advanced Mezzanine Card) form factor. The NAMC-ECAT connects the two hemispheres of the real-time, high speed yield bus EtherCAT and the flexible, scalable and powerful MTCA embedded architecture.
The goal of the EtherCAT technology is to have a high speed real-time field bus system with very short cycle times and an exact synchronisation at affordable prices, which gets more and more important in the industrial automation. EtherCAT can be used in a broad range of applications and is completely conformant to the current Ethernet standard.
Using MicroTCA systems as dedicated slave nodes in an EtherCAT network adds a new dimension of intelligent, scalable and high performance network nodes to this industrial automation network.
The NAMC-ECAT and MicroTCA systems are dedicated to applications in the industrial automation, high energy physics, medical, defence and aerospace market.
It is available as single compact-, mid- or full-size module. With the NAMC-ECAT any embedded system based on the MicroTCA standard can be integrated as a slave node in an existing high performance, real time field bus system based on EtherCAT. It offers 3x RJ45 connectors at the front panel to build networks with line, star and branch topology. Sensor and actor data transfer within the MicroTCA system is based on PCIexpress.
An EtherCAT network has an EtherCAT Master, which controls the network of EtherCAT slave devices. Up to 65535 Ether-CAT slaves can be integrated with a distance of up to 100 m to each other summing up to unreached distances (n * 100 m) for the whole network. The topology of the field bus network can be line, star and branch.
To use a MicroTCA system as EtherCAT master only a standard CPU AMC module running the master EtherCAT software and a standard Ethernet are needed.
To use a MicroTCA system as EtherCAT slave a special AMC module is needed, which adds and drops information on the fly in real time into the EtherCAT bit stream. MicroTCA systems as slave devices of an EtherCAT network can be used for image and sensor preprocessing or for complex control application as e.g. for robot. In addition EtherCAT allows also the transfer of standard Ethernet packets. Therefore all the new features of remote control and management functions of MicroTCA systems can be used over the same cable.