EtherCAT Enables Fastest Industrial Ethernet for Xilinx FPGAs

Xilinx, Inc. (NASDAQ: XLNX ) announced the implementation of a scalable EtherCAT slave controller functionality in an intellectual property (IP) core for its Spartan(TM) series of FPGAs. The code was developed and is supported by Beckhoff Automation GmbH, a Xilinx Alliance Program partner. Attendees of Electronica 2006 can see a live demonstration of the new solution November 15-17, Messe München, Hall A4, stand 576.

“Today’s announcement underscores the Xilinx commitment to supporting advances in industrial automation through continued innovation,” said Niladri Roy, senior manager for ISM at Xilinx. “EtherCAT is an innovative high-performance industrial Ethernet solution backed by a large worldwide vendor and user community. The implementation of the EtherCAT slave controller in Xilinx FPGAs enables superior and efficient management of system cost and product lifecycles, enabling system vendors to explore new market opportunities ahead of their competitors.”

The EtherCAT IP core for the Xilinx Spartan series allows device vendors to scale EtherCAT functionality according to requirements and add their own functionality in the same chip, thus driving down hardware costs.

“Companies committed to leading technology in their industry recognize the benefit of high speed, inexpensive Ethernet based control communication,” said Martin Rostan, executive director of the EtherCAT Technology Group. “The new slave controller solution from Xilinx is an important contribution to our objective of meeting fieldbus cost levels whilst breaking performance and topology barriers.”

About EtherCAT
EtherCAT (Ethernet Control Automation Technology) is the industrial Ethernet solution that provides performance, flexibility and cost advantages. The functional principle, processing on the fly, makes EtherCAT the fastest system currently available. EtherCAT media is well suited for control environments since it can be operated with or without switches. EtherCAT is an open standard that has been published as IEC specification based on input from the EtherCAT Technology Group.

About EtherCAT Technology Group
EtherCAT Technology Group is an international user and vendor organisation in which key user companies from various industries and leading automation suppliers join forces to support, promote and advance the EtherCAT technology.

About Xilinx Spartan-3 Generation
Based on its industry leading performance and low price points, Xilinx Spartan Generation FPGAs have been broadly adopted in high-volume, consumer and industrial applications. Visit for more information on the Spartan-3 Generation.

About Xilinx
Xilinx is the worldwide leader in complete programmable logic solutions. For more information, visit