Cycle Time Improvement of EtherCAT Networks with Embedded Linux-Based Master

Hyun-Chul YI  Joon-Young CHOI  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E102-D   No.1   pp.195-197
Publication Date: 2019/01/01
Publicized: 2018/10/11
Online ISSN: 1745-1361
DOI: 10.1587/transinf.2018EDL8132
Type of Manuscript: LETTER
Category: Software System
EtherCAT,  embedded Linux,  EtherCAT master,  cycle time,  

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We improve the cycle time performance of EtherCAT networks with embedded Linux-based master by developing a Linux Ethernet driver optimized for EtherCAT operation. The Ethernet driver is developed to establish a direct interface between the master module and Ethernet controllers of embedded systems by removing the involvement of Linux network stack and the New API (NAPI) of standard Ethernet drivers. Consequently, it is achieved that the time-consuming memory copy operations are reduced and the process of EtherCAT frames is accelerated. In order to demonstrate the effect of the developed Ethernet driver, we set up EtherCAT networks composed of an embedded Linux-based master and commercial off-the-shelf slaves, and the experimental results confirm that the cycle time performance is significantly improved.