Ce groupement autour du protocole industriel EtherCAT (Ethernet for Control Automation Technology) basé sur le protocole Ethernet (en utilisant des switchs PTP mais aussi sur une structure propriétaire en anneau déterministe) semble en pleine croissance a en croire cet article.
Over the last 12 months 314 new members have joined the EtherCAT Technology Group (ETG), bringing the total to 1195 ETG member companies from 48 countries. Most ETG members are located in Germany, where EtherCAT originated, followed by the United States, Japan and China/Taiwan.
The large variety of EtherCAT controllers, drives, I/O and sensors was mirrored at the ETG booth of the SPS/IPC/Drives show in Nuremberg, Germany: over 200 different devices were shown there. Among the exhibits was a multi vendor demo with 30 drives from 20 different manufacturers, which are all operated synchronously within a single EtherCAT network.
All in all, more than 50 vendors are either already shipping EtherCAT servo drives or have announced such products in public. Over 70 vendors offer EtherCAT master devices such as PLCs, PC-based controls, CNC and embedded controllers, using more than 15 different real-time operating systems to implement them.