Design Engineering

EtherCAT grows to almost 60 million nodes

By DE Staff   

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ETG says fieldbus’ popularity continues its exponential adoption pace.

(Image credit: EtherCAT Technology Group)

The EtherCAT Technology Group (ETG) announced that the fieldbus protocol it oversees had grown to 59.1 million nodes by 2022, adding 18.4 million nodes in last year alone.

To tabulate its count, ETG only included EtherCAT chips sold in a respective year, excluding chips for I/O terminals. A modular I/O station, for example, was only counted as a single node, even if it consists of many more EtherCAT terminals. Even so, growth of the fieldbus technology, except for 2019, has been exponential for several years, says Martin Rostan, Executive Director of the ETG.

“Three years ago, we still believed in an upward outlier, but now the trend has solidified: The exponential growth continues,” Rostan says. “The Asian market is developing the fastest, especially in China. But EtherCAT is also making better and better progress in North America. And in Europe, where the technology has its origins, EtherCAT has been going strong for quite some time.”

ETG licenses EtherCAT on the behalf of Beckhoff Automation and, similar to CAN, requires only the chip manufacturer to license their hardware. Beckhoff finances the ETG with the chip license income. As a result, ETG says the fieldbus association doesn’t charge for membership.



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