EtherCAT® Slave Controller IC with integrated PHYs

from Trinamic

TMC8462: Trinamic presents its first EtherCAT® Slave Controller with integrated PHYs.

It takes part of the TMC846x family, the world’s first EtherCAT slave controllers to integrate real-time, latency-free I/O peripherals.

The TMC846x family are the first EtherCAT slave controller ICs to incorporate PWM and Step/Dir I/O peripherals that do not require routing through the firmware of an application processor, eliminating latency for applications requiring real-time response. The TMC846x family extends the feature set of the core EtherCAT technology with a broad array of peripherals and features: an integrated smart peripherals block accessible from an MCU or EtherCAT master and, in addition to a PWM unit and Step/Dir interface, an SPI master and encoder interface that can be directly mapped to the PDO (Process Data Object) by the memory manager. This unique SPI interface enables latency-free read from an ADC or write to a DAC.

The ICs include a standalone mode that enables direct mapping of integrated peripherals to bus registers, while in parallel an external MCU can perform higher layer protocol operations. As the original Beckhoff code has been used, a 100% compatibility with the existing Beckhoff EtherCAT Slave Controllers can be garanteed.

EtherCAT is a widely adopted communication protocol for industrial applications. Its flexible topology is uniquely suited for complex industrial deployments, which has attracted more than 3,000 member companies worldwide to endorse the standard. As an exceptionally stable standard that industrial developers can rely on for long life cycle products, EtherCAT continues to utilize the same pin interface first established in 2004, even as the protocol has continued to evolve. 


Like all TRINAMIC devices, the TMC8462 benefits from TRINAMIC’s comprehensive development eco-system, called “Landungsbrücke”, which includes evaluation boards, reference designs and, for this new device, sample EtherCAT software stacks for Cortex MCUs. All configuration and parameterization tools are incorporated into TRINAMIC’s Integrated Development Environment. The device can be used with any MCU that comes with an SPI interface, or standalone in SPI emulation mode.


The TMC8462 comes in a LGA121 (9x9mm) package. This is as small as one common PHY. This means that the total board space can be reduced considerably compared to an simple EtherCAT Slave Controller with two external PHYs.


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