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ISaGRAF, koenig-pa GmbH (KPA), QNX® Software Systems, and Freescale Semiconductor have joined their expertise to provide a complete Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) Reference Platform for OEMs that wish to develop a high-performance controller that acts as an EtherCAT® master.

EtherCAT PLC Reference Platform

This complete solution consists of 4 levels of integration:

1. ISaGRAF® Workbench & KPA EtherCAT Studio:

Allows users to run KPA EtherCAT Studio within the ISaGRAF environment and configure EtherCAT slaves. This configuration is done by:

  • reading the Slave description xml files,
  • generating the IO devices in the project,
  • associating the IO device to a selected resource,
  • and using the IO Device within the resource.

Contact us to get the ISaGRAF 6 Workbench with integrated KPA EtherCAT Studio for the Freescale PLC Reference Platform

2. ISaGRAF Firmware & EtherCAT Stack:

The koenig EtherCAT Stack is integrated with the ISaGRAF Firmware. The communication between each resource and stack is done through shared memory. Access to this shared memory is done using the driver (.c and .h file) generated automatically by the EtherCAT Definition Builder.Freescale TWR-P1025

3. ISaGRAF Firmware & QNX® Neutrino® RTOS:

Delivering millions of runtime hours of use in highly dependable embedded systems, such as PLCs, robotics, factory automation, automotive and medical applications, the QNX Neutrino RTOS is provided on the Freescale QorIQ P1 Tower System module with the ISaGRAF Firmware.

More information on downloading the ISaGRAF Firmware, KPA EtherCAT Master and QNX Neutrino RTOS for the EtherCAT PLC Reference Platform

4. Freescale Dual-core QorIQ P1025 Processor:

The combined ISaGRAF PLC Firmware, KPA EtherCAT Master stack, and QNX Neutrino RTOS are integrated and optimized to run on the versatile Freescale dual-core QorIQ P1025 processor. This PLC Reference Platform delivers millisecond response time for EtherCAT tasks, while using just one percent of one core in the P1025 processor. This leaves ample performance headroom for both the communications protocol and the control application in a single device.

Customers may choose to distribute processing functions across two cores, or isolate real-time control functions on one core while running maintenance and communications functions on the other core. QorIQ P1 processors can also provide simultaneous support for industrial protocols like PROFINET, PROFIBUS and EtherNet/IP™. Freescale’s QorIQ P1 processor family offers pin-compatible single-core variants for cost reduction, and dual-core variants that scale up to 5,700 million instructions per second (MIPS) for more complex applications. Software and hardware developed on TWR-P1025 can be easily deployed on a range of QorIQ P1 processors, including the P1012, P1021, P1016 and P1025 processors.

Freescale control and network processor solutions are engineered to meet the challenging safety, security and reliability requirements of manufacturing, processing and critical infrastructure facilities. Ruggedized Freescale processors are frequently selected for industrial control, sensing, networking and human-machine interface (HMI) applications in smart grid and smart metering, health care, factory automation and drives, motor control, home appliance, building control, point-of-sale and kiosk, aerospace and defense and industrial transportation markets.

Order Hardware for the EtherCAT PLC Reference Platform

ISaGRAF Firmware & koenig EtherCAT stack

ISaGRAF has successfully implemented and integrated the koenig EtherCAT stack with the ISaGRAF Firmware. This integration supports the following features:

  • EtherCAT distributed clock
  • EtherCAT different scan rates for PDO
  • EtherCAT Hot Connect
  • EtherCAT Master refresh rate down to 50 µs
  • Multi-tasking implementation (on QNX Neutrino)
  • IO Accessible by several Resources

Click for larger imageISaECAT is the process that is responsible for:

  • Initialization of EtherCAT master
  • Initialization of the RPC server which allows remote access by KPA EtherCAT Studio for diagnosis
  • Cycling to read and write to the Process Image (PI) from EtherCAT master using shared memory
  • Create and update a shared memory to allow ISaVM processes to retrieve IOs values

KPA EtherCAT Studio and ISaGRAF 6 Workbench

Click for larger imageThe KPA EtherCAT Studio is integrated in the ISaGRAF 6 workbench as a plug-in. All features supported by KPA EtherCAT Studio are natively brought to ISaGRAF 6:

  • Networking configuration
  • EtherCAT topology
  • On line chart Viewer
  • Snapshot viewer
  • EtherCAT data Logging
  • Process Image Viewer
  • Extensible slave library

The KPA EtherCAT Studio plug-in includes logic that acts as the glue between the configurations done by KPA EtherCAT Studio to EtherCAT Slaves and the ISaGRAF 6 user project. It manages:

  • The attachment of slaves to a particular resource (through possible drag and drop)
  • The Setup of IP address of master into deployment view
  • Instantiations of ISaGRAF IO Devices link to their corresponding slaves
  • Import existing name of define by EtherCAT slave to ISaGRAF dictionary
  • Update and synchronizing KPA EtherCAT Studio and ISaGRAF Workbench (example while deleting a resource)


This solution allows users to concentrate on their competencies of programming automation process control application and not lose time on configuring the IO points.

The EtherCAT Definition Builder is be able to automatically generate the necessary ISaGRAF IO device definition and source code for firmware implementation, for any type of EtherCAT slave defined in KPA EtherCAT Studio.


ISaGRAF is a trademark or registered trademark of ICS Triplex ISaGRAF, Inc. EtherCAT® is registered trademark and patented technology, licensed by Beckhoff Automation GmbH, Germany. QNX and Neutrino are trademarks of QNX Software Systems Limited, which are registered trademarks and/or used in certain jurisdictions. Freescale, and the Freescale logo are trademarks of Freescale Semiconductor, Inc. All other product or service names are the property of their respective owners.