icECAT EtherCAT Master Stack for Embedded Systems

The EtherCAT master stack library is specifically designed for embedded systems. This master provides the best performance with lowest resource usage. Target platforms from small microcontrollers up to industrial PCs are supported. The library is written portable in ANSI-C.

Interfacing to the Ethernet network can be done either via the network driver of the underlying operating system or via an optimized link layer driver which uses DMA and zero-copy buffers.

An EtherCAT master monitor tool is included in the product. It can be used to visualize the status of the EtherCAT network, control the master and the slaves, and manually access process variables.


All libraries and tools will be shipped in source code. The master stack is offered under a project-based license, no royalties are necessary.

Architectural features:

  • Small footprint
  • High performance: cycle times with 100 microseconds and below are possible even on small platforms

EtherCAT master features:

  • EtherCAT Master Class-B feature (ETG.1500)
  • ENI configuration via XML file or as statically generated source code
  • EtherCAT State Machine (ESM) with network topology check
  • Configurable slave state monitoring
  • Mailbox protocols: CoE (CAN over EtherCAT), VoE (Vendor specific)
  • Distributed Clocks (DC)
  • Slave-to-slave communication

Features on the roadmap:

  • EtherCAT configuration library for integration in a custom configuration tool
  • Mailbox protocols: EoE, FoE

Supported CPU architectures:

  • x86/x64, ARM Cortex-M / -R / -A, PowerPC

Supported operating systems:

  • Linux (opt. with RT PREEMPT)
  • Xenomai
  • QNX Neutrino RTOS
  • FreeRTOS
  • "Bare metal", without operating system
  • others on request

Optimized link layer drivers available for:

  • Texas Instruments Sitara
  • Intel i210 and PRO/1000
  • NXP LPC18xx
  • STMicroelectronics STM32
  • others on request

IBV provides professional development and integration services for industrial Ethernet technology, real-time and embedded systems.


icECAT EtherCAT Master Stack for Embedded Systems


IBV - Echtzeit- und Embedded

IBV - Echtzeit- und Embedded GmbH & Co. KG