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SERCOS III Master Software Driver Library Submitted as Open-Source

April 21, 2009 -- SERCOS International (SI) has announced it will provide an open source software driver library for the SERCOS lll real-time Ethernet communication system master implementation. SERCOS III thus will be the first high performance real-time protocol which makes driver software available as source code, without any license fees and without any usage limitations. 

SI is cooperating with the Open Source Automation Development Lab (OSADL) to disclose the SERCOS III master driver. The OSADL eG is an international cooperative that promotes and coordinates the usage of open-source software for machine and plant control systems.

"The reason for the high quality and stability of open-source software is the large number of developers and testers due to the open source software license," states Carsten Emde, managing director of OSADL. "Progress is not just dependent on the resources of one single company. Anyone who uses the free software makes the commitment to publish their improvements and make them available to other users."

"With the availability of the SERCOS III master library it will become much easier for manufacturers to develop a SERCOS III master and to benefit from future improvements and extensions of the software," says Peter Lutz, managing director of SERCOS International.

Machine builders are recognizing a huge demand for open control platforms based on modern real-time Ethernet protocols. The Linux open source operating system is increasingly establishing itself as a standard in this market. Therefore it is advantageous for vendors and users that the SERCOS III master library will become part of mainline Linux and that it now will be supplied under a license compatible with Linux.

SERCOS (SErial Real-time COmmunication System) is one of the leading digital interfaces for communication between controls, drives and decentralized peripherals with a 20-year history. SERCOS I was internationally standardized in 1995, followed by the faster and more flexible SERCOS II in 1999. With the third generation, SERCOS III, speed is again increased; and now, in addition to fiber optics, it enables the use of CAT-5 copper cables. SERCOS III transfers data packets via the Ethernet and the TCP/IP protocol, which is also the basis for the Internet. Numerous safety functions in combination with a full-duplex transmission assure trouble-free real-time operation of the communication system.

OSADL eG is an international cooperative that promotes and coordinates the usage of open-source software in the context of machine and plant control systems. OSADL represents the interests of machine builders, manufacturers of automation hardware and software, and open-source service providers. Any company can become a member of the cooperative.

SERCOS International has operated as a user's organization since its establishment in 1990 for open, manufacturer-independent, and freely available technology.