|SERCOS III Controllers Now Available
The SERCOS organizations have been intensively working since October 2003 on the new generation, Ethernet-based SERCOS III interface for motion control and I/O. In November 2004, first prototype implementations were presented at the SPS/IPC/DRIVES show in Nuremberg, including control systems, servo drives and I/O devices. At the same time, the SERCOS III specification was released and officially submitted to IEC for standardization.
Now an important new milestone has been reached, with the availability of the first SERCOS III controllers.
This first implementation of the SERCOS III hardware was realized on the low-cost Spartan-3 FPGA platform of Xilinx, a world-leading supplier of programmable logic solutions. The newly available SERCOS III controllers include all hardware functions, such as timing, synchronization and processing of cyclic and non-cyclic data on the basis of two integrated Ethernet MACs.
Cores for two controllers are available. The SERCON100 Master and Slave Controllers are available for a Spartan-3 FPGA with 400K system gates (XC3S400). Both controllers are integrated in a FT256 housing so that a common hardware design can be realized. This makes a very powerful, low-cost standard hardware platform available, which not only reduces implementation efforts, but also ensures a high acceptance by suppliers. In addition, the SERCON100S Slave Controller is available for a Spartan-3 FPGA with 200K system gates (XC3S200) in a TQ144 housing, which further reduces the costs and efforts for a slave hardware design.
Detailed reference manuals on the SERCOS III controllers and a reference design and bill of material document are available from SERCOS NA. Spartan-3 FPGAs can be purchased from any of Xilinx distributors, including Avnet, Nu Horizons Electronics Corp. and Memec Insight. The SERCOS III core can be licensed from the SERCOS organizations by contacting
Peter Lutz -- 011-49-711-284-5750.
SERCOS III is based on the established real time mechanisms of the original SERCOS interface, still using the principle of cyclic data transfer with deterministic timing. This hardware-based synchronization is the prerequisite for the reliable implementation of challenging motion applications, such as packaging machines, multi-axis machine tools and electronic line shafts in printing machines.
SERCOS III has been defined such that any standard IP telegram (e.g., TCP/IP) can be transmitted in a non-real time slot, in parallel to the real time processing. A SERCOS III control system is able to exchange these telegrams with super-ordinate devices in the network. Thus, SERCOS III combines the established SERCOS real time mechanisms and standardized parameter set with universal communication based on Industrial Ethernet.
The SERCOS III controllers continue the long and successful tradition of the SERCON communication controllers. In 1993, the SERCON410B ASIC provided the first generation of SERCOS with transmission rates of 2 and 4 Mbit/s. In 2000, the SERCON816 followed, with transmission rates of 8 and 16 Mbit/s for the second generation SERCOS interface. To date, far in excess of 1 million of these controllers have been used in many different applications of automated machines.
New Working Group to Specify SERCOS Controller-to-Controller Communication
The SERCOS trade organizations have founded a new technical working group to specify a profile for distributed control functions in modular machines and systems, providing for synchronization between distributed motion controls via the SERCOS interface. This addresses the increased need in manufacturing systems engineering in which individual machine modules not only need to be connected mechanically, but also must be integrated into communication networks and coupled in hard real-time.
This profile makes use of the new Ethernet-based SERCOS III specification, which was released and officially submitted to the IEC for standardization in November 2004. Typical applications for such a profile are in printing, packaging and processing machines; as well as machine tools with special requirements for control systems and synchronization, e.g., machine concepts with gantry axes or rotary transfer tables.
Manufacturer-specific solutions -- based on available SERCOS interface physics -- presently exist to for synchronization between distributed motion controls. With the SERCOS-C2C-Profile (Controller-to-Controller synchronization and communication), this type of communication will now be standardized. C2C is a supplement to the existing SERCOS device profiles for servo drives and remote I/O devices.
The specification of communication and synchronization mechanisms between distributed motion controls takes into consideration the hardware redundancy and hot-plugging features of the SERCOS III concept. In addition, the data and commands exchanged between controls will be defined based on the SERCOS parameter model. This data includes control and state information, as well as relevant command values and actual values. In this context, a convergence with the CIP Motion Profile and the development of a SERCOS/CIP-Gateway is planned.
The profile specification will be available by Hannover Fair
SERCOS Information Available
1. SERCOS III Brochure
A 6-page brochure describes how SERCOS III merges the proven real-time mechanism of SERCOS interface with Industrial Ethernet. It includes a description of the real-time characteristics of SERCOS, describes available ring and line topologies, illustrates the structure of real-time and non-real-time Ethernet data frames, and discusses cycle times and the expected performance of various servo system configurations. The brochure can be
downloaded as a pdf file. It is also available as a hardcopy.
Send an e-mail to request a mailed copy.
2. SERCON100 Controller Datasheet
A 23-page datasheet on the new SERCON100M/S/SL FPGA
controllers can be
downloaded at no charge.
3. Updated Pack Profile Specification
A PDF of the latest Pack Profile Specification can be
downloaded at no charge.
New SERCOS N.A. Office Address
The SERCOS N.A. office has been moved to sunny Florida. Our new contact information is:
405 Loblolly Bay Drive • Santa Rosa Beach, Florida 32459
Tel: 850/269-0908 or 800/573-7267 • FAX: 850/269-0908 •