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Introduction to Sercos interface
Applications Types
Sercos I and II
Sercos III
Sercos III Features
Service & IP Channels
Centralized and Decentralized Drive Concepts
Controller-to-Controller Synchronization
Communications Hardware
Noise Immunity
Sercos Version Comparisons
Sercos Standardization
Communications Hardware

Unlike Sercos I and II, no ASIC is required by Sercos III as a communications device. Instead, lower cost standard modules such as a FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) or GPCC (General Purpose Communication Controller) are used. Industrial Ethernet couplings and cable are used instead of the current fiber optic couplings and cable, which means lower costs. This will allow the Sercos interface to be implemented in very cost-sensitive products, such as sub-1 kW systems.

FPGA Controllers

Because a more flexible hardware solution is implemented in Sercos-III, the development of a Sercos core (Sercos-III IP) was necessary. With this, manufacturers of components and systems can purchase an off-the-shelf FPGA, load the Sercos III core onto it, and combine it with their own logic components. The FPGA includes all hardware functions, such as timing, synchronization and processing of cyclic and non-cyclic data on the basis of two integrated Ethernet MACs.

Xilinx FPGAs

Cores for three communications controllers are available, based on the low-cost Xilinx Spartan-3 FPGA platform. 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 BGA 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.

The following table gives an overview of the different options:

Sercon100M-XC3S200 (planned)

FPGA device type: XILINX XC3S400 or XC3S200
Package: FT256C (256 ball grid) or TQ144C (144 pins)
Speed grade: -4

Documentation for Sercos III Core

SERCON100M Master Reference Manual
Revision: 0.0 Size: 185Kb Date: May 12, 2005
69 pages (available on request)

SERCON100S/SL Slave Reference Manual
Revision: 0.0 Size: 1.147Kb Date: May 12, 2005
81 pages (available on request)

Sercos III Reference Design incl. Bill of material
Revision: 1.0 Size: 185Kb Date: May 12, 2005
4 pages (available on request)

Sercon100M/S/SL Data Sheet
Revision: 1.5 Size: 268Kb Date: July 7, 2005
31 pages

The Sercos III designs are provided to programmers in the form of a *.bit file and for loading by the application in the form of a *.mcs file (Intel format, ASCII code).

If you have questions regarding the SERCON100, and/or if you are interested in receiving the documentation and/or licensing the designs please contact us:
info@Sercos.com or info@Sercos.de

XILINX Spartan-3 Documentation

Spartan-3 Complete Data Sheet
(All four modules of Spartan-3 data sheet in one Acrobat PDF file for easy searching),
Version: 2.1 Size: 4916Kb Date: 04/26/06

Spartan-3 ASCII pinouts and Excel footprints
Comma-delimited ASCII text files and Excel spreadsheet maps for each package type.
Version: 1.4.2 Size: 345Kb Date: 07/13/05

Spartan-3 FPGAs can be purchased from any of Xilinx' worldwide distributors.

Altera FPGAs

The Sercos III core is available for the Altera Cyclone II and Cyclone III FPGA families. For more information on Cyclone II.
For more information on Cyclone III.

Hilscher Sercos III Network Co-Processor

Hilscher GmbH has integrated the Sercos core into a General Purpose Communication Controller (GPCC). The company recently announced the arrival of the first silicon for the netX 500, an ARM926 based System on Chip network communication controller. Evaluation boards, starter-kit and board support packages for Windows-CE and Linux are available from Hilscher. Three versions of the netX are planned.

netX Block Diagram
netX Block Diagram

The netX controllers are able to support a number of different Industrial Ethernet protocols. Thus, it is possible to implement control and drive devices that can easily be adjusted to the respective Industrial Ethernet protocol simply by using the appropriate driver software. This is a huge advantage, not just for the manufacturers of components. The OEM needs to handle only one type of wiring. The end user profits from not having to use different hardware configurations in case he is using several different Industrial Ethernet protocols in his plant, such as Sercos III, Profinet and Ethernet IP.

You can find additional information on the Hilscher website.