TRINAMIC’s TMC8460 is the first EtherCAT slave controller IC to incorporate PWM and Step/Dir I/O peripherals that do not require routing through the firmware of an application processor, eliminating latency for applications requiring real-time response. IT extends the feature set of the core EtherCAT technology with a broad array of peripherals and features. These include an integrated smart peripherals block accessible from an MCU or EtherCAT master and an SPI master and encoder interface that can be directly mapped to the process data object (PDO) by the memory manager, in addition to a PWM unit and Step/Dir interface.
The IC includes a standalone mode that enables direct mapping of integrated peripherals to bus registers, while, in parallel, an external MCU can perform higher layer protocol operations. To enable wide interoperability, the TMC8460 communication hardware has been verified as 100% compatible with the existing Beckhoff EtherCAT slave controller through extensive interoperability testing.
Like all TRINAMIC devices, the TMC8460 benefits from TRINAMIC’s comprehensive development eco-system, called “Landungsbrücke”, which includes evaluation boards, reference designs and, for this device, sample EtherCAT software stacks for Cortex MCUs. All configuration and parameterization tools are incorporated into TRINAMIC’s Integrated Development Environment. The device can be used with any MCU that comes with an SPI interface, or standalone in SPI emulation mode.