Sitara™ AM437x Processor

Texas Instruments has expanded EtherCAT functionality to the Sitara™ AM437x processors based on the ARM® Cortex®-A9.

EtherCAT technology improves upon traditional Ethernet by implementing “on-the-fly” processing where the nodes in the EtherCAT network read the data from a frame as it passes through. All EtherCAT frames originate from the EtherCAT master which sends commands and data to the slaves. In order to support the bandwidth of 100 Mbit/s, special hardware is required for fast processing as data passes through.

The Sitara AM437x processors with the programmable real-time unit (PRU) enable integration of the the EtherCAT slave controller on-chip allowing tight integration with the application processor which provides higher throughput, lower latency access, and board space savings. With the quad-core PRU this functionality is further extended to support encoder protocols for Industrial drive applications.