May 9th, 2011
acontis technologies GmbH
Sherpa LLC
Personal Media Corp

Personal Media Corporation
Koizumi Bldg. 1-29-1 Nishigotanda, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo 141-0031
TEL:.03-5759-8305 FAX:.03-5759-8306
(T-Engine's web site)

EtherCAT Master Stack "EC-Master" now supports T-Kernel 2.0. Jointly developed by German and Japanese companies

The German company, acontis technologies GmbH (General Managers: Stefan Zintgraf and Christoph Widmann, HQ: Weingarten, Germany, hereinafter called acontis), and the Japanese company, Personal Media Corporation (Representative Chairman: Akira Matsui, HQ: Tokyo, Japan) have successfully developed a T-Kernel 2.0 version of the high-performance EtherCAT master stack "EC-Master". The forementioned two companies and Sherpa limited liability company (Representative Partner: Hideki Naito, HQ: Kanagawa, Japan, hereinafter called Sherpa) have agreed to continuously and jointly promote the embedding of the "EC-Master" EtherCAT Master Stack into the "T-Kernel" operating system based system. The two software companies, acontis and Sherpa, will offer the "EC-Master EtherCAT motion network" technology to third parties by porting this technology on high-level embedded systems with the T-Kernel. They will also benefit on Personal Media's strong know-how and experience on T-Kernel porting and its powerful sales channels.

In the manufacturing industry of Germany and Japan, the manufacturing companies have been using many FA (factory automation) machines in their production lines to control complex automation processes. These FA machines are connected to an advanced embedded computer by an industry-specific network. Thus, it is essential for these companies to control their FA machines using efficient software at high speed and accuracy and to deploy an efficient network protocol which in turn will result in higher product quality and productivity.

It is also important for these software and network protocol to be flexibly compatible with the FA machines produced by device manufacturers all over the world. The demand for standardization and openness is growing in the industry. The EtherCAT Master Stack "EC-Master" for T-Kernel 2.0 is the best suitable solution to fulfill that demand. This solution was jointly developed by acontis, Sherpa, and Personal Media.

EtherCAT is an open Fieldbus system whose design is based on the Ethernet technology which is a worldwide standard for LAN. This system presents high-speed and high-accuracy communication required for controlling the FA control systems. The "EC-Master" is a software (protocol stack) that controls the communication on EtherCAT's Master side. It was designed and developed by acontis and features a high performance and a small footprint that matches the needs of embedded systems.

The T-Kernel is a high performance open-source real-time operating system provided by the T-Engine Forum, a study group which is actively working to enhance the development efficiency of embedded systems. Since being initially developed in 2002, the T-Kernel embedded technology has been used not only on FA control machines but also on various equipment and devices such as industrial terminals, vehicle navigation systems, and printers. The ITRON, a predecessor of the T-Kernel, also has a history of 25 years and has been installed on many applications, such as digital cameras, household electric appliances, OA equipments, and vehicle engine control units.
In May 2011, a new T-Kernel 2.0 with its enhanced time control functions (capable of processing data in microseconds.) will be released by the T-Engine Forum. The T-Kernel 2.0 is able to control equipment more accurately in terms of time. This new release is expected to spark the utilization of the T-Kernel in the FA industry.

The "EC-Master" for T-Kernel 2.0, jointly developed by acontis, Sherpa, and Personal Media, is suitable for use in a wide range of products ranging from manufacturing equipments, robot control units, motion control systems, to data collection and measuring devices installed at production sites.

The three companies, acontis, Sherpa, and Personal Media will provide strong technical support on "EC-Master" for T-Kernel 2.0 technology to third parties for the development of their FA embedded systems.


The EtherCAT and EC-Master
The EtherCAT is an IEEE 802.3 Ethernet-based Fieldbus system.
The EtherCAT has a flexible topology and a simple configuration that support the various bus connections and network connections and thus can be handled in the same way as the traditional Fieldbus system but with remarkably enhanced communication speed as compared to the traditional Fieldbus system. And its implementation cost is less than the traditional Fieldbus system thus expanding its applicability to the relatively low-end systems which could not afford the cost of the traditional Fieldbus system previously.

The EtherCAT uses standard open technology as defined by the IEC (International Electro technical Commission.) The actual implementation (programming) of EtherCAT was developed by the EtherCAT Technology Group. This Group also provides support on the product.

The EtherCAT Technology Group is an international study group whose membership is made up of both users and vendors. Its membership already counts over 1,600 which also includes acontis technologies GmbH.

The "EC-Master", developed by acontis, is a high-performance EtherCAT Master protocol stack which is designed to optimize the processing time of the operating systems.

The EC-Master supports various CPU systems such as x86, ARM, XScale, PPC, SH, and MIPS and also features a small footprint and a modular stack structure that satisfy the needs of embedded systems.

About acontis technologies GmbH
acontis technologies GmbH is a German software development company which is based in Weingarten (near Munich) and which develops all of its products domestically in Germany.

acontis technologies is an official distributor of the KUKA Roboter and has strong ties with such EtherCAT Slave stack vendors as Beckhoff and Hilscher. The "EC-Master" software, fully developed in Germany, is the world leading EtherCAT Master Stack Software. It has important customers who have embedded the "EC-Master" software into their application across the world.

About Sherpa LLC
Sherpa LLC (location: Chigasaki, KANAGAWA, JAPAN) is the sole Japanese
distributor for all of acontis products including the master stack for the
virtual systems and the EtherCAT. Sherpa's main line of business is in the
porting of these master stacks to the real-time OS and also in offering
consultation on porting. Its highly-vaunted virtual systems licenses have
sold over 7,000 in Japan alone and is being widely used in the manufacturing
industry, such as in semiconductor processing equipment and FA machines.

As a member of the EtherCAT Technology Group, Sherpa also offers
consultation and seminars on the EtherCAT periodically to promote its
standards in Japan.

Personal Media and the T-Engine project
Personal Media is a company that is actively participating in the T-Engine Project which is developing an open development platform for embedded systems. The company is deeply involved in this business from product development, technical support, distribution, to publishing. Specifically, Personal Media has been involved in the porting and tuning of the "PMC T-Kernel", the development and porting of the "PMC T-Drivers" (device drivers for embedded systems), and the development and distribution of the "Teamacaron" (ultra-small macaron-type computer), and its experience and reputation is highly evaluated and well-known in the field.

The company also chairs the T-Kernel 2.0 Working Group and also supports the activities of the T-Engine Forum by designing specifications of the T-Kernel 2.0. The company's flexible characteristics can be seen by its quick reaction to the specification upgrade when they proudly announced the new "T-Kernel 2/x86 Evaluation Kit" recently.

Related Web page Addresses
acontis technologies GmbH

Personal Media Corporation(T-Engine Solution)

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