EtherCAT Master Stack

The EC-Master Stack is designed and optimized to run on different embedded (real time) operating systems. Already existing implementations are available e.g. for Windows CE, VxWorks, On Time RTOS-32, QNX, RTX, INtime®, Integrity, Linux, Xenomai, RTEMS, TKernel and Windows® 7/8/10. For evaluation purposes a Windows XP non-real-time solution exists: any network adapter card may be used to connect a PC with EtherCAT modules. The EtherCAT master stack can be ported on any other embedded operating systems.


  • Ready-to-run for many operating systems and for the Windows real-time extensions.
  • Easy to port on other embedded operating systems.
  • Modular design, individual adjustments are easy to implement.
  • Together with our services you get professional partnership setting up your custom control system. On request you may get the complete system integration.
  • Reliable and robust implementation. For example, the EC-Master Stack is running in the KUKA Robot Control and in the Lenze control systems

Software Architecture

  • Application Interface Layer: Interface to the EtherCAT master.
  • EtherCAT Master Core: The main EtherCAT master functionality in the core layer. All protocol handling, e.g. process data transfer and mailbox protocols (CoE, EoE, FoE, SoE) are executed here.
  • Ethernet Link Layer: Data exchange between master and slaves. Zero-copy and/or polling techniques together with the core layer are supported to achieve best real-time performance and minimize CPU load.
  • Configuration Layer: An OS independent XML parser supports the General Exchange Format defined in the EtherCAT specification.
  • Operating System Layer: The only OS specific layer. All operating system calls are executed here. To achieve best performance the most functions can be implemented using simple "C"-language macros.