Waltham, Massachusetts, United States and Weingarten, Germany
whose RTX software transforms Microsoft Windows into a real-time
operating system (RTOS), today announced a partnership with EtherCAT
technologies GMBH and said it will include the acontis EtherCAT
Master in a product offering when RTX 2012 releases early next month.
Earlier this year IntervalZero outlined a strategy to broaden the scope
of its solution through a vertically integrated RTX RTOS Platform that
combines trusted, proven technologies and innovative new technologies to
deliver cost and performance breakthroughs in markets that require hard
real-time or deterministic capabilities for high-precision,
IntervalZero CEO Jeffrey Hibbard said, “By adding the acontis EtherCAT
Master to our platform, OEMs and end users will realize significant
cost, performance, time-to-market, scalability and safety benefits.
“This partnership brings us closer to our goal of making the RTX RTOS
Platform a complete real-time solution –with pre-tested, pre-qualified
applications and drivers all functioning together in a single integrated
development environment. A bundled product offering of RTX 2012 with the
proven acontis EtherCAT Master fits into this strategy.”
EtherCAT (Ethernet for Control Automation Technology) is an open,
high-performance Ethernet-based fieldbus system that makes internet
technologies available at the I/O level. With EtherCAT, the controller
can update the input and/or output information at the time when the data
is needed, offering performance that previously had been available only
within servo drives with a digital signal processor (DSP).
acontis, which conducted in depth training at IntervalZero earlier this
year, is a highly regarded, highly competent EtherCAT specialist. The
company recognized the potential of EtherCAT technology early on and
started development of its EtherCAT Master in 2004. As an active member
of the standards-setting EtherCAT Technology Group, acontis is current
on all the latest EtherCAT technology developments and many well known
companies in the Industrial Automation market use its Master.
Stefan Zintgraf, acontis owner, said its EtherCAT Master has been
specifically optimized for symmetric multiprocessing environments to
guarantee minimum latencies and jitter when running on IntervalZero’s
RTX 2012. “Bundling our Master with RTX 2012 as a single product
offering will accelerate the adoption of our combined technologies, both
of which have proven they deliver considerable performance and
productivity benefits in automation control systems,” he said.
acontis has released an EtherCAT Master for both IntervalZero RTX 2009
and RTX 8.1. Those products are sold separately.
Hibbard noted that additional partnerships over the next year with
third-party technology providers will add depth and value to the RTX
RTOS Platform, which comprises the Windows operating system, symmetric
multiprocessing-enabled RTX, Microsoft Visual Studio, and x86 multicore
The RTX RTOS Platform capitalizes on continuous advances in:
Standard Windows PCs to deliver the Windows user experience, including
X86 multi-core multiprocessors from Intel and AMD for
application-performance improvements, scalability, and elimination of
proprietary real-time hardware such as DSPs and microcontrollers
RTX for transforming Windows into an RTOS, eliminating the need for a
separate proprietary RTOS or real-time hardware; and for symmetric
multiprocessing capabilities (SMP);
Real-time Ethernet – acontis EtherCAT and ProfiNET for example – for
streamlining and simplifying system development and for improved
Microsoft’s Visual Studio for a single IDO;
Additional third-party applications, communications, I/O, and driver
capabilities to enhance the platform’s value.
“We see many approaches for addressing real-time and deterministic needs
that could benefit from the RTX RTOS Platform,” said Hibbard. “Systems
with separate hard real-time operating systems on dedicated or virtual
hardware that also have a Windows general-purpose operating system; and
systems that have an over-reliance on real-time hardware – DSPs or MCUs.
Both approaches drive up costs, limit performance, or cause development
The RTX RTOS Platform eliminates these challenges, according to Hibbard.
IntervalZero is a Microsoft Embedded Gold Partner and was recognized as
Windows Embedded Partner in 2009, 2010 and 2011. It is a member of
the Intel Embedded Alliance and RTX’s value in digital signal processing
is featured on Intel’s