IntervalZero to Offer acontis EtherCAT Master with SMP-enabled RTX 2012

IntervalZero RTX Transforms Windows into a Real-Time Operating System (RTOS)

WALTHAM, MA & WEINGARTEN, Germany (June 19, 2012) – IntervalZero, whose RTX software transforms Microsoft Windows into a real-time operating system (RTOS), today announced a partnership with EtherCAT specialist acontis 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, high-performance applications.

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 multiprocessors.

The RTX RTOS Platform capitalizes on continuous advances in:

  • Standard Windows PCs to deliver the Windows user experience, including multi-touch;
  • 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 (MCUs);
  • 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 safety;
  • 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 delays.”

The RTX RTOS Platform eliminates these challenges, according to Hibbard.
IntervalZero is a Microsoft Embedded Gold Partner and was recognized as a leading 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 Website.