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NI industrial controllers Ethercat

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I was wondering if the Industrial controllers are Ethercat capable, on the product details page is the sentence:

Industrial Controllers are high-performance, fanless controllers that provide connectivity for communication and synchronization to EtherCAT and Ethernet CompactRIO chassis.

But if i look in the Readme file of industrial communications for ethercat only the IC 3171/3172/3172 are listed.


We are currently using a cRIO 9064 but would like a controller with more processing power.

We only use IO modules and frequency controllers over ethercat, hence we won't be needing the C series modules.


Thanks in advance!

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Message 1 of 8

Hey Jelle,


Yes, you're looking in the right place. The NI-Indcomm for EtherCAT driver readme lists the devices you can use as an EtherCAT master. As you said, the IC-3171/2/3 are all supported by this driver which enables them to act as an EtherCAT master.


Are you looking at a (different) particular IC model?

Andrew T.
"His job is to shed light, and not to master" - Robert Hunter
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Message 2 of 8

I was looking at the IC-3120. This controller has 3 ethernet ports, and is more in the price range of the cRIO 9064. It's listed on the product page below the description that the industrial controllers can act as a EtherCAT master.

And according to this article All real time controllers with 2 or more ethernet ports can act as a EtherCAT master.

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Message 3 of 8
Accepted by topic author Jelle1991
04-16-2018 03:18 AM

Hi Jelle,


To confirm:


The Linux Real-Time variant of the IC-3120 can act as an embedded EtherCAT Master controller for the NI 9144 EtherCAT slave or any other 3rd party slave validated to work with our EtherCAT master stack.




Ashley Nunn | MEng (Hons) | CLAD | CTD
Application Engineer, National Instruments
Message 4 of 8

Hi Jelle,



I searched some documents that I unfortunately can't share here but I think I found the answer.

The IC-317x is given on the driver because it only support Linux RT. All the others can be both Linux RT and Windows. 

Unfortunately Windows isn't supported by Ethercat, meaning if you stick to Linux RT you should be fine.


I would recommend calling up NI and have this discussion with the sales department to get complete confirmation.


Kind regards,

Natan Biesmans, CLD

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Message 5 of 8

Hi ash, 


Thanks for your help. 

The support on the ni forums is great!



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Message 6 of 8

Here's a slightly more obscure question... since the industrial controllers have 5 ethernet ports, can we configure 2 of them for ethercat so we can have cable redundancy mode like with the PXI?

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