NI-Industrial Communications for EtherCAT® 14.5 Readme

January 2015

This file contains important information about the NI-Industrial Communications for EtherCAT software, including installation instructions, new features, a partial list of bug fixes, and known issues.


System Requirements

Installation Instructions

Product Security and Critical Updates

New Features

Supported Hardware

Driver Version Naming Changes

Accessing the Help

Finding Examples

Known Issues

Bug Fixes

Automating the Installation of NI Products

How to Use NI Software with Microsoft Windows 8.x

NI Software Support for Microsoft Windows Vista, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003

Legal Information


The NI-Industrial Communications for EtherCAT software provides an EtherCAT master driver to support the real-time EtherCAT network operations. Use the software with the LabVIEW Real-Time Module to configure the EtherCAT network and map the EtherCAT device signals to the LabVIEW I/O variables.

System Requirements

NI-Industrial Communications for EtherCAT 14.5 supports the following operating systems.

  • Windows 8.1/8.0/7/Vista (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Windows XP SP3 (32-bit)
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 (64-bit)
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 (64-bit)
  • Windows Server 2003 R2 (32-bit)

Note  NI-Industrial Communications for EtherCAT supports only R2 editions of Windows Server.

Software Requirements

To install the NI-Industrial Communications for EtherCAT software, install the following prerequisite software.

  • LabVIEW 2011 or later
  • LabVIEW 2011 Real-Time Module or later
  • NI-RIO 14.5

Refer to the LabVIEW Readme for additional system requirements and supported operating systems for LabVIEW.

  • NI 9144 is the only EtherCAT slave that has FPGA support in LabVIEW. To use the NI 9144 in FPGA Mode, install the LabVIEW 2011 FPGA Module or later on the host computer and then download a bitfile to the FPGA of the NI 9144. You can compile or copy a bitfile to download to the FPGA.
  • NI 951x Series drive interface modules require the LabVIEW 2011 NI SoftMotion Module or later to work for EtherCAT.

Installation Instructions

Before installing the NI-Industrial Communications for EtherCAT software, log on as Administrator or as a user with Administrator privileges. The NI-Industrial Communications for EtherCAT software setup program must have Administrator privileges because the program modifies the configuration registry of your system. Complete the following steps to install the NI-Industrial Communications for EtherCAT software on the host computer.

  1. Insert the NI-Industrial Communications for EtherCAT software media into a drive. The installer launches if the drive plays media automatically. If the installer does not launch automatically, navigate to the media using Windows Explorer and launch the autorun.exe file from your NI-Industrial Communications for EtherCAT software media.
  2. The installation wizard guides you through the necessary steps to install the NI-Industrial Communications for EtherCAT software. You can go back and change values where appropriate by clicking the Back button. You can exit the setup where appropriate by clicking the Cancel button.
  3. When the installation is complete, click the Finish button.

Note  After installing the NI-Industrial Communications for EtherCAT software on the host computer, if you want to use the software on a real-time controller, refer to NI-Industrial Communications for EtherCAT® Installation Guide to learn how to install the NI-Industrial Communications for EtherCAT software on the real-time controller. This manual is available in PDF-format in the NI-Industrial Communications for EtherCAT media or in printed-format shipped with the media.

Product Security and Critical Updates

Visit to view and subscribe to receive security notifications about National Instruments products. Visit for information about critical updates from National Instruments.

New Features

Version 14.5

  • Added support for LabVIEW 2014 SP1.
  • Added support for new CompactRIO real-time controllers. Refer to the Supported Hardware section for a list of real-time controllers that each version of the NI-Industrial Communications for EtherCAT software supports.

Version 14.0

  • Added EtherCAT master support for new real-time controllers.
  • Added support for new C series modules—NI 9212 and NI 9218.

Version 2.7

  • Added support to import device profiles to the real-time controllers.

Version 2.6

  • Added support for cRIO-9068.
  • Added support for new C Series modules—NI 9381 and NI 9482.

Version 2.5

  • Added support for more than eight modules on third-party modular slave devices.
  • Added support for 4-port slave devices when DC is not enabled.

Version 2.4

  • Added support for sending and receiving raw PDO data.
  • Added support for monitoring slave device states.

Version 2.3

  • Fixed a latency issue caused by using fiberoptic converters in an EtherCAT network.
  • Added support for third-party C series modules in the NI 9144 FPGA mode.
  • Added support for using Remote Programmatic API with the LabVIEW Run-Time Engine.
  • Extended the maximum scan period to 1 second.

Version 2.2

  • Added support for cable redundancy.
  • Added support for Modular Device Profiles.
  • Added support for cRIO-908x.

Version 2.1

  • Improved the performance of user-defined variables.

Version 2.0

  • Added support for Programmatic Configuration.
  • Added support for synchronization among multiple NI EtherCAT masters.
  • Added support for PXIe-8133 and Real-Time Desktop target.
  • Added support for NI 9214 C Series Module.

Version 1.2

  • Added support for cRIO-9023, NI 9792, and EVS-146x Series.
  • Added support for new C series modules.

Version 1.1

  • Added LabVIEW FPGA Module support for the NI 9144.
  • Added support for Industrial Controller and cRIO-9024.
  • Added support for new C series modules, including the NI 951x Motion modules.

Version 1.0.2

  • Fixed incorrect installer dependency.

Version 1.0.1

  • Added support for cRIO-9022.

Version 1.0

  • Initial support for NI-Industrial Communications for EtherCAT.

Supported Hardware

Refer to Supported Hardware for NI-Industrial Communications for EtherCAT for the latest information about the hardware that the NI-Industrial Communications for EtherCAT software supports.

Driver Version Naming Changes

NI-Industrial Communications for EtherCAT versions are now aligned with the versions of major NI application software products. This alignment gives you information about the year the driver was released and the most recent software version the driver was designed to work with. Driver versions now start with a two-digit year indicator: <ProductName><Year-BasedVersion>. For example, NI-Industrial Communications for EtherCAT 14.0 is the version released with LabVIEW 2014. The last version released under the old numbering scheme is NI-Industrial Communications for EtherCAT 2.7. The first version released under the new numbering scheme is NI-Industrial Communications for EtherCAT 14.0.

Accessing the Help

Refer to the NI-Industrial Communications for EtherCAT® Help, available by selecting Help»NI-Industrial Communications for EtherCAT from LabVIEW, for information about using the NI-Industrial Communications for EtherCAT software.

Finding Examples

LabVIEW examples for the NI-Industrial Communications for EtherCAT software are in the labview\examples\indcomecat folder. You can modify an example VI to fit an application or copy an example and paste the example to a VI you create.

Known Issues

You can access the software and documentation known issues list online. Refer to the National Instruments website for an up-to-date list of known issues in the NI-Industrial Communications for EtherCAT software.

Bug Fixes

The following items are the ID and title of a subset of issues fixed in the NI-Industrial Communications for EtherCAT software. This is not an exhaustive list of issues fixed in the current version of the NI-Industrial Communications for EtherCAT software. If you have a CAR ID, you can search this list to validate that the issue has been fixed.

ID Fixed Issue
477512 Correct the calibration parameters for NI 9235/9236

Automating the Installation of NI Products

You can automate the installation of most NI products using command-line arguments to suppress some or all of the installer user interface and dialog boxes. However, starting with the August 2012 releases (products using NI Installers version 3.1 or later), you may need to perform additional steps before or during a silent installation of NI software.

If the NI product you are installing uses Microsoft .NET 4.0, the .NET installer may run before any NI software installs and may require a reboot before the installation of NI software begins. To avoid a .NET reboot, install .NET 4.0 separately before you install NI software.

For more information about automating the installation of NI products, refer to the following KnowledgeBase articles:

How to Use NI Software with Microsoft Windows 8.x

When you install National Instruments software on Microsoft Windows 8.x, you will notice a few additional tiles in the Apps view, including shortcuts to NI application software products such as NI LabVIEW, Measurement & Automation Explorer (NI MAX), and NI Launcher.

Using NI Launcher

NI Launcher helps you find and launch installed NI products. It provides you with a method of finding NI products similar to the Start menu in previous versions of Microsoft Windows. To use NI Launcher, click the NI Launcher tile in the Apps view. NI Launcher launches the desktop and opens a menu containing a list of NI products. Click any NI product to launch it.

Note  NI MAX does not appear as a desktop shortcut when installed on Microsoft Windows 8.x. You can launch NI MAX either from the Apps view or from within NI Launcher.

Pinning Frequently Used Applications

For convenience, you can pin your most-used NI applications, such as MAX, to either the Start screen or the Taskbar on the desktop, as necessary:

Current ApplicationIcon LocationPin to Action
Windows 8.x DesktopDesktop TaskbarRight-click application and select Pin to Taskbar
Windows 8.x Desktop Start screenRight-click application and select Pin to Start
Windows 8.x Start screenDesktop TaskbarRight-click application and select Pin to taskbar from the menu bar on the bottom of the screen

Finding All Programs

If you want to find a particular application or related files, such as documentation files, from the Start screen, you can access all installed files from the Apps view. To get to the Apps view, right-click anywhere on the Start screen and select All apps (Windows 8.0) or click the down arrow on the bottom left of the screen (Windows 8.1).

For more information about NI support for Windows 8.x, visit

NI-Industrial Communications for EtherCAT Drops Support for Microsoft Windows Vista, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003 in 2016

NI-Industrial Communications for EtherCAT will drop support for Microsoft Windows Vista, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003 as of July 1, 2016. Versions of NI-Industrial Communications for EtherCAT that ship after July 1, 2016 will not install or run on Windows Vista, Windows XP, or Windows Server 2003. For detailed information about NI application software product life cycles, visit and enter one of the following Info Codes:

Product Info Code
NI LabVIEWlifecycle
NI LabWindows™/CVI™cvi_lifecycle
NI Measurement Studiomstudiolifecycle
NI TestStandtslcp
NI DIAdemddlcp
NI SignalExpressselcp
NI VeriStandnivslifecycle

Legal Information


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End-User License Agreements and Third-Party Legal Notices

You can find end-user license agreements (EULAs) and third-party legal notices in the following locations after installation:

  • Notices are located in the <National Instruments>\_Legal Information and <National Instruments> directories.
  • EULAs are located in the <National Instruments>\Shared\MDF\Legal\license directory.
  • Review <National Instruments>\_Legal Information.txt for information on including legal information in installers built with NI products.

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