This file contains important information about the NI-Industrial Communications for EtherCAT software, including installation instructions, new features, and known issues.
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.
The NI-Industrial Communications for EtherCAT supports the following operating systems:
1 NI software installs VC2015 Runtime and .NET 4.6.2. Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 require Microsoft updates to support these items. Refer to Microsoft KB2919442 and KB2919355 for more information about how to install these updates.
2 NI software is signed with a SHA-256 certificate. Windows 7 SP1, Windows Embedded Standard 7 SP1, and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 require Microsoft updates to support SHA-256. Refer to Microsoft KB3033929 for more information about how to install this security update.
Note Refer to NI-Industrial Communications for EtherCAT Drops Support for Windows 7 (32- and 64-Bit), Windows Server 2008 R2, and All 32-Bit Windows Operating Systems in 2021 for information about future OS support.
Note In 2016 NI-Industrial Communications for EtherCAT dropped support for Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, and installations of Windows 7 without any service packs. NI-Industrial Communications for EtherCAT 20.0 will not install or run on an unsupported OS. You cannot deploy or distribute applications that use NI-Industrial Communications for EtherCAT 20.0 to an unsupported OS. Additionally, after installing NI-Industrial Communications for EtherCAT 20.0, you cannot use any installers built on this computer with any version of LabVIEW, LabWindows™/CVI™, NI TestStand™, or Measurement Studio on an unsupported OS.
For more information about the changes to our OS support for 2016, refer to Why Does My NI ADE Installer Fail on Windows XP/Vista and Windows Server 2003?.
Note Support for Windows 32-bit operating systems may require disabling physical address extension (PAE). To learn how this might affect your system and what actions you might need to take, visit ni.com/info and enter the Info Code PAESupport.
To install the NI-Industrial Communications for EtherCAT software, install the following prerequisite software.
Refer to the LabVIEW Readme for additional system requirements and supported operating systems for LabVIEW.
NI automates software installation using NI Package Manager. Visit ni.com/info and enter the Info Code NIPMDownload to download NI Package Manager. Refer to the NI Package Manager Manual for more information about installing, removing, and upgrading NI software using NI Package Manager.
Note 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 at ni.com/manuals and in printed-format shipped with the NI-Industrial Communications for EtherCAT software.
The following table lists the supported EtherCAT masters and the earliest supported version of the NI-Industrial Communications for EtherCAT.
|EtherCAT Master||Earliest Supported Version|
|All real-time embedded PXI controllers with the PXI-8231 or PXI-8232 Ethernet interface||2.0|
|PXIe-8840 Quad-Core with NI Linux Real-Time||18.5|
|PXIe-8880 with NI Linux Real-Time||18.5|
|PXIe-8861 with NI Linux Real-Time||19.0|
Note NI does not recommend using cDAQ real-time controllers with the NI 9145 EtherCAT slave device in FPGA mode, because cDAQ real-time controllers cannot read user-defined variables from the NI 9145 EtherCAT slave device. When using a cDAQ real-time controller as the master device, you can only read EtherCAT device signals from the LabVIEW I/O Variable Functions. You cannot read directly from the LabVIEW I/O variables.
Note If you use NI Measurement & Automation Explorer (MAX) to install the NI-Industrial Communications for EtherCAT software on real-time controllers, some controllers, such as the Embedded Vision System, require you to install the controller driver software. Otherwise, MAX cannot discover the controllers.
Note In NI-Industrial Communications for EtherCAT 18.5, PXIe-8840 Quad-Core with NI Linux Real-Time and PXIe-8880 with NI Linux Real-Time are supported only for VeriStand. In NI-Industrial Communications for EtherCAT 19.0 or later, this support no longer relies on VeriStand.
Note NI-Industrial Communications for EtherCAT 20.0 supports only the built-in and non-primary Ethernet ports of PXI controllers with NI Linux Real-Time.
You can access the software and documentation known issues list online. Refer to the NI website for an up-to-date list of known issues in the NI-Industrial Communications for EtherCAT software.
Refer to the NI-Industrial Communications for EtherCAT® Help, available by selecting Help»NI-Industrial Communications for EtherCAT from LabVIEW, for information about the NI-Industrial Communications for EtherCAT software.
Select Help»Find Examples from LabVIEW to launch the NI Example Finder. Navigate to the Hardware Input and Output»NI-Industrial Communications»EtherCAT folder to access the examples.
You can also find the examples for NI-Industrial Communications for EtherCAT® in the labview\examples\indcomecat folder.
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.
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:
Microsoft Windows 10 is the latest version of the Windows operating system and features significant changes compared to previous versions. Windows 10 introduces several new capabilities and also combines features from both Windows 7 and Windows 8. For more information about NI support for Windows 10, visit ni.com/windows10.
When you install NI software on Microsoft Windows 8.1, you will notice a few additional tiles in the Apps view, including shortcuts to NI application software products such as NI LabVIEW, NI Measurement & Automation Explorer (MAX), and NI Launcher. For more information about NI support for Windows 8.1, visit ni.com/windows8.
NI-Industrial Communications for EtherCAT will drop support for Windows 7 (32- and 64-bit), Windows Server 2008 R2, and all 32-bit Windows operating systems starting in 2021. Versions of this product that ship after May 1, 2021, will not install or run on these operating systems. For detailed information about NI operating system support, visit ni.com/r/win32bitsupport.
For detailed information about NI application software product life cycles, visit ni.com/info and enter one of the following Info Codes:
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