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The QEC-M-01 is an Open-Source embedded device supporting EtherCAT

Feb 12, 2023 — by Giorgio Mendoza 487 views

The QEC-M-01 by ICOP is an EtherCAT system solution powered by the Vortex86EX2 dual-core processor for legacy OSes and RTOS. This embedded device features 3x RJ45 ports, DDR3 support, multiple storage options and it can be programmed using 86Duino.

The datasheet for the Vortex86EX2 specifies that it features a Master core for Operating Systems and a Slave core for real time I/O.


  • DM&P Vortex86EX2Master (up to 600MHz) w/ FPU, Slave (up to 400MHz); L1 Cache 1KB(I) + 16KB (D), L2 Cache 128KB

DM&P Vortex86EX2 block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

ICOP mentions, “The QEC master is highly compatible with third-party EtherCAT devices for communication, such as servo, I/O, etc. For taking full advantage of EtherCAT, It supports CoE, FoE, DC, and EtherCAT cable redundancy to use other EtherCAT slaves flexibly.”

QEC-01M system diagram
(click image to enlarge)

For software development, the QEC-M-01 supports 86EVA which is a graphical EtherCAT configurator based on the EtherCAT library in the 86Duino IDE. The 86EVA can automatically generate Arduino language, scan EtherCAT devices, configure EtherCAT object names, cycle times, etc. 

Additionally, the QEC-M-01 also supports ArduBlock which can convert blocks to C/C++ code in 86Duino IDE.

86Duino IDE (left) and ArduBlock (right)
(click image to enlarge)

The product page also mentions, “QEC master has precise synchronization (min.125μs), and its 86Duino IDE provides less than 1us jitter time in the minimum cycle time”.

QEC-M-01 top view (left) and front view (right)
(click images to enlarge)

Specifications listed for the QEC-M-01  include: 

  • Memory/Storage:
    • Up to 2GB DDR3 onboard (ECC support)
    • 32MB SPI Flash (optional)
    • 1x MicroSD card reader (optional)
    • eMMC onboard (optional)
  • Audio:
    • HD Audio (Line-Out)
  • Connectivity:
    • 1x GbE LAN port
    • 1x EtherCAT output
    • 1x EtherCAT input
  • I/O Peripherals:
    • 1x RS485
  • USB:
    • 1x USB Host
    • 1x Micro USB
  • Other Features:
    • Status LEDs
  • Power:DC 
    •  +24V DC/220mA 
  • Mechanical:
    • 107.45 x 77.39 x 34mm
    • 270g
    • DIN rail
  • Operating Temperature:
    • -20°C to 70°C
  • Certification:
    • CE/FCC Class A

Further information

For information about pricing, refer to the QEC-M-01 product page on ICOP’s website.

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One response to “The QEC-M-01 is an Open-Source embedded device supporting EtherCAT”

  1. Trust Wu says:

    The QEC sounds interesting and I like to check it out. I may use it for my home automation project.

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