Sercos III Open Source Soft-Master Core Announced

Sercos International has announced that in cooperation with Bosch Rexroth a Sercos III Soft-Master core will be provided as open source software.

By using a Sercos III Soft-Master, a Sercos III master device can be implemented without specific FPGAs or ASIC Sercos III hardware controller. Instead, a standard Ethernet controller is used and the Sercos III hardware functions are emulated in a host-based driver software. With this implementation approach, a sufficient real-time performance can be ensured for a large number of applications. If an Ethernet controller is used that operates with multiple queues and a telegram scheduler (e.g., the INTEL i210™), a synchronicity similar to that of a hardware-based master can be achieved.

Various prominent companies have already started to implement projects using the Sercos III Soft-Master in cooperation with Bosch Rexroth AG. After a controlled testing period, the Soft-Master will be made available under an open source license for general use in the software pool of Sercos International e.V. The license model will follow the one used for the Sercos III master library CoSeMa (Common Sercos Master;, which has been available as open source since April 2009 and can be used for hardware-based as well as software-based master implementations.

"With the availability of the Sercos III Soft-Master implementation as open source it will become much easier for manufacturers to develop a Sercos III master and to benefit from future improvements and extensions of the software," says Peter Lutz, Managing Director of Sercos International. "Control systems can thus be designed to be simpler, more compact and at reduced costs. This is an increasingly important aspect, especially for the Asian market."

Companies that are interested in utilizing the Sercos III Soft-Master can contact Sercos International e.V. ( or Bosch Rexroth AG (

About Sercos International

Sercos International is an association of users and manufacturers that is in charge of technical development, standardization, certification and marketing for the Sercos automation bus. Conformance tests guarantee that Sercos implementations are standard-compliant, ensuring that devices from different manufacturers can be combined. Based in Germany, the organization presently has more than 90 member companies located around the world and has national liaison offices in North America and Asia.

About Sercos

The SErial Realtime COmmunication System, or Sercos, is one of the world’s leading digital interfaces for communication between controls, drives and decentralized peripheral devices. Sercos has been used in machine engineering for approximately 25 years and is implemented in over 5 million real-time nodes. With its open, manufacturer-independent Ethernet-based architecture, Sercos III is a universal bus for all automation solutions.

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