Kithara RealTime EtherCAT

real-time software: Kithara RealTime EtherCAT

EtherCAT® in real-time for Windows

Kithara RealTime EtherCAT is a modular real-time extension for Windows operating systems, with specific focus on real-time automation with EtherCAT®.

32-bit as well as 64-bit applications can be generated from a single uniform code base. Both versions are completely source code compatible—with a specially integrated function (KiK64) even binary compatible. The software offers immediate accessibility with program frameworks for programming languages and compilers listed below. Download the free trial version now!

Supported programming languages

Kithara RealTime Suite supports C, C++, Delphi and C#, among others. In order to gain “hard” real-time capabilities, it is necessary to run hardware-dependent, time-critical application code in the kernel mode of the system. To do so, this code is transferred into a DLL, which is then loaded directly into the real-time context. In general, this requires programming languages that are able to generate native x86 or x64 machine code, such as C, C++ or Delphi. In the use case of C#, the DLL can be programmed, for example, in C++.

EtherCAT in real time: 32/64 bitreal time EtherCAT: Quick startreal-time EtherCAT: 90 days trial

Core features

  • Highly accurate real-time timer with frequencies over 20 kHz
  • Priority-based preemptive real-time multitasking
  • Real-time automation with specially developed EtherCAT® Master
  • Code execution at kernel level with C, C++ and Delphi (native code generation required)
  • C# support by transferring code into a C++-DLL
  • Support for Windows 10 and 11 (32 bit and 64 bit) as well as Windows Server 2016, 2019 and 2022.
  • License management via online activation or USB dongle
EtherCAT in Real Time


Kithara RealTime EtherCAT is a special selection of modules from Kithara RealTime Suite. A customized module combination is also possible.

Basic functions

Base/Kernel Module

  • Supports the following operating systems: Windows 10 and 11 (32 bit and 64 bit) as well as Windows Server 2016, 2019 and 2022, each with Dedicated Mode
  • Supports multi-core processors, Hyper-threading and NUMA multi-processor PCs
  • Functions for: opening the driver, execution of real-time code at kernel level, real-time memory management, device handling, version information, debugging support, system information
  • Real-time tasks, events, callbacks, shared memory, data and message pipes, fast mutex objects

Further information …

Library Module

  • C standard library in real time
  • Mathematical/trigonometrical and string/memory functions
  • Supports application and kernel level
  • Support for external libraries for image processing and machine learning

Weitere Informationen …

System Module

  • Interception of system events, e. g. protection faults and system crashes at the kernel level (e. g. FailSafe-Handler/“BlueScreen-Handler”)

Further information …

Timer and Multitasking

Timer Module

  • Determining the system time in different time and user-specific formats, resolution up to 0.1 μs
  • Highly accurate short time delays
  • Long-term synchronization of system clocks, synchronization with EtherCAT Distributed Clocks (DC) and IEEE 1588
  • Creation of simple Windows timers

Further information …

RealTime Tasking Module

  • Development of high frequency real-time timer routines
  • Task frequency up to 20 kHz and above
  • Jitter in the one-digit microsecond range
  • Preemptive real-time system with up to 255 priority levels
  • Operation of CPU cores exclusively in real-time mode in order to avoid Windows influence

Further information …


Network Module

  • Ethernet communication up to 100 Gbit/s with any protocols, e. g. IP
  • Raw Ethernet as well as UDP/TCP (server and client protocols)
  • Event and request driven control, automatic determination of memory adrdresses through ARP-support
  • IP- and MAC-Multicast, Broadcast, Jumbo-Frames according to the used controller
  • Support of Intel- or RealTek-Network-Controller (hardware-support on request)
  • Support for BroadR-Reach (100BASE-T1)

Further information …


EtherCAT Module

  • EtherCAT Master in real-time
  • Proprietary developed EtherCAT stack
  • Automatic determination of EtherCAT topology; Synchronization via XML file or SII protocol
  • Process and service data communication (PDO + SDO) as well as mailbox communication
  • CoE, EoE, FoE, SoE, DC, Safety-over-EtherCAT (TwinSAFE)

Further information …

EtherCAT Automation Protocol

  • EtherCAT® Automation Protocol
  • New level of connectivity in the field of automation systems
  • Transfer speed of e. g. 1000 Mbit/s and up to 100 Gbit/s

Further information …

Software Combination

Kithara RealTime EtherCAT comes with the following features:

  • Kithara RealTime Suite is built modularly and allows for creating an individually customized real-time operating system tailored to your needs.
  • The name of development and runtime files can can be chosen freely.
  • Solid API, no modifications necessary in case of new versions.
  • With the purchase of the module you will automatically receive a developer's license.
  • Favourable price scale conditions for runtime licenses.
  • Multiple updates provided over a period of 12 months after initial purchase
  • Update service extendable by an additional 12 months.
  • Extendable with additional modules at any time.
  • 10 hours developer support included, beyond that various support support packages are available (20, 50, 100 hours)
  • Support is handled in the Kithara ticket system, enables fast and direct contact with developers.

Our qualified Support-Team provides you with the best possible solution for integrating the software into your project and our development support also assists you with questions (even beyond Kithara software).

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Real-time capability can only be achieved on the kernel level. For this purpose a programming language is required that is able to generate native machine code, e. g. C, C++ or Delphi and others. Nevertheless Kithara RealTime Suite supports various platforms, for example a .NET environment. The solution is to transfer the time-critical code into a DLL, which will be loaded directly into the real-time context at the kernel level. A number of usable program frameworks for the aforementioned platforms are provided with every software purchase.

System Requirements

The products of the RealTime Suite support a wide range of hardware and software combinations. If you have questions regarding the system support, please contact us!

Operating system

The software supports the following operating systems:

  • Windows 10 and 11 (32 bit and 64 bit), dedicated mode
  • Windows Server 2016, 2019 and 2022, dedicated mode


The software runs on the following hardware:

  • CPU: AMD (Athlon) or Intel (Pentium 2), 32 or 64 bit
  • Dual- or multi-core; optional hyper-threading with multi-core, currently up to 48 logical CPUs, above on request
  • ACPI recommended (Advanced Control and Power Interface)
  • the PC must be able to support PAE (Page Address Extension)
  • Gigabit-Ethernet up to 100 Gbit/s, almost every controller of Intel and RealTek is supported


Immediately usable program frameworks for the following programming languages / compilers are included in the supplied software (other programming languages can be supported on request):

  • Visual Studio 20xx C++ with MFC user interface (provided project files: VS 2010/12/13/15/17/19/22)
  • C++ Builder (Embarcadero, formerly Borland) VCL user interface
  • Delphi (Embarcadero, formerly Borland) VCL user interface
  • Visual Studio 20xx C# with WPF user interface (incl. C++ DLL for real-time execution, provided project files: VS 2010/12/13/15/17/19/22)

In order to execute code in a real-time context, any compiler that can generate a DLL with native machine code, is generally usable. Furthermore, the Windows application can also be generated with other programming languages, such as C#.

EtherCAT® and Safety over EtherCAT® are registered trademarks and patented technologies, licensed by Beckhoff Automation GmbH, Germany.
CANopen® is a registered trademark of the CAN in Automation e. V.
GigE Vision® is a registered trademark of the Automated Imaging Association.
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