This is one of the questions most frequently asked by manufacturers. POWERLINK can generally be integrated into any standard embedded Ethernet design either as a pure software solution or with hardware support, regardless of the processor architecture being used. For pure software solutions, POWERLINK is directly integrated on the application processor and uses a standard Ethernet controller as its bus connection. If very demanding requirements call for hardware acceleration, a number of manufacturers give users a broad variety of options permitting them to implement solutions tailored to their needs, none of which require proprietary technology such as ASICs.

100 % open technology

The EPSG does not charge any licensing fees to use this technology. POWERLINK is an open technology, which always gives customers the choice among various POWERLINK manufacturers and service providers (see “Technology providers” section) and ensures an optimal price/performance ratio for every application. Regardless of whether time to market or price is the key criteria – this open software solution with a consistent specification provides users with greater freedom and more opportunities for technical optimizations than other comparable real-time Ethernet systems.


openPOWERLINK is a complete protocol solution for masters and slaves. Programmed in ANSI C, this implementation can be easily ported to any target system. openPOWERLINK has been released on the SourceForge code repository under the BSD license, which grants permission for anyone to use, distribute, modify and enhance the software free of charge. It is also possible for developers to integrate the software into retail products and source code for custom modifications without disclosure. Detailed instructions for setting up a system and getting it up and running are available at