POWERLINK can be used without hardware support on any operating system of choice (e.g. Windows, Linux or VxWorks) with a standard onboard Ethernet controller. Achievable jitter and cycle times are contingent on CPU performance and an optimal adaptation of the operating system to the CPU. Cycle times around 500 µs and jitter values of about 30 µs are typical. Integrating a PCI card with pre-implemented POWERLINK into the system is an alternative option to a POWERLINK master. In this scenario, a co-processor handles the protocol stack and saves central processor resources, typically achieving cycle times of 100 µs and an accuracy of 0.1 µs.