To meet the demands of digital drive controllers in today’s smarter, more automated factories, electrical interfaces have had to evolve. RS485 and SinCos, for example, are two classical interfaces that together make up RS485 + SinCos—a hybrid protocol that provides the benefits of both incremental and absolute encoders.

But as single-cable technology continues to gain traction in the world of motion control, RS485 + SinCos has had to change to keep pace. Here’s an overview of this evolution:

What is RS485 + SinCos? To meet the requirements of digital drive controllers, RS485 + SinCos combines incremental and absolute encoders and features the advantages of both types—permitting one electrical interface for both low-end and high-end applications.

What are its technical features? A hybrid interface, RS485 + SinCos consists of an analog process channel on which sine and cosine signals are transmitted differentially with almost no delay, as well as a bidirectional parameter channel that transmits absolute position information according to the RS485 standard. RS485 + SinCos is HIPERFACE®-compatible.

What are its benefits? Because it utilizes the RS485 transmission standard, you can use RS485 + SinCos over long distances up to 100 m and in electrically noisy environments, making it useful in industrial control systems. Not only that, but the use of sin and cosine signals, available for speed control, provides high resolution at low speeds and efficient signal bandwidth at high speeds.

How has it evolved? More and more, today’s industrial and robotic systems demand electrical interfaces that can support high-performing data exchange between the rotary or linear motor feedback encoder and drive controller. That’s where BiSS Line comes in. This interface is built on the same physical platform as RS485 + SinCos but utilizes single-cable technology—making it a compelling choice for today’s servo-driven systems.

You can learn more about BiSS Line in our next blog post. In the meantime, visit our Motor Feedback Systems product page to learn more about the benefits of single-cable technology.