Siemens Answers with Frequently Answered Technical Questions about MASTERDRIVES to SINAMICS Migration

When is the phase-out of MASTERDRIVES?

MASTERDRIVES have been replaced by the SINAMICS family of drives. Learn more about SINAMICS.

The full discontinuation of MASTERDRIVES products has been extended to 2020.

See a detailed timeline for the phase-out


DriveCliQ bus is an Ethernet media based backplane bus for SINAMICS controllers. There is no SIMOLINK communication network to DriveCliQ backplane bus interface. For SIMOTION based systems, a SIGATE controller can be used, which is a Simolink/Profinet gateway.

What is the SIMOLINK equivalent in SINAMICS drive system?

The CU320-2 SINAMICS Control Unit offers peer-to-peer communication via SINAMICS Link. SINAMICS Link can share torque and speed between multiple control units in a 3.0 msec timeframe. A SIMOTION controller is required in order to transmit position setpoints to multiple drives.

Can a SINAMICS motor module be installed into a MASTERDRIVES Common DC bus lineup without damaging the power section of the components?

Yes, but careful consideration must be taken due to the differences in the way capacitance is distributed between the two drive families. With MASTERDRIVES, the rectifiers have no capacitors and all capacitance on the DC bus is contained within the inverters. With SINAMICS, both the rectifiers (line modules) and the inverters (motor modules) have capacitance. A SINAMICS motor module may have as much a 60% less capacitance than its equivalently sized MASTERDRIVE inverter. With each SINAMICS substitution, the total bus capacitance is reduced. The lower capacitance creates higher currents in the existing capacitors, which can shorten their life spans. The capacitance values for all MASTERDRIVES can be found in the following link:

Can a SINAMICS line module be used to replace a MASTERDRIVES rectifier for a common DC bus application without damaging the power section of the components?

Yes, but careful consideration must be taken to make sure the total capacitance of all connected drives on the DC bus does not exceed the maximum allowable connected capacitance stated as a specification for all SINAMICS line modules. The capacitance values for all MASTERDRIVES can be found in the following link

What is the SINAMICS equivalent of the MASTERDRIVES “Free Blocks”?

Both the VC and MC version of MASTERDRIVES had free blocks that could be programmed to do Boolean logic, perform math functions, filter signals, create timers or other various functions. These functions were fixed in the firmware and therefore had limited numbers (i.e. there was only one double word multiplier block). With SINAMICS, this functionality is provided with Drive Control Chart (DCC) and is only limited by the memory of the system. The library of DCC functions can be used as many times as required.

What is the SINAMICS equivalent of the MASTERDRIVES MC F01?

For MASTERDRIVES MC, F01 was firmware that was primarily used for synchronizing drives in position mode. Although F01 was very powerful, it was firmware and was therefore fixed. If a customer wished to have a very custom application that was not in F01, it could not be modified. SINAMICS drives use SIMOTION to synchronize with each other in position mode. SIMOTION allows the user to create whatever is needed in different languages or programming platforms.

Can a SINAMICS drive system coordinate its motion with a MASTERDRIVES system?

Yes. Siemens has created a device called SIGATE which bridges the gap between SIMOLINK and Profinet. SIGATE contains a SIMOLINK and PROFINET board and is housed in a MASTERDRIVES Compact PLUS drive housing. This product was developed with the intention of allowing a new SINAMICS drive system that is coordinated via PROFINET to be able to follow an existing MASTERDRIVES drive system that was coordinated via SIMOLINK. A customer interested in utilizing the SIGATE device should contact the Siemens Motion Control Systems group for assistance in applying this product.

How do I know what firmware is in my MASTERDRIVES MC or VC Drive?

The firmware version is found in parameter r069