CODESYS Virtual Control SL

The IEC 61131-3-compatible runtime system CODESYS Virtual Control SL can be installed on any architecture with container or hypervisor / VM - as often as required and with scalable performance. This makes it easy to implement virtual controls equipped with all the available CODESYS features and programmable with the CODESYS Development System in the IEC 61131-3 languages.

CODESYS Virtual Safe Control SL: Product of the Year 2024

The readers of the German trade magazine "Computer & Automation" have voted for their Product of the Year 2024:

In the "Control and Engineering" category, the first place goes to CODESYS Virtual Safe Control SL. Our new product will soon allow for SIL3-certified safety controllers to be implemented - without certified hardware. Other features of the winning product: Dual-channel execution via coded processing, hardware independence on any architecture with container - if required multiple times on one single hardware and with scalable performance.

CODESYS Virtual Safe Control SL will be available from mid-2024.

We thank everyone who gave us their vote!

Device Manufacturers

can offer images / configurations for CODESYS Virtual Control SL on their computers and industrial devices. This gives their customers, the users of automation systems, maximum freedom in the development of control applications which they can then, for example, organize in separate "micro-services".


can choose any computer architecture, such as industrial devices, servers, or cloud platforms to deploy or orchestrate CODESYS Virtual Control SL. In this way, they can implement exactly those virtual controllers they need for their application. The performance can also be scaled precisely. All control instances can be orchestrated via Linux commands or scripts, with appropriate tools (e.g. Kubernetes, Open Shift) or directly from the CODESYS Automation Server (in preparation). Access to field level is provided by high-performance virtual LAN, which is also available in all industrial devices.

Advantages of virtual control systems compared to classic PLCs:

  • Enormous cost savings in hardware procurement, wiring, operation, and maintenance
  • Machine and plant operators can provide and manage hardware platform themselves.
  • Independence from hardware and hardware manufacturers
  • Easy scaling through dynamic creation of control instances and the ability to expand hardware independently from software
  • Security by design by distributing tasks to several independent control instances with powerful intercommunication
  • Interoperability with other services ("micro services")
  • Simplified rollout of security updates
  • Central maintenance and care of virtual controls with the technologies and convenience of IT systems, including application updates

CODESYS Virtual Safe Control

With CODESYS Virtual Safe Control, you can use any containerized platform as a safety controller – including a safety certification.
The software solution creates dual-channel capability through "Diversified Encoding", which is based on "Coded Processing". The application processing is divided into two logical software channels:

  • The first channel simply executes the implemented safety application as it is.
  • The second channel uses the same application, but runs it with the algorithms of "Coded Processing" and can thus already detect errors.

Both channels run on a virtual PLC in one process sequentially one after the other on one CPU core. While doing so, they permanently check against each other. Diversified Encoding distributes the safe inputs to both channels and, conversely, merges the outputs of both channels into safe outputs. Included are data streams generated by safe network or fieldbus protocols. The safety concept of SIListra Systems GmbH has been approved by TÜV SÜD.

Release and certification for CODESYS Virtual Safe Control as a hardware-independent solution is scheduled for the first half of 2024. As before, the safety application can be configured in the safe IEC 61131-3 editor as part of the certified add-on module, which extends the purely functional part of the CODESYS Development System. Users will only notice that these are virtualized devices when connecting the safety I/O modules in the application.

Setup and Measurements from a Live Demo – see here


Soon you will be able to test the Virtual Control yourself!


Interesting additional information on this topic

Article from Roland Wagner, Head of Product Marketing, CODESYS GmbH

How virtual controllers help prevent delivery problems. »

CODESYS brochures and information material

CODESYS - One software. All applications. Your Automation Solution.
Version: 10/2023
pdf 2 MB
CODESYS - One software. Any field of application. Your automation platform.
Version: 10/2023
pdf 2 MB
Various suppliers present CODESYS-compatible devices and exciting solutions that can be useful for your automation tasks. (Only available in german language.)
Version: 11/2022
pdf 3 MB