A chip off the old PROFINET

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I’m just back from Minneapolis and a very full PROFINET one-day training class there.  I really enjoy reviewing the Course Evaluations – not because they’re always positive (although there’s a lot of that), but because there is always food for thought.  The comment that caught my eye from Minneapolis: “Talk about the PROFINET chips, specifically, when they may be used and where they must be used.”

Good point.  I covered that (kind of) in PROFINET Uses Standard Ethernet!  But let’s take a different approach today: PROFINET chips may be used in any PROFINET device; PROFINET chips must be used for motion control.  In between, if you want to use bandwidth reservation (see MinutePROFINET: Performance 3 of 4), you need a chip.

Since PROFINET is just Ethernet you can use a standard Ethernet controller chip until you need bandwidth reservation.  Even when you need bandwidth reservation PROFINET is still just Ethernet.  But to achieve the speeds needed you have to implement PROFINET in silicon.  All of this might be clearer if you read about PROFINET’s four steps to achieve increasing levels of determinism in Five Criteria for Choosing an Industrial Ethernet.

A few other comments from Minneapolis:

“Ethernet webinar was great to watch right before this seminar. I’m glad I watched it!”  The reference is to A Short Introduction to Ethernet for Control Engineers which we recommend for folks who are not familiar with Industrial Ethernet.

“This was just right.  There was information that was for beginners all the way up to advanced levels.”

“Good combination of information, entertainment, and humor.”

We still have PROFINET one-day training classes coming up in Long Beach and Baltimore; I hope to see you there!

–Carl Henning

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