Hanover Fair 2: PROFINET Speed Upgrade

Posted by & filed under Hanover2012.

One of the displays in Hanover Fair’s Field Communication Lounge (described in an earlier post) showed how a new Siemens chip supported the PROFINET speed upgrade.  First, a little background:

The PROFINET specification that this is based on is PROFINET version 2.3 which was released in late 2010.  The speed upgrade was one of the improvements over the previous version.  The other notable improvement was enabling process automation over PROFINET.  I should also note that we think version 2.3 of PROFINET will not require updating for quite some time.  That’s because PROFINET represents the communication protocol while we use application profiles that reside above the communication layer to arrange the data.  Examples of application profiles include PROFIenergy and PROFIsafe.  (For a more detailed explanation of profiles read “PROFILE Technology and Application – System Description.”)

 Ok, back from the digression, here’s Wolfgang Schroeder to talk you through the demo:

Although this demo featured Siemens’ ERTEC 200P chip, other suppliers of silicon are offering this functionality; Hilscher’s netX and Phoenix Contact’s TPS-1 for starters.  Multiple suppliers – another advantage of an open standard.

Speaking of open, did you notice that Wolfgang showed that the network was still open to normal TCP/IP traffic – the camera in the demo.

In passing, it was noted that the way PROFINET achieves this speed increase has three parts: fast forwarding, dynamic frame packing, and fragmentation.  More details on those in the next post.

–Carl Henning

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