“Buckeyes are great” and some Industrial Ethernet commentary, too

Automation World has a brief article on the confusion with “Ethernet” at “TCP/IP-Ethernet Tower of Babel Breeds Confusion.”  Because the article is short I’m afraid it reinforces the confusion.  For a comprehensive look at Ethernet for industrial uses, download the PTO brochure on PROFINET and other Industrial Ethernets.

The company behind one of the Industrial Ethernet also-rans recently trumpeted its usability on gigabit Ethernet: 10 times faster than 100Mbit Ethernet.  I guess they’ve abandoned the appearance that it’s an open standard since the announcement was from a company instead of a standards organization.  The step up to gigabit is one all the Industrial Ethernets will take, but it’s not as important a step as you might think.  Back at the Industrial Ethernet Symposium, the University of Michigan presentation included a pie chart showing that only a tiny sliver of time is spent on the Ethernet network.  Most of the time is spent in the TCP/IP stack and the application.  The U of M lab analysis showed only 6% of the time on Ethernet and half of that was switch latency.  So a 10x improvement on the remaining 3% sliver will yield some benefit, but it far from dramatic.  In other words, the improvement is a couple percent not 1,000%!

Arizona’s Valley of the Sun hosted its third bowl game in 11 days as the Florida Gators embarrassed the Ohio State Buckeyes 41 – 14.  (This was probably cheered at the OSU-rival, University of Michigan, too.  But I don’t want to see those charts!)  How then can I say “Buckeyes are great”?  I’m not talking about the football team.  I’m talking about the buckeye cookies that have been a staple of the Ohio-native, Henning-family Christmas tradition for many years.  They’re called buckeyes because they look like the nut of Ohio’s state tree – the Buckeye.  The cookies are basically peanut butter and sugar rolled into a ball and dipped in chocolate leaving part of the brown exposed.  File this recipe away for next Christmas.