Ethernet Switches Features

Some Ethernet switches provide specific features to assist you with your application. Learn more about the eight Ethernet switch features on our list. There are many more switch features available on the market, but these are very popular within the industry.

  • Store and Forward Switches: Store and forward switches read and buffer the complete data packet on an incoming port. The switch checks the whole frame for errors and, if error free, sends it out the relevant port.
  • Cut-Through Switches: Cut-through switches give less delay than store and forward switches. They forward the frame directly once the destination address is determined. The switch will buffer only as many bytes of the data packet to obtain the destination address.
  • Port Mirroring: Port mirroring is a helpful function for diagnostics in a network. It provides a copy of all the inbound and outbound data from one port (the mirrored port) of a switch to another port (the mirror port). Most switches with port mirroring capabilities allow the selection and configuration of the mirrored and mirror port from a web-page in the switch.
  • Power over Ethernet (PoE): Devices with this capability receive power over the Ethernet cable.
  • Gigabit Ethernet: In the implementation of PROFINET networks with a transmission rate of 1,000 Mbit (1 Gbit), switches should also support this transmission rate.
  • Auto-Sensing / Auto-Negotiation: Auto-sensing describes the ability of a device to automatically identify the transmission rate of a signal. Additionally, auto-negotiation allows the involved devices to negotiate and agree upon a transmission rate before the first data transmission.
  • Auto Cross-Over: The function provides automatic crossing of transmit and receive lines at a port interface. If it is deactivated, a cross-over cable or a switch with port wiring for crossing of connections is sometimes required.
  • Redundancy Support: Redundancy support allows for bumpless or non-bumpless changeover of failed links to a redundant link. Learn more about PROFINET Media Redundancy with this short video from our MinutePROFINET youtube channel

Additionally, some Ethernet switches can be a PROFINET device. These switches will have their respective General Station Description (GSD) files. The Controller recognizes them as IO devices and the GSD file defines PROFINET-related diagnostics information.

Learn more about PROFINET switches with our full white paper:

Ethernet Switches: Managed vs. Unmanaged for PROFINET

-Nelly Ayllon