How much do you know about Industrial Ethernet? Analysis of Industrial Ethernet Types

The use of Industrial Ethernet is becoming more and more widespread, and people in the industry are more familiar with Industrial Ethernet. In this article, the editor will elaborate on the six types of industrial Ethernet. If you are interested in Industrial Ethernet, keep reading.

At present, the widely used industrial Ethernet standards mainly include the following six types:


Schneider Electric takes industrial Ethernet-based collaborative automation solutions as its development strategy. The MODBUS system can be easily upgraded to MODBUS TCP/IP. And users do not need to re-invest in the original system. In the case of using the serial connection mode of MODBUS, such as RS485, corresponding products can be provided, and it is very easy to update or upgrade from the existing MODBUS system to MODBUS TCP/IP. If other networks are used, the corresponding gateway can also be applied to integrate or upgrade to the Ethernet system.

(2) Ethernet/IP

Ethernet/IP is an industrial application layer protocol for industrial automation applications. It is an Ethernet industrial protocol researched and created by Rockwell Automation, which mainly pushes ControlNet fieldbus, for Ethernet to enter the field of automation. It is based on the standard UDP/IP and TCP/IP protocols, and uses fixed Ethernet hardware and software to define an application layer protocol for configuring, accessing and controlling industrial automation equipment. The Ethernet/IP protocol consists of 3 parts: IEEE802.3 physical layer, data link layer standard protocol and control and information protocol CIP.

(3) EthernetPOWERLINK

EthernetPOWERLINK is a technology that solves the real-time data transmission in the field of industrial control and data acquisition on the standard Ethernet medium. EthernetPOWERLINK has Ethernet’s high-speed and open interface, as well as CANopen’s good SDO and PDO data definitions in the industrial field. In a sense, POWERLINK is CANopen on Ethernet. The physical layer and data link layer use the Ethernet medium, and the application The layer retains the structure of the original SDO and PDO object dictionary.

(4) PROFInet

PROFINET, launched by PROFIBUS International, is a new generation of automation bus standard based on industrial Ethernet technology. PROFINET covers current hot topics in automation such as real-time Ethernet, motion control, distributed automation, fail-safe and network security, and is fully compatible with Industrial Ethernet and existing fieldbuses (eg PROFIBUS) as a cross-vendor technology technology, protecting existing investments.


Sercos (SerialRealTImeCommunicaTIonSystem, serial real-time communication system) has been popular in the field of factory automation applications (suitable for mechanical engineering and construction) for 25 years. SercosIII is the third generation protocol, developed in 2003. This efficient and deterministic communication protocol combines the real-time data exchange of the Sercos interface with Ethernet. SERCOSIII is the product of the combination of SERCOS’ mature communication mechanism and industrial Ethernet. It has both the real-time characteristics of SERCOS and the characteristics of Ethernet.

(6) EtherCAT

EtherCAT was originally developed by Beckhoff Automation GmbH in Germany. EtherCAT sets new standards for system real-time performance and topology flexibility, while at the same time meeting or even reducing fieldbus usage costs. EtherCAT also features high-precision device synchronization, optional cable redundancy, and a functional safety protocol (SIL3).

Depending on how the slave devices are implemented, Industrial Ethernet can be divided into three types:

The first category: using general hardware and standard TCP/IP protocol. Modbus/TCP, PROFInet/CbA, Ethernet/IP all adopt this way. Using standard TCP/IP protocol and general Ethernet controller, all real-time data (such as process data) and non-real-time data (such as parameter configuration data) are transmitted through TCP/IP protocol. Its advantages are low cost, convenient implementation, and full compatibility with standard Ethernet. In the specific implementation, some products may obtain better performance by changing or optimizing the TCP/IP protocol, but the real-time performance is always limited by the underlying structure.

The second category: using general-purpose hardware and defining real-time data transmission protocols. EthernetPowerlink, PROFInet/RT adopt this way. A general Ethernet controller is used to transmit real-time data without using the TCP/IP protocol. Instead, a dedicated real-time data transmission protocol including the real-time layer is defined to transmit data that requires high real-time performance. TCP/IP The protocol stack may still exist to transmit non-real-time data, but its reading of the Ethernet is limited by the real-time layer to improve real-time performance. The advantage of this structure is that the real-time performance is strong, and the hardware is compatible with general Ethernet.

The third category: using dedicated hardware and custom real-time data transmission protocols. EtherCAT, PROFInet/IRT, SERCOS-III adopt this way. This approach uses a proprietary Ethernet controller on top of the second category to further optimize performance. The advantage is strong real-time performance, but the disadvantage is that the cost is high, requiring the use of proprietary protocol chips, switches, etc.

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