PriorityChannel, technology for device-level Ethernet, ensures that real-time Industrial Ethernet messages are always processed on-time, every time regardless of the amount or type of other network traffic. Factory-automation systems are being deployed with Industrial Ethernet connectivity instead of traditional serial fieldbuses. Although Industrial Ethernet brings many advantages in terms of network management, compatibility, and flexibility, Ethernet is inherently non-deterministic. As the application of Industrial Ethernet grows, it is becoming apparent that conventional solutions have difficulty dealing with critical messages when network traffic increases, resulting in unpredictable packet delays, excessive latency, or even connection failure.
In laboratory tests, several commercially available Industrial Ethernet devices were tested with a 2-ms cycle time under varying network traffic conditions. Most devices failed to maintain the desired cycle time as network traffic increased. Some lost their connection altogether. Devices based on PriorityChannel technology were able to respond well within 160 µs of the desired cycle time, regardless of the amount or type of other network traffic. Even in situations where sustained traffic bursts or “storms” were present, PriorityChannel continued to respond to real-time messages on time, every time.
PriorityChannel technology is a combination of silicon and software optimized for Industrial Ethernet applications. Innovasic currently offers this technology for EtherNet/IP and Profinet Class B. Solutions are available as plug-in modules, design-in network interfaces, or fully customizable developer solutions.
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