Parallel to the development of ethernet, fieldbus technology developed in the 1980s – driven by the increased use of electrical automation technology. However, the various fieldbus protocols such as Interbus, DeviceNet and Profibus, were not used for networking computers at company level, but for serial or parallel connection of sensors and actuators to the control and management level.
Ultimately, the parallel development of the two transmission protocols established the form of the automation pyramid that is still valid today. The highest levels represent locally limited computer networks, and the lower levels comprise the signal, data and power transmission for recording and controlling. The shape of the pyramid resulted primarily from the hierarchical-logical arrangement of the different levels. High transmission rates and short distances via Ethernet, low transmission rates and long distances via fieldbus.
Turned upside down
Industrial Ethernet and especially Single Pair Ethernet is turning this automation pyramid upside down. With the development of Ethernet-based protocols such as EtherNet/IP, Profinet or EtherCAT, real-time data transmission from the company level to the field level was introduced.
From sensor to the cloud with Single Pair Ethernet
Single Pair Ethernet (SPE) connects the IP20 world of the enterprise and operating level with the IP6x world of the control and field level. Thus opening up new areas of application. The goal is the seamless connection of all communication participants on the basis of the same protocol language and uniform interfaces. Thanks to the reduced cabling with only one or four individual wire pairs, users can build efficient network and cabling structures from the sensor to the control and company level right up to the cloud. And in addition to data rates of up to 1000 Mbps, the SPE cabling also allows the end devices to be supplied with power of up to 60 watts.
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