What Are Ethernet Powerlinks?

Ethernet Powerlinks are real-time protocols for standard Ethernet. They provide deterministic behavior, prevent data collisions, and ensure network security. Learn more about this protocol. To begin, let’s discuss how they differ from standard Ethernet. Regardless of the difference, both are designed to work together to connect industrial equipment. Learn more about Ethernet Powerlinks, and why you should use them in your business. We’ll also cover how they can be used in your home.

Ethernet Powerlink is a real-time protocol for standard Ethernet

The real-time protocol Ethernet POWERLINK is an extension of the standard, Ethernet, to provide mechanisms for the transfer of data with highly precise timing and synchronisation. This technology meets the high-performance and real-time control demands of many industrial applications. The protocol’s cycle time can be as short as a few microseconds. It is governed by the Ethernet POWERLINK Standardization Group, an independent user organization.

The EPSG, or Ethernet Powerlink Standardization Group, was formed in June 2003. It consists of working groups for technical specifications, marketing, certification, and safety. It collaborates with the IEC and other standardization bodies. Its physical layer specifies 100BASE-TX Fast Ethernet. However, it can be used with Gigabit Ethernet, supporting up to 1,000 Mbit/s.

It provides deterministic behavior

Ethernet POWERLINK uses IEEE 802.3 for addressing. This standard uses unique MAC addresses for each device. The node ID is chosen via a node switch on the front of the device. Ethernet POWERLINK also provides standard IP addressing for real-time domain nodes. When needed, the network uses Network Address Translation to connect to an Internet service provider. In this way, Ethernet POWERLINK provides access to real-time devices from the Internet.

ETHERNET Powerlink achieves deterministic behavior through a cyclic scheduling mechanism. It divides its data transfer into isochronous and asynchronous phases, which transfer time-critical data and reserve bandwidth for non-critical data. The managing node controls the sequence of cycles in real-time and frees access to the physical medium. Powerlinks prevent collisions while operating in an environment that is free from network disturbances.

It avoids data collisions

POWERLINK technology leverages broadcast frames, which ensures that all slaves receive each frame in its entirety. Because a broadcast frame contains a series of frames, it’s not possible to have any collisions. Rather, POWERLINK leverages a master-to-slave polling mechanism to ensure that no frames are discarded. PROFIBUS also uses this technique: the master sends a poll-request frame to the slave, which in turn replies with a poll-response frame.

POWERLINKs are based on the Ethernet protocol. The protocol organizes access to a network and synchronizes data. This technology works around the limitations of the Carrier-Sense Multiple Access (CSMA) method of data packet transmission. Because CSMA/CD doesn’t deliver determinism, collisions are possible. This method eliminates the collision risk by choosing a random time to retransmit a packet, which is a feature that makes Powerlinks more reliable.

It provides network security

ETHERNET Powerlink enables the transfer of data from any device on a network to standard applications, data bases, or process control systems. Using ETHERNET Powerlink, any device on the network can be monitored, diagnosed, and upgraded. Moreover, powerlinks can operate with a stand-alone motion controller. And, because of their open standard, they don’t need any special microchips to operate.

Among the key benefits of POWERLINK is its security. This device connects to a nondeterministic Ethernet network through a protected segment. Its clear barriers mean that only users with dedicated rights can connect to it. Moreover, this network security is compatible with many popular operating systems. POWERLINKs are designed to be secure and comply with multiple international standards. Here are some of these standards: