What Are Powerlinks?

Among the numerous Ethernet protocols, ETHERNET Powerlink has a place in the networking world. Initially introduced by an Austrian automation company B&R in 2001, this open protocol can be used to transmit data from one device to another. In addition to its Ethernet-based properties, powerlinks can be used to connect a computer to a machine. Unlike traditional Ethernet, however, Ethernet Powerlink does not require a specific computer to be in the same room as the machine.

ETHERNET Powerlink

Ethernet Powerlink is a real-time protocol for standard Ethernet. This open-standard protocol was developed by an Austrian automation company in 2001. It is managed by the Ethernet POWERLINK Standardization Group. This protocol is primarily used in industrial applications. In its initial versions, Ethernet Powerlink is limited to only 10 Gbps of data throughput. However, today, Ethernet Powerlink can transmit up to 40 Gbps of data.

POWERLINK uses a hybrid of polling and timeslot procedures to ensure cyclical data communication. The Managing Node, or CN, controls the timing of the cycles and the flow of data, while the other devices operate as Controlled Nodes (CNs). To transmit data, the Managing Node sends a series of “Poll Requests” to other CNs. Every CN replies to a poll request with a “Poll Response.” The response is then broadcast to the other CNs.

CompactCom 40-series

The Anybus CompactCom 40-series powerlinks allow for high-speed data transmission between any two devices. This series of chokes was first introduced to the market in kwietniu and offers three types of formats: RS232, RS485 and USB. Moreover, each choke supports multiplexing and PollResponse Chaining, ensuring the highest degree of synchronization.

Anybus CompactCom 40-series powerlinks offer a high speed communication between the host device and the Powerlink. It supports both PROFINET RT Class 1 and RT Class 3. Each module has a built-in PROFINET IRT Ethernet switch, which supports MRP, Clock-Synchronied Operation, and Fast Start Up. For safety applications, the CompactCom 40-series powerlink can be used in conjunction with an IXXAT Safe T100 safety module.

Anybus NP40 network processor

Anybus NP40 network processor is a single chip processor that integrates a high-performance ARM core with an FPGA fabric. The NP40 features synchronous cyclic messaging in real-time networks and supports multiple industrial communication protocols, including EtherCAT, Powerlink, PROFINET IRT, Sercos III, and Modbus/TCP/IP. It is designed to combine low power consumption and performance in the smallest form factor.

Unlike traditional Ethernet processors, industrial Ethernet requires specialized hardware and increased performance. Therefore, new industrial Ethernet networks have specialized architectures and are requiring a network processor capable of translating between different protocols. The Anybus NP40 processor from HMS combines a powerful ARM Cortex M3 core with a programmable logic-A (FPGA) fabric to provide high-speed data transfer and hardware synchronization.