What Are Powerlinks?

This article discusses POWERLINK and the CompactCom 40-series. It also explores the Ethernet Powerlink scheduling mechanism and the POWERLINK Standardization Group. The latter is responsible for the specification of the protocol. In 2001, the Austrian automation company B&R introduced POWERLINK as an open standard for Ethernet. For more information about powerlinks, please visit the POWERLINK Standardization Group website. It is a real-time Ethernet protocol.


Ethernet Powerlink is a standard protocol for real-time communications over standard Ethernet. This open protocol is managed by the Ethernet POWERLINK Standardization Group and was introduced by Austrian automation company B&R in 2001. It is widely used in industrial applications. To learn more about how POWERLINKS can benefit you, read on! Listed below are the advantages of this technology. The following are a few reasons why you should start using Ethernet Powerlink today.

POWERLINK CompactCom 40-series

Anybus CompactCom 40-series are industrial Ethernet modules with Powerlink. Originally developed by Austrian automation company B+R, these modules allow fast, accurate data communication between host devices and industrial networks. These are typically used in high-speed, demanding applications where high-performance and reliability are essential. Powerlink is also available in both Ethernet and USB formats. Here’s how they work:

POWERLINK Standardization Group

The Ethernet POWERLINK Standardization Group (EPSG) was founded in June 2003. It is an independent association with working groups focused on technology, safety, certification, and marketing. The EPSG is collaborating with IEC and various standardization bodies to define Ethernet Powerlink standards. Ethernet Powerlink’s physical layer is specified as 100BASE-TX Fast Ethernet and is scalable up to Gigabit Ethernet. The EPSG is also working to develop a companion specification, the OPC UA.

Ethernet Powerlink scheduling mechanism

Using an Ethernet Powerlink scheduling mechanism, only one node can connect to the physical medium at a time. This prevents nondeterministic Ethernet behaviour. The Managing Node is responsible for granting access to the physical medium to other nodes via dedicated poll request messages. The asynchronous phase is untime-critical and not applicable to TCP/IP communication. Using an Ethernet Powerlink scheduling mechanism, you can connect to a non-real-time network while still maintaining a deterministic Ethernet network.

POWERLINK tracing tool

A POWERLINK tracing tool is designed to collect trace data and diagnose POWERLINK communications problems. The program runs on PCs running Microsoft Windows(tm) or Linux. It comes with a directory of data bases, communication profiles, and Ethernet POWERLINK device profiles. Detailed help can be found in the POWERLINK Design Tool’s help file. Using the tracing tool is easy, and it’s worth learning more about its features and advantages.