SEGGER recently joined the PROFIBUS Nutzerorganisation (PNO), a worldwide community that is promoting, supporting and using PROFIBUS and PROFINET automation enabling technology. SEGGER's emNet IP stack supports implementing PROFINET applications based on Ethernet technology, such as Ethernet-APL.
The PNO has developed PROFINET as an Ethernet-based communication solution for industrial automation. To ensure that Ethernet also meets the special requirements of the process industry, the advanced physical layer Ethernet-APL has been defined to transmit power and data via the same 2-wire cable to hazardous areas.
Shortly after the definition of the Ethernet-APL standard SEGGER developed a convincing solution for the requirements, using emNet in combination with an ultra-low-power microcontroller connected to an external MAC/PHY Ethernet-APL chip. This solution is being implemented by SIEMENS in future field devices
“PROFINET already is a widely used industrial Ethernet protocol. Its potential fields of application expands greatly with Ethernet-APL,” said SEGGER's CEO Ivo Geilenbruegge.
“With Ethernet-APL, PROFINET will make Ethernet usable for all application areas of process automation. The first products will be available in the short term,” explained Dr. Peter Wenzel, Executive Director of PNO.
With emNet even the smallest ULP microcontrollers operate with high transmission speeds. The dual IPv4/IPv6 TCP/IP stack for embedded systems was developed from the ground up for resource-constrained embedded applications and is known for having low memory requirements while being flexible and expandable. For example, the complete stack on a Cortex-M-based microcontroller occupies less than 20 KB of ROM and only 1.5 KB of RAM (without read/write buffers).
Further, emNet also offers easy integration without configuration effort. Its design, specifically targeted at embedded devices, makes it very efficient in terms of packet processing speed. This means that even small, low-frequency microcontrollers can deliver excellent network performance.
Last but not least, emNet's flexible PHY driver layer provides support for virtually any Ethernet PHY transceiver. emNet includes a generic PHY driver compatible with nearly all single-port PHYs on the market that