PROFINEWS 58 infrom about chip price reductions:


News that the price of the ERTEC Ethernet Controller for PROFINET has been reduced by 40% (in volume) is the best indicator yet that PROFINET is now chasing PROFIBUS up the global networking success ladder.


ERTEC, sometimes seen as an IRT-focused device for high end Motion Control applications, is actually an all-purpose chip for any PROFINET application. It has conventional ?store and forward? capability as well as the ?cut through? needed for IRT, and it also has enough processing power to include the PROFINET stack, and a modest application too.


This flexibility, plus the price drop, is turning ERTEC into a highly competitive option for almost any type of end device, not just high end drives and Motion Controllers. Embedding ERTEC means one product type can meet a variety of applications across the real-time spectrum so in many cases the development of multiple product types will no longer be necessary.


ERTEC is available in a 2-port version with the Ethernet PHY, and a 4-port PCI board-based version intended for motion controllers.Embedding a 2-port version in an end device means that devices can be daisy-chained together instead of being ?star connected? like most Industrial Ethernet devices. This removes the need for external switches and restores the ?single-cable? benefits of fieldbus. Both factors make a PROFINET network easier, simpler, faster and cheaper to install and operate than any other Industrial Ethernet solution. In time more than 90% of external network switches may be eliminated, believes PI. A side-effect will be that counting installed Ethernet nodes will require a different strategy.


In PROFINEWS 58 (see link bekow), you?ll find an increasing amount of PROFINET news. You?ll also find widening availability of PROFINET-enabling technologies from multiple sources. Siemens, Softing and Hilscher are just three companies offering PROFINET development hardware and software. The PIC in North America and ComDec in Europe can provide development help.


A result of all this is that PI sees the use of PROFINET accelerating in coming months.

By: Weber