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Ethernet rising in real-time network settings

By Max Burkhalter
June 4, 2013

Real-time data transmission is an extremely challenging proposition. It requires zero-latency network functionality, depends on infrastructure that will not drop data packets and often needs specialized solutions. This is beginning to change, however, as organizations in the industrial sector, such as automobile manufacturers, are beginning to turn to Ethernet for real-time communication, the EE Times reported.

Taking a peak at real-time networking
Imagine you are establishing a network in a factor., this is a fairly daunting task throughout the facility, but when you get to robotic systems and machines that perform critical labor, the network demands become staggering. Any slight delay in data transmission can lead to serious damages, productivity losses and even safety problems. The network in this area has to be so efficient that data can move between automation and control systems and actual devices so effectively that a specialized solution is the natural option.

According to the news source, many manufacturers have been dealing with this problem for a long time, but have gotten tired of using custom technologies to solve their issues. Instead, they want to be able to buy a system off-the-shelf that gets the job doneand connects withthe network and move on. Industry expert Michael Johas Teener, who is chairing a few efforts to use Ethernet for real-time network functions, explained that the demand for Ethernet-based real-time networking solutions has rise alongside Ethernet performance capabilities as organization no longer want to scale custom solutions to higher standards.

Teener told the EE Times that progress is already being made in using Ethernet for real-time applications. One area where this is clear is within automobiles, as manufacturers are beginning to use Ethernet for in-vehicle network functions, such as communication within engine systems. The problem is that performance capabilities and limited space has led to problems with alien cross talk and electromagnetic interference, making shielded cables essential. Moving forward, developing methods to support Ethernet functionality on standard UTP Ethernet cables in real-time settings is a major goal.

Dealing with interoperability gaps
One issue with using Ethernet in real-time networks is that many specialized tools in this market segment are built on serial architectures. This is particularly true in industrial automation and control networks. Terminal server infrastructure can help organizations overcome this problem. Serial to Ethernet terminal servers streamline interoperability between serial systems and Ethernet solutions, making it much easier to establish effective networks.

Perle's serial to Ethernet converters connect serial based equipment across an Ethernet network. The Perle IOLAN range of Console Servers, Device Servers and Terminal Servers feature built-in support for IPv6 along with a broad range of authentication methods and encryption technologies.


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