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Connector with integrated Ethernet switch

22 April 2016

HARTING has launched a new connector which incorporates an integrated Ethernet switch. The new US4 connector is the first device in which switch functionality resides directly in the connector, making it possible to network four EtherNet/IP or PROFINET nodes with transmission speeds of up to 1000 Mbit/s.

With this enhancement, HARTING’s Han-Modular connector family supports the trend toward integrated networking, enabling EtherNet/IP and PROFINET-based communication to be extended over the plant management level control through to the enterprise level.

The US4 connector module features integrated LEDs to provide quick and easy power and network diagnostics for individual ports, displaying both the presence of the Ethernet connection as well as ongoing data exchange and the associated speed information.

The module automatically detects the send/receive lines of connected devices and finds the correct settings for the lines. In addition, in conjunction with the 10Base-T and 100Base-Tx interfaces, it autonomously corrects polarity errors in wire pairs and reverses the polarity of the data signal. It also allows two connected Ethernet nodes to autonomously negotiate and configure the maximum data transfer rate – up to 1000 Mbit/s incrementally – as well as the type of transmission, i.e. half-duplex or full duplex.

The US4 switch seamlessly integrates into existing Han-Modular systems, with the interfaces required to extend an Ethernet network fitting into existing modular Han connectors. The Ethernet-based connection of two or more machines involved in a process is a typical application for the Han-Modular US4 switch. The module helps save space, since it can be integrated into a plug connection with the Han-Modular frame with no additional components required.

Other features of the new switch include an option for the prioritisation of data packets; integrated reverse polarity and overvoltage protection; and high data throughput. A 10-30V DC power supply adapter is also available.

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