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Powerlink specification V.1.1.0 integrates new features; contest for Euro students

10 February 2009

Ethernet Powerlink Standardisation Group (EPSG) has released the new Powerlink specification V.1.1.0. Separately, the registration deadline for an EPSG contest for European college students is February 28.

New specification for Powerlink
New specification for Powerlink

Ethernet Powerlink Standardisation Group (EPSG) has released the new Powerlink specification V.1.1.0. The new features, announced in December 2008, were added by using reserved bits in the industrial Ethernet protocol. In separate news, registration deadline for an EPSG contest for European college students is February 28. (See details below.)

Key specification improvements include the complete integration of high availability functionality and a greater bandwidth for the asynchronous phase, EPSG says. Until now, users had implemented high availability Powerlink networks by modifying the protocol's address management through in-house developments, allowing for on-the-fly address changes to redundant control systems. The 1.1.0 version now supports the integration of redundant managing nodes (RMN) by default.

Moreover, the current specification extends the asynchronous phase. This part of the Powerlink cycle serves to transfer non-time-critical data, as opposed to the isochronous phase, which is used for time-critical process data transfer and takes up the bulk of the cycle. Until now, only one frame could be transferred during the asynchronous phase. The new specification now allows for the transfer of several ASnd frames, EPSG says.

European Industrial Ethernet Award
Announcing the European Industrial Ethernet Award, the company B&R invites students to participate in the first pan-European university competition of its kind.

B&R calls for innovative concepts, creative solutions, practice-oriented application suggestions and promising scientific research projects from all technical disciplines. The only requirement is use of Powerlink technology. Researchers and economic experts will assess submitted projects and announce the award winners in mid-2009. The winners will be awarded three attractive main prizes worth 10,000, 5,000 and 2,500 Euro.

Contest schedule

October 1, 2008, Call for registration
February 28, 2009, New registration deadline
April 30, 2009, Draft version
May 30 2009, Final Release

Ethernet Powerlink Standardisation Group is an independent organisation founded in 2003 by leading companies from the drive and automation industry. openPowerlink is the only open source real-time protocol solution based on standard-compliant Ethernet, EPSG says; openPowerlink's source code has been made freely available. In addition to that, the open source license model (BSD license) allows for unlimited adaptation and use of the software in user applications. Thereby, applications with high requirements on timing precision and dynamic reactions can be easily and cost-efficiently realised. B&R Industrial Automation Corp., an EPSG member based in Roswell, GA, made the announcements.

– Edited by Mark T. Hoske, editor in chief
Control Engineering News Desk

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