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Gigabit Industrial Ethernet networking with CC-Link

Gigabit Industrial Ethernet networking with CC-Link

by The CC-Link Team on 15 April 2010

Industrial Ethernet networking has entered the gigabit age with the release of the new device-level CC-Link IE Field Network. The new network standard joins the CC-Link IE Controller Network to create a complete end-to-end system that is up to 10 times faster than alternative Industrial Ethernet networks.

The appeal of using Ethernet in industrial applications is easy to appreciate. The CC-Link IE Field Network is based on the well established IEEE 802.3 standard, and connections use the same high-volume commercial Cat 5E cable and RJ45 connectors used in countless office-based networks, offering considerable cost savings over lower-volume dedicated industrial networking hardware.

Just as the IT world has moved ahead from the previous 100Mbit/s generation of networks, the CC-Link IE Field Network is the first industrial Ethernet system to offer the 1Gbit/s throughput for new generations of manufacturing and automation equipment.  This super-fast throughput offers a major improvement in industrial networking by enabling real-time data acquisition and control.

A further major advantage of the CC-Link IE Field Network over alternative approaches to Industrial Ethernet is in its ability to deliver deterministic control communications without using Ethernet switches, significantly cutting the cost of network hardware. Determinism is guaranteed by the CC-Link IE token-passing technique, and is independent of the network topology. Indeed, networks can be configured as star, line, mixed star and line, or ring. And each network can comprise up to 254 stations with up to 100 metres between each stations.

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