Sunday, June 3, 2012

29 Different Ethernet Solutions for Real-time Communication! – What about IEC 61850?

The industrial automation market intended in the mid 90s to get a single Ethernet based international standard for the factory floor. Until today the industry is struggling to keep the number of solutions smaller than 30 (!). 29 solutions are listed at the following site (as of September 2008): Real-Time-Ethernet

One of the most prominent experts in real-time communication (Dr. Karl Weber) came recently (after many tests and investigations) to the conclusion that IEC 61850 is a good candidate for hctp: (Hyper Control Transfer Protocol): Read his presentation on IEC 61850 for htcp

A suggestion to use Ethernet as a fieldbus published in 1991 could be found in the paper “Bridging MAP to Ethernet” [PDF, 720 KB]

The wait for MMS on Ethernet is over (as stated at the end of the paper) – Native Ethernet and MMS are well accepted standard (!) solutions in power systems (generations, transmission, distribution, …): IEC 60870-6 TASE.2 (ICCP), IEC 61850, IEC 61400-25, IEC 61869-9, …

IEC 61850 (not only Ethernet) could be used in almost all application domains that need to exchange information in real-time. Will IEC 61850 replace any of the 29 solutions? IEC 61850 will be used at least in applications that have a close relation to electric power – this is a lot! Think about motor control and protection systems or electric cars … electricity is all over – so will IEC 61850 be in a few years.

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