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Belden Contributes its Hirschmann Brand Expertise to IEEE Standardization

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New deterministic Ethernet procedure for demanding applications

Belden Inc., a global leader in signal transmission solutions for mission-critical applications, is one of the pioneers of Industrial Ethernet in the EMEA region. The company’s experts are currently developing technological approaches for additional applications. They are working together with other specialists in a small team that was recently formed within the IEEE 802.1 Working Group, which is responsible for the worldwide standardization of Ethernet.


The goal, as explained by Andreas Dreher, strategic technology manager for the company’s Industrial division, is to advance deterministic behavior so that data can be transmitted in an extremely short – and above all guaranteed – time, to suit even the most demanding applications. As examples, he cites time-critical applications in machine control and drive technology, safety controls in trains or other vehicles and protective equipment in power generation systems. Adoption of an open IEEE standard is planned for 2016, after which it would be integrated into switches in the Hirschmann product range.

Ethernet is not intrinsically a deterministic process. It is certainly possible to specify an average time by which a message should reach its recipient, and with appropriate prioritization it should be possible to comply with this. But “principle-related events” such as memory queues in the switches, temporary overloads or short-term high data volumes may lead to waiting times or even packet loss. “In most cases that will not be a problem, but it could be disastrous for a demanding application,” explains Dreher.

In his view, the new deterministic approach offers users a number of advantages, because a universal, open, worldwide standard for all time-critical applications would considerably increase the acceptance of Ethernet, leading to a far larger product range than for the previously used application-specific protocols. “It would also guarantee product interoperability, and eventually the higher numbers would lead to lower prices,” Dreher is convinced.

Hirschmann, a Belden Brand, manufactures Ethernet switches, wireless access points, firewall/VPN routers and network management software for harsh industrial environments. The Hirschmann brand stands for experience and expertise in the automation, power transmission and distribution, transportation and energy industries, having pioneered the development of Ethernet as a common standard for industrial control systems. Hirschmann products ensure hassle-free and secure data communication under the harshest conditions due to their ruggedized design and construction.

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