Following the release of the Fieldbus Foundation’s High Speed Ethernet Testing Kit in May, the Fieldbus Foundation has now registered the first Linking Devices.
Registration of HSE linking devices (LDs) is significant for the Fieldbus Foundation and its member companies because it provides an important component in the Foundation fieldbus network architecture.
The registered devices include the Model FIO-100 LD (from ABB) and the Model DFI302 LD (from Smar).
The LDs integrate H1 (31.25 kbit/s) fieldbus segments into the HSE backbone running at speeds of 100 Mbit/s or higher. The LDs also provide Link Master capability for the downstream H1 segments.
According to the Fieldbus Foundation’s director of technology development, David A. Glanzer, availability of registered LDs is key to delivering an open, interoperable, Ethernet-based fieldbus solution to the global automation market.
H1 and HSE were specifically designed as complementary networks, explained Glanzer. H1 is optimized for traditional process control applications, while HSE, which employs low-cost, Commercial Off-the-shelf (COTS) Ethernet equipment, is designed for high-performance control applications and plant information integration.
The combined H1/HSE Fieldbus solution allows for full integration of basic and advanced process control, and hybrid/batch/discrete control subsystems, with higher level, supervisory applications. H1/HSE removes unneeded I/O conversion equipment and controllers, sensor networks, and gateways, thus ‘flattening’ the pyramid of systems and networks. This flat, integrated architecture provides increased plant uptime (through improved diagnostics and operator information), increased performance (COTS Ethernet), and reduced costs (COTS and less overall equipment).
Glanzer said the rigorous and comprehensive HSE test and registration process, like H1 testing, ensures that LDs from different manufacturers will interoperate with each other, with their attached H1 devices, and with HSE host systems. The testing process includes the H1 fieldbus physical interfaces and H1 communications stack of the Device Under Test, as well as the HSE protocol and Capabilities File (CF).