Testing Service to Measure Performance of Ethernet/IP Products to be Offered


Broader adoption of industrial Ethernet is anticipated as users are better able to match product performance with application requirements

Nuremburg, Germany - November 25, 2008 - ODVA announced today that it will offer testing services for measuring performance attributes of EtherNet/IP(TM) products. This addition to ODVA's portfolio of testing services for the family of CIP Networks represents the next step in ODVA's activities to aid industry in the deployment of EtherNet/IP for real-time control applications on networks utilizing standard, unmodified Ethernet and Internet standards.

This service is an outgrowth of ODVA's broad-based activities to promote adoption of EtherNet/IP in the widest possible range of manufacturing applications - control, safety, synchronization and motion, configuration, diagnostics, information and asset management. To that end, ODVA has engaged in a collaborative process with EtherNet/IP vendors, users and IT metrology scientists to identify aspects of network performance that have the most impact on real-time control applications and develop the test methodologies on which the testing service will be based. Among those who participated with ODVA in this process were the US National Institute of Standards & Technology, the United States Council for Automotive Research, and EtherNet/IP vendors who participate in ODVA's EtherNet/IP Workshops and Plugfests1.

EtherNet/IP has enabled users to deploy large scale, multi-vendor systems with nodes numbering in the thousands. By virtue of its active infrastructure and point-to-point connection system, EtherNet/IP has eliminated reliability problems users have sometimes encountered in larger scale systems using fieldbus networks with a passive infrastructure and a trunkline-dropline connection system. At the same time, because of the Common Industrial Protocol's (CIP(TM)) producer-consumer architecture, EtherNet/IP's ability to support multicast, broadcast and unicast messages, and the inclusion of performance enhancing protocol extensions in CIP such as CIP Sync(TM), the functionality in CIP that implements the IEEE-1588(TM) Precision Time Protocol, EtherNet/IP has made possible the broad-based deployment of standard, unmodified Ethernet and Internet technologies in demanding real-time control applications.

Because EtherNet/IP uses standard, unmodified Ethernet, users have also seen immediate performance benefits as a result of faster silicon used for the network interface circuitry, increases in network speed, and expanded deployment of Quality of Service techniques. To completely realize the performance gains made possible by EtherNet/IP, some users will need objective data on product network performance in order to match product performance to application requirements. It is in response to this user need that ODVA has decided to expand its testing services to include network performance for EtherNet/IP products. The tests conducted with this service will measure several aspects of network performance, including attributes such as the type and number of network connections supported and the time elapsed between the production of subsequent frames of network traffic.

"ODVA is offering a testing service that simulates a variety of real world scenarios representative of network traffic in real-time control applications using EtherNet/IP," states Jonathan Parrott, a network engineer at ODVA, and a key member of the project's development team. "A cost-effective service is now available that benefits both users and vendors by providing a profile of the performance of a given EtherNet/IP product under demanding network traffic conditions over time."

"As a direct result of many of the performance gains in EtherNet/IP, ODVA is now seeing manufacturers expand their vision of a future proof and scalable network architecture to include performance critical applications within their standard Ethernet and Internet network architecture," states Katherine Voss, executive director of ODVA. "By adding EtherNet/IP performance measurements to our portfolio of testing services, ODVA expects to build on its success in helping users and vendors work together to achieve continued increases in their return-on-investment in automation of production and processes and, thus, continue to drive adoption of standard unmodified Ethernet and Internet technologies in manufacturing."

EtherNet/IP products which have received ODVA Declarations of Conformity as an EtherNet/IP-compliant product are eligible for the testing service and to have their Declaration of Conformity augmented to include the performance measurements taken by ODVA. The testing service will be offered at ODVA's Global Technology and Training Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan USA starting on December 1, 2008.

1 ODVA has established its EtherNet/IP Implementor Workshops to help accelerate developer's time-to-market for EtherNet/IP products. The workshops involve a unique, hands-on approach to EtherNet/IP product training and development. Under the guidance of experienced group leaders from the ODVA vendor member community, participants, the majority of whom are currently developing EtherNet/IP products, learn from each other and thus help to increase the overall know-how of all participants. Every few months, EtherNet/IP PlugFests are held for the purpose of exercising soon-to-be released EtherNet/IP products in a multi-vendor, multi-product setting. These PlugFests assist vendors, before they release their product to market, in debugging their products and testing product interoperability.

About EtherNet/IP

EtherNet/IP(TM) extends commercial off-the-shelf Ethernet to the Common Industrial Protocol (CIP(TM)) - the same upper-layer protocol and object model utilized in DeviceNet(TM), CompoNet(TM), and ControlNet(TM). CIP allows EtherNet/IP, CompoNet, ControlNet, and DeviceNet product developers, system integrators, and users to apply the same objects and profiles for plug-and-play interoperability among devices from multiple vendors and in multiple sub-nets. Combined, DeviceNet, CompoNet, ControlNet, and EtherNet/IP promote transparency from sensors to the enterprise software.

About ODVA

ODVA, founded in 1995, is an international association comprised of members from the world's leading automation companies. Collectively, ODVA and its members support network technologies based on the Common Industrial Protocol (CIP(TM)). These currently include CompoNet(TM), ControlNet(TM), DeviceNet(TM), and EtherNet/IP(TM), along with the major extensions to CIP -- CIP Safety(TM) and CIP Motion(TM). ODVA manages the development of these open technologies, and assists manufacturers and users of CIP Networks through its activities in standards development, certification, vendor education and industry awareness. As part of its certification activities, ODVA offers conformance testing to help ensure that products built to its specifications operate in multi-vendor systems. For more information, visit its web site at www.odva.org.

For more information, contact:

Adrienne Meyer

Manager, Marketing Communications

ODVA

4220 Varsity Drive, Suite A, Ann Arbor, MI 48108-5006 USA

tel +1 734 975 8840; fax +1 734 922 0027; email ameyer@odva.org

or

John Jackson

ODVA Communication Officer EMEA

43 Quarry Bank, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 2QZ UK

tel: +44 (0) 1732 352 371; email jjackson@odva.org

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