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Ethernet TCP/IP vs Allen-Bradley Ethernet/IP

Some people are confused about the AB Trademarked Ethernet/IP protocol and standard Ethernet TCP/IP

Some people are confused about the AB Trademarked Ethernet/IP protocol and standard Ethernet TCP/IP

The following excerpts from descriptive information found on the web may be a reminder of the difference.

  1. IP— 1.2. “Scope: The internet protocol is specifically limited in scope to provide the functions necessary to deliver a package of bits (an internet datagram) from a source to a destination over an interconnected system of networks. There are no mechanisms to augment end-to-end data reliability, flow control, sequencing, or other services commonly found in host-to-host protocols. The internet protocol can capitalize on the services of its supporting networks to provide various types and qualities of service”. (DARPA Internet Protocol Specification 1981).
  2. EtherNet/IP™ was introduced in 2001 and today is the most developed, proven and complete industrial Ethernet network solution available for manufacturing automation. EtherNet/IP is a member of a family of networks that implements the Common Industrial Protocol (CIP™) at its upper layers. -(ODVA.ORG)

The Internet Protocol itself is used by everyone and everything with an IP address. Everyone knows somehow that IP runs on the Ethernet. The number of connection points on the overall network and the allocation of IP address ranges has forced the global community to adopt IPv6 which has an address space of 3.4 x 10^38… close to infinite really.  So almost all technology now supports some kind of IP address and connectivity so we can network with it.

Contrasting that, the ODVA’s EtherNet/IP Application Layer protocol is really a set of protocols which makes use of the IP protocol described above. The IP in the moniker refers to “Industrial Protocol”. The number of potential users of EtherNet/IP is large but restricted to specific supporting Industrial devices.

All the hard work of the industrial application is done by the application layer of the protocol stack.

  • For SCADA supervision on networks which lack determinism and which suffer from reliability and bandwidth restrictions, the Distributed Network Protocol [IEEE Std 1815-2012 ][ DNP]provides SCADA application connectivity and Security.
  • For manufacturing and industrial automation on tightly coupled networks, EtherNet/IP can be much more appropriate.

Source: Chris Smith Schneider Electric.

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