EtherNet/IP Network Overview

EtherNet/IP is an industrial Ethernet network that includes a standard Ethernet technology with the Common Industrial Protocol or “CIP.”

EtherNet/IP is one of industrial leading Ethernet network protocols and is popular widely used in a variety of factory industries. ODVA manages the EtherNet/IP and CIP , a standards organization development created in 1995 with over 300 corporate members.

EtherNet/IP consists of the Ethernet standards which include the Internet Protocol suite and IEEE 802 project.  This defines the features and functions for its transport, network, data link and physical layers. CIP uses its object-oriented design to provide EtherNet/IP with the services and device profiles needed for real-time control applications and to promote consistent implementation of automation functions across a diverse ecosystem of products.

EtherNet/IP also uses key elements of Ethernet’s standard capabilities and services to the CIP object model framework, such as the User Datagram Protocol which EtherNet/IP uses to transport I/O messages.


Ethernet/IP development began in the 1990s with a technical working team of ControlNet International, Ltd.(CI), another trade and standards development organization, In 2000, both created a joint technology agreement  for the development of EtherNet/IP.

In 2009, the JTA ended and EtherNet/IP becamse soley controled by ODVA and its members. Today, EtherNet/IP is one of four networks that adapt CIP to an industrial network along with DeviceNet, ControlNet and CompoNet. All of these networks are managed by ODVA, Inc.

Technical Detail

EtherNet/IP classifies Ethernet nodes as predefined device types with specific behaviors. This allows:

                • Transfer of basic I/O data via User Datagram Protocol(UDP)-based implicit messaging
                • Uploading and downloading of parameters, setpoints, programs and recipes via TCP (i.e., explicit messaging.)
                • Polled, cyclic and change-of-state monitoring via UDP.
                • One-to-one (unicast), one-to-many (multicast), and one-to-all (broadcast) communication via IP.
                • EtherNet/IP makes use of well known TCP port number 44818 for explicit messaging and UDP port number 2222 for implicit messaging