Drives and Controls Magazine
Cards bring multi-protocol Ethernet support to PCs
Published:  16 December, 2015

The Swedish industrial communications specilaist HMS Industrial Networks has developed a PC interface card that supports numerous industrial Ethernet standards, allowing users to connect PC-based slave applications to EtherCat, EtherNet/IP, Modbus TCP, Profinet IRT/RT, Powerlink and standard TCP/IP.

Previously, says HMS, it has been complicated to develop PC-based measurement, visualisation or service applications for several Ethernet standards, because different interface cards and APIs were needed for each protocol.

The new IXXAT INpact card – available in PCIe and PCIe Mini formats – overcomes this problem, with uniform drivers allowing users to switch between protocols quickly and without extensive programing. A Flash update facility is said to make the cards future-proof.

HMS’ IXXAT INpact card allows PC applications to support various industrial Ethernet standards

The cards, which offer low latencies and deterministic real-time behaviour, include a two-port Ethernet interface that supports protocol-specific switch functions such as IRT for Profinet, DLR for EtherNet/IP and Hub for Powerlink.