POWERLINK specification V.1.1.0 Integrates New Features

The Ethernet POWERLINK Standardization Group (EPSG) has released the new POWERLINK specification V.1.1.0.

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New features have been added by using reserved bits. Key improvements include the complete integration of high availability functionality and a greater bandwidth for the asynchronous phase. Until now, users had implemented high availability POWERLINK networks by modifying the protocol's address management through in-house developments, allowing for on-the-fly address changes to redundant control systems. The 1.1.0 version now supports the integration of redundant Managing Nodes (RMN) by default.

Moreover, the current specification extends the asynchronous phase. This part of the POWERLINK cycle serves to transfer non-time-critical data, as opposed to the isochronous phase which is used for time-critical process data transfer and which takes up the bulk of the cycle. Until now, only one frame could be transferred during the asynchronous phase. The new specification now allows for the transfer of several ASnd frames.

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