PROFINET Community Stack

Dec. 6, 2021

Time Sensitive Networking (TSN) gives PROFINET room to increase performance and flexibility in use. Experts at PROFIBUS & PROFINET International (PI) realized this early on and integrated TSN into the PROFINET specification. To support the spread and interoperability of PROFINET over TSN, PI has launched a PROFINET community stack project. 

The objective is to simplify the integration of TSN functions as well as existing and future PROFINET functions. The idea behind this is that the core of PROFINET communication – essentially, the text lines of the PROFINET standard with a telegram structure and state machines – is being provided in a joint C library in a joint community project which, first and foremost, can be implemented and maintained by the technology manufacturers. The required modifications to the individual hardware or operating system, configuration of the stack itself and application interface implementation are then carried out by the technology supplier in line with the requirements of the respective device manufacturers, e.  g. in SDKs (software development kits). This means the community stack is a potential offering in addition to tried-and-test integration.

The joint development and maintenance of a standardized protocol stack core for all manufacturers is not only accelerating implementation of the technology and reducing the expenditure of individual manufacturers, but is also helping to improve the interoperability of devices from different manufacturers. It’s a win-win situation for users and device suppliers alike. Both sides also benefit from faster integration of new developments in TSN and security functions, for example. 

To demonstrate the interoperability of PROFINET over TSN, PI is also setting up a vendor-independent demonstrator that will be used both at trade shows and workshops.

These specific activities demonstrate joint willingness and measures by the PROFINET community to continue the success of the technology by building the ecosystem.

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