Industrial Ethernet fieldbus issues of the past are coming to life again in a new form. Large protocol interest groups and manufacturers of industrial equipment have a new platform to compete for revenue and to keep brand loyalty. Ethernet-based protocols are changing with time, many companies have similar protocol implementations as they essentially have been creating the same standard Ethernet connectors. The biggest issue at hand today is that there is no interoperability between software, for instance, Ethercat doesn’t connect with Profinet and Profinet doesn’t connect to Ethernet IP. Time Sensitive Networks (TSN), which is part of the IEEE standards association, is attempting to enhance Ethernet standards by making high accuracy time synchronization and seamless redundancy features of standard Ethernet. As industrial Ethernet continues to develop, the biggest concern is if security standards will be integrated into new protocol.
CAN FD (Flexible Data-rate) is becoming a more prominent feature in many new and upcoming products. STMicroelectronics created a CAN FD starter kit and there was better performance in terms of screen content and speed in comparison to the classical CAN. In addition to this, Cypress, Microchip, and Renesas have also created operational CAN FD networks. The demand for micro-controllers with on-chip CAN FD modules is high; they are currently in development and should be available in about a year. Peak has developed CAN FD interface units, which include PCAN-USB FD adapter. Grid Connect has made a deal with Peak to distribute the CAN FD interface units in the USA. Grid Connect has joined Peak in being one of the early adapters to utilize CAN FD.