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Line Topology

    Last Modified: November 16, 2018

    In a line topology—also known as daisy-chaining or bus topology—the host communicates directly with all nodes through one bus line. A standard Ethernet device or switch can be added to the end of the chain if desired and used as normal. Be aware that these devices will compete for network bandwidth with the FieldDAQ device. Reliable system design requires awareness of the bandwidth consumed by each device during operations. This topology offers no redundant links.

    Figure 1. Line Topology


    • Simple and inexpensive installation, expansion, and troubleshooting
    • Ideal for low number of nodes. NI recommends a maximum of 15 nodes.
    • No external switch needed
    • Can cover long distances


    • Any unpowered nodes and/or node failure disrupts network communication
    • Addition or removal of any node disrupts network communication
    • Failure of any Ethernet cable and/or improper cable termination disrupts network communication
    • Network performance and synchronization affected when node count exceeds 15. Consider the star topology for systems that require a greater number of nodes.

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