With native support for common industrial protocols such as PROFINET, OPC UA, and EtherCAT, NI embedded devices can connect to a variety of devices, equipment, and infrastructure. If you have an application that requires support for numerous protocols, NI embedded devices can act as industrial gateways that translate between any of the protocols below and even custom communication protocols through the FPGA.
In automotive and other transportation-related industries, several standards have been developed to ensure effective communication protocols, database formats, file formats, and so on. NI offers tools specifically designed to comply with these standards and significantly reduce development time. NI offers C Series modules for both vehicle communication buses and industrial communication buses.
Review some of the most common transportation-related standards, such as J1939, and how NI software tools address them.
Controller Area Network (CAN) includes two data link layer protocols and several physical layer options. CAN is a multimaster serial bus system with multidrop capabilities primarily used in the automotive industry.
The CAN with Flexible Data-Rate (CAN FD) data link layer protocol was created to meet industry and consumer demands with the constantly growing amount of electronics and data communication within modern-day vehicles.
CANopen is the application layer that sits on top of the CAN physical layer often used for industrial automation applications. It supports up to 127 slave devices and is often used with Service Data Objects (SDOs) for reading data and Process Data Objects (PDOs) for configuration using an object dictionary.
DeviceNet is a more mature industrial protocol that the Open DeviceNet Vendors Association (ODVA) manages and is commonly found in Rockwell Automation (Allen-Bradley) programmable logic controllers (PLCs). Unlike EtherNet/IP, which is based on the Ethernet physical layer, DeviceNet is based on the CAN physical layer and increases strength and interconnectivity by specifying various parameters, such as the required cable length, connectors, and baud rates.
The Experimental Physics and Industrial Control System (EPICS) protocol is a set of open source software tools, libraries, and applications developed collaboratively and used worldwide to create distributed soft real-time control systems for scientific instruments such as particle accelerators, telescopes, and other large scientific experiments.
Ethernet for Control Automation Technology (EtherCAT) is a communication protocol for deterministic Ethernet, popularly known in Europe. Published as part of IEC 61158, this open standard implements a master and slave architecture daisy chained over standard Ethernet cabling, typically in a line topology. As a control bus, it focuses on deterministic, high-speed I/O for single-point applications, such as machine control and motion.
EtherNet/IP is a real-time Ethernet protocol that ODVA manages and is commonly found in Rockwell Automation (Allen-Bradley) PLCs. It communicates over standard Ethernet using TCP/IP and UDP/IP and a master (scanner) and slave (adapter) network architecture.
The Local Interconnect Network (LIN) bus was developed to create a standard for low-cost, low-end multiplexed communication in automotive networks. LIN provides cost-efficient communication in applications that do not require the bandwidth and versatility of CAN.
Explore a more in-depth overview of LIN.
Modbus is a common protocol used by countless devices for simple, reliable, and efficient communication across a variety of modern networks.
OPC UA is the interoperability standard for the secure and reliable exchange of data in the industrial automation space and in other industries. It is platform independent and ensures the seamless flow of information among devices from multiple vendors.
Learn how engineers are using NI in smart grid applications.
PROFIBUS was initially created by Siemens and is now managed by PROFIBUS International. The physical layer for PROFIBUS DP is based on RS485, and this sets the standards for the number of slaves, which can be as many as 124.
Serial covers RS232, RS485, and RS422. Often used for instrument control, RS232 can cover distances up to 50 ft. RS422 implements differential communication, which provides longer communication distances and greater noise immunity. RS485 is a superset of RS422 that increases the number of slave devices from 10 to 32.
See all the serial interfaces for embedded systems
The Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) is a reliable point-to-point communication protocol; data is delivered in an ordered, lossless manner. It is a connection-based protocol, which means that a connection between the client and the server must be established before transferring data.
Read the “Basic TCP/IP Communication in LabVIEW” white paper to get started.
The User Datagram Protocol (UDP) is a transport layer protocol used in low-latency and loss-tolerating connections between devices or applications.
Learn more about the use of the protocol in the “UDP Communication in LabVIEW” tutorial.