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Ethernet hits 1Gbps for automation networks…

“Open communications for automation systems using Ethernet have hit lightning speed with the introduction of CC-Link IE, an open automation fieldbus available from CLPA.”

Industrial Ethernet in Europe can now take a huge leap forward, with a ten-fold increase in communications rates to 1Gbps(gigabit per second) made available by the CC-Link Partners Association (CLPA).

If you don’t recognise the CLPA or CC-Link as an open network protocol, then this is them being introduced to the European market with a bang, CC-Link is the dominant fieldbus protocol throughout the Asian economies and thanks to technology transfer in both directions, it is becoming increasingly popular in Europe and America.

CC-Link was originally designed as a fast and flexible automation network that could be used to integrate multi-platform and multi-brand automation equipment, hence it was always intended to be an open network allowing any vendor to license and develop compatible hardware. Higher data interchange rates and faster automated equipment has led to the requirement for faster network speeds and that has created the need for CC-Link IE at 1Gbps.

Called CC-Link IE (Control and Communication Link Industrial Ethernet), it is the first completely integrated gigabit Ethernet network for industrial automation. Launched by the CLPA, it defines the new threshold for open standards for Industrial Ethernet.

CC-Link IE combines the best of many existing technologies and applies them to an optical industrial network system with a redundant architecture that enables extremely high-speed and reliable data transfer between field devices and other controllers via Ethernet links. The signalling rate of 1Gbps will redefine the users’ expectations and systems capabilities; it being more than enough to cater for the real-time communications requirement of today’s manufacturing industries.

In addition to enabling control data transmission to equipment such as PCs, PLCs HMIs and motion controllers, CC-Link realises seamless transmission of data between the various communications layers from shop floor to top floor. Hence the ever more data hungry MES style systems being installed in larger production environments will thrive on CC-Link IE networks that can provide so much data without slowing any of the processes down.

The speed of the cyclical communications is independent of load and therefore constant for any given network making it predictable and deterministic. This means that data updates do not slow down when data traffic is heavy, such as during major plant operations or emergency actions. In fact data can be sent from any station to any other station (and read by the receiving station), even across interlinked networks. This means that any station can be monitored, programmed, reset and reprogrammed from any other station within the network.

Redundancy is based on a double loop architecture which ensures that the communication can continue even if a cable signal connection is cut, because loop-back is done at both sides of the node.

The ring topology also allows very large networks to be developed. In fact a single network can cover a distance of 66 kilometres using fibre optic cabling, and with no loss in communication speed. As many as 120 stations can be integrated into each network, and 239 of these networks can be directly linked together creating total systems with 25,000 or more nodes – enough to meet even the largest users’ requirements.


Issued on behalf of: CLPA-Europe, visit

Issued by:
CLPA press contact in Italy
Fulvio Giglio
DMA Europa Ltd.

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