IEEE creates registry to aid use of analog sensors in digital networks

Piscataway, NJ—The Institute of Electric and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) has created a registry to support plug-and-play use of analog transducers in networks containing digital sensors and actuators.


Piscataway, NJ— The Institute of Electric and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) recently created a registry to support plug-and-play use of analog transducers in networks containing digital sensors and actuators. The registry, an extension of the organization’s new IEEE 1451.4 standard, offers three sets of registrations: unique identifiers manufacturers assign to specific devices; manufacturer identification numbers; and templates linked to the units associated with a transducer.

The 1451.4 standard, entitled 'Standard for a Smart Transducer Interface for Sensors and Actuators--Mixed-Mode Communication Protocols and Transducer Electronic Data Sheet (TEDS) Formats,' establishes a universal system for the data that digital networks need to identify, characterize, interface with, and use signals from analog sensors. The standard reportedly fosters use of sensor networks by simplifying installation, creation, and maintenance.

TEDS formats specified in the standard are self-identifiers, which are usually placed in chips embedded in sensors and actuators. Each TEDS node supplies the data a network needs to identify a device and interpret what is in its memory. TEDS formats are written in the Template Description Language described in IEEE 1451.4. The standard defines templates for commonly used devices, e.g., accelerometers, microphones, strain gages and thermocouples. A company or user can apply to the IEEE to create new templates.

IEEE’s new registry allocates unique registration numbers (URN) and manufacturer identifiers for use in TEDS formats. Each URN has an 8-bit family code to designate the type of device, a 48-bit serialization field to identify the individual device, and an 8-bit redundancy check code to verify communication integrity. Transducer manufacturers install a 64-bit URN in each unit they make. Serial numbers for URNs are bought in blocks of 4,096 numbers from the IEEE Registration Authority.

'The new registry for IEEE 1451.4 transducer identifiers makes the 1-Wire protocol we invented broadly available throughout industry,' says Hal Kurkowski, managing director of Dallas Semiconductor/Maxim’s Automatic Information division. 'We've assigned a large portion of the URN pool to the IEEE Registration Authority, so each sensor in a multi-drop network can have a unique address.'

More information on IEEE Standard 1451.4 registration is available at . The site reviews the IEEE 1451.4 standard, and how to implement it. It also includes sections on TEDS formatting and URNs, the Template Description Language, how to obtain manufacturer identifiers and URNs, payment methods, and frequently asked questions.

The IEEE 1451 family of standards offers common interfaces for sensors, actuators, instruments and networks, so transducers are interoperable and interchangeable. Other members of this family, in addition to IEEE 1451.4, are:

  • IEEE 1451.1, which addresses the overall network and how to link transducers in systems and networks;

  • IEEE 1451.2, which looks at how to place digital transducers on a network;

  • IEEE 1451.3, which is a multi-drop standard that allows for placing many transducers on the same cable; and

  • IEEE P1451.5, which is under development, will be like 1415.3, but allow for wireless transducer communications.

All of the IEEE 1451 standards are sponsored by IEEE's Instrumentation and Measurement Society.

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jim Montague, news editor

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