Networking: Softing Profinet stack to enhance Cisco’s Ethernet switches

Cisco Systems has selected Softing's conformance class B ready Profinet stack to enhance its industrial Ethernet switch family with Profinet IO capabilities.
By Renee Robbins August 21, 2009

Softing, a Newburyport, MA, maker of conformant protocol stacks for industrial automation, has announced that Cisco Systems has selected Softing’s conformance class B ready Profinet stack to enhance Cisco’s Industrial Ethernet 3000 Series switch family with Profinet IO capabilities.

Cisco Industrial Ethernet 3000 switch with Softing technology inside
The Cisco Industrial Ethernet 3000 switch will have Softing’s Profinet protocol stack inside.

According to a Softing spokesman, Softing’s software was flexible enough to be embedded into Cisco’s demanding runtime environment while, at the same time, satisfying Cisco’s quality and performance requirements. "Softing’s Profinet protocol stack has a unique design feature that merges all hardware and operating system dependencies into one easy-to-modify, yet extremely flexible porting layer," said Wolfgang Langer, Softing North America, Inc. ‘s "Typically, it takes only days and not weeks to adjust the porting layer to a given hardware/OS combination. Software engineers do not need to touch the actual Profinet implementation, as it is completely independent from the porting layer. The main benefit of this "clean" separation is that future firmware maintenance (e.g. a change in the Profinet specification) is easy and straightforward."
The Cisco IE3000 Series switches provide a secure switching infrastructure for harsh environments, and are Profinet V2 certified, with PNO conformance class B compliance. Profinet IO enables real-time automation in modular and distributed systems and provides a unified solution for configuration, management, and control. The combination provides a wire-speed secure switching solution manageable with Siemens Simatic automation tools.
Softing is a world-class expert for Foundation fieldbus, PROFIBUS, and CAN/CANopen/DeviceNet. The company’s wide range of expertise includes solutions for OPC, FDT, and Real-Time-Ethernet protocols such as, Profinet IO, EtherNet/IP, or Modbus/TCP.

Solution for mixing industrial, standard-office Ethernet
Others have addressed the potential problem, but Harting launched its Ha-VIS "Fast Track Switching" technology solution at Hannover Fair 2009 and won an award.

Industrial Ethernet: managed or unmanaged switches?
It has been said that you will either use a managed switch or wish you had, explains Carl Henning, deputy director of PTO, Profibus and Profinet North America.

– Edited by Renee Robbins, senior editor
Control Engineering News Desk

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