A hand pointing to the word work safety on a blue background.
empowering communication

Functional Safety with netX

As automation becomes more and more complex, with demanding production processes and modularized machines, functional safety is becoming increasingly important. Compliance with relevant standards such as IEC 61508 or ISO 13849 as well ensuring adherence to legal requirements such as the European Union’s Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC requires secure communication between devices.

Hilscher’s netX communication solution is the perfect option to ensure compliance with all security-relevant standards, providing the perfect foundation for development of functionally safe systems up to Safety Integrity Level (SIL) 3.

  • netX hardware provides the matching peripherals for connecting microcontroller architectures
  • netX 90 hardware includes integrated monitoring and diagnostic functions
  • The firmware supports Black Channel protocols

netX technology already serves as the backbone for secure industrial communication tasks in numerous machines and systems.

Safety device integration:

The netX technology platform supports the development of devices that have to meet high functional safety requirements. Our firmware provides the data packets for the desired security-relevant applications. These include Safety over EtherCAT, CIP Safety or PROFISAFE, for example. netX employs the Black Channel principle for system-safety-relevant communication.

This ensures that your security requirements are met while relying on Hilscher’s reliable protocol hardware and software.

We work closely with experienced partners to implement safety layers for your device. Ask us how we can help you with your next project.


A graphic showing the communication between two safety device. The logos of PROFIsafe, Safety over EtherCAT and CIP Safety are placed in two yellow boxes on top. On the bottom are protocol logos of all major industrial protocols such as PROFINET or EtherNet/IP.

Hardware setup for SIL3 devices:

On the hardware side, as with non-safety devices, netX serves as the interface to the fieldbus or real-time Ethernet systems.

The example shown here shows a SIL3 implementation based on a 1oo2 (one out of two) approach.

The safety frames are treated like I/O data and forwarded to the safety-relevant application. For example, the corresponding application firmware for the netX 90 can be implemented on the application side of the controller. It retrieves the data packets from the Dual Port Memory (DPM) and forwards them to a defined interface (shown as a serial port in our example). On the safety side, two redundant CPUs then receive the data via a galvanically isolated serial interface for further processing.

We can help you develop your safety-critical application.



A graphic with a black netX chip on the left side and two yellow boxes on top of each other on the right. In the middle is a dark blue bar, dividing both parts. Severals red and green arrows go from left to the right and vice versa.
Your benefits:
Safety-compatible firmware

Benefit from the Black Channel concept for your SIL3 devices

Complete solution for all communication tasks

Easy-to-configure hardware and firmware for your system requirements

Flexible host system

Configure your host interface according to your device specifications

Related links

Smallest multiprotocol SoC


Hilscher offers hardware and software for industrial communication tasks from a single source. Our protocol stacks make your netX the most flexible communication solution on the market. Find out more in our overview.

The NXHX evaluation boards for our netX chips are the most effective way to evaluate the integration of your applications into different communication networks. This allows you to start developing your application even before the hardware design has been determined, shortening your time to market.