Hand holding a pair of tweezers over a Hilscher printed circuit board
Empowering communication

Blog: comX – Flexible Communication Module for Automation

The comX communication module was developed to equip automation devices with a network interface. Here, all communication tasks are executed autarchically on the module - independent of the target platform processor.

comX supports all leading Real-Time Ethernet protocols as master or slave and covers all network-specific requirements in exactly one module. To support a line topology, the module is equipped throughout with two Ethernet ports. The protocol is changed quickly and reliably by loading a corresponding firmware and a software license for master.

In addition to Real-Time Ethernet communication, there is an integrated web server as well as an additional, transparent Ethernet channel to implement own IT solutions in the host processor of the automation device.

The comX communication module also offers you additional benefits, which are shown below:

comX at a glance

Key figures

Item descriptionCOMX
Publication year2004
Processor netX 50 / netX 51 / netX 52 / netX 100
Host Interface8-/16 KByte DPM, 50 MHz SPI
Dimensions (LxWxH)70x30x21.5 mm
Supported ProtocolsCANopen slave, master
CC-Link slave
CC-Link IE Field Basic slave
DeviceNet slave, master
EtherNet/IP scanner, adapter
POWERLINK controlled node
PROFIBUS-DP slave, master
PROFINET-IO controller, device
SERCOS slave, master
VARAN slave
OPC UA server
MQTT broker
Operating Voltage+3.3 V / 440 ... 700 mA
Operating Temperature-20 ... +65 °C
Made in Germany

Hilscher's communication modules are manufactured at the company's headquarters in Hattersheim. Our quality promise is secured and passed on thanks to the know-how of our longstanding employees. At the Hattersheim site, a quick and flexible adaptation of the production is possible, which means that a customer-specific design can also be used to respond to your personal requirements. Continuous optimization of production processes results in a direct customer benefit of product reliability.

Your Benefits of Made in Germany:

  • Highest quality of the embedded modules
  • High flexibility with the possibility to develop and manufacture
  • customer-specific designs
  • Optimized product reliability through ISO-certified processes
Own Chip Development

All comX modules are based on our netX network processor. Since the first generation of netX, we, at Hilscher, have been integrating innovation and technology for flexible industrial networking using Ethernet. Our netX product family combines processors and software from a single source. As market leader in the field of industrial communication, we thus connect devices and control systems involving all the leading Ethernet standards in a simple, flexible and efficient manner.

The use of the netX in the comX communication modules reduces the dependencies of several suppliers and thus the risk of supply bottlenecks. Similarly, a motherboard design can cover the entire range of Real-Time Ethernet systems, reducing the variety of variants.

Your Benefits of netX-based comX:

  • Access to new markets, i.e. increased sales and visibility
  • Small variety of variants results in reduced logistics and administration costs
  • Reduced risk of supply bottlenecks
  • Fewer contact partners thanks to comX and netX expertise at Hilscher
Hilscher Platform Strategy

The netX processor is also the heart of many other Hilscher products. It enables all products to be equipped with the same interfaces, the same drivers, and the same tools. No matter what form factor, protocol and hierarchy (master/slave) your end product is.

Thus, when selecting the right product for your application, you can choose from a wide range of products in Hilscher's product portfolio: from the use of a PC card for your IPC, to the implementation of a comX for your PLC, to a proprietary netX design in more demanding, customer-specific solutions with large volumes.

Your Benefits of the Hilscher Platform Strategy:

  • Future-proof, thanks to constant optimization of netX technology
  • Secure investment in a coordinated product portfolio with long-term availability
  • Rapid development without any fundamental changes to the software structure
Own Software Development

Like all netX-based Hilscher products, the comX modules are multiprotocol capable. This unique feature on the market means that all Real-Time Ethernet and fieldbus protocols are supported. Hilscher is responsible for the development, maintenance, and optimization of the protocol stacks. In addition, our experts sit on the individual working groups of leading organizations, such as ETG or PI, and actively contribute to shaping the standards. Competence in communication has a tradition at Hilscher and is a major part of the company's philosophy.

Your Benefits of the Hilscher stacks for comX:

  • Pure focus on application development
  • Easy certification through tested and pre-certified stacks
  • Perfectly matched hardware and software
  • All protocol stacks are provided free of charge by Hilscher
Own Support

Most customers are able to implement the comX in the target design simply and quickly. The satisfaction of our customers is an essential factor for us. That's why we enable our customers to get in touch with our teams of experts when it comes to questions about hardware, software and tools. Hilscher Product Lifecycle Support accompanies and supports you from the concept phase to the certified device.

Your Benefit of Hilscher Support for the comX:

  • Reduction in the time spent becoming familiar with the software
  • Support at every stage of development
  • Fast “time-to-market“
Related Links
Four different embedded modules from Hilscher on a colorful background. The devices are slightly mirrored on the bottom.

Embedded modules from Hilscher are the ideal solution for integrating a fieldbus or Real-Time Ethernet interface into a compact automation device. They allow field devices such as drives or controllers to be quickly and easily integrated into automated systems.

The use of an embedded module has always been a sensible alternative to the traditional and complex Design-In process of a chip. For more than 25 years, Hilscher has been a leader in factory automation with embedded modules for industrial communication and that with a consistent concept.

The semiconductor industry relies on state-of-the-art technology when planning new production facilities. Thanks to the comX 51CA-RE\R machine builders are now finally able to fully concentrate on the development of their applications when designing their tools for the semiconductor industry.