By definition, Ethernet technology does not allow any physical loop structures and, due to the broadcast characteristics of Ethernet, no redundant communication paths are possible. However, the reliability and the use of redundant architectures are fundamental requirements of many automation systems. Industrial Ethernet protocols such as EtherCAT deliver redundancy methods to realize more robust and fail-safe networks.
The latest card of Hilscher’s cifX portfolio is the world's first master and slave solution in an M.2 format. This card opens up the possibility for users to equip their automation devices with an industrial communication interface via an M.2 socket. As a multi-protocol card, the new M.2 PC-card offers a wide variety of Real-Time Ethernet and fieldbus communication protocols with a uniform application interface.