Skip to Main Content
The industrial network, often referred to as fieldbus, becomes an indispensable component for intelligent manufacturing systems. Thus, in order to satisfy the real-time requirements of field devices such as sensors, actuators, and controllers, numerous fieldbus protocols have been developed. But, the application of fieldbus has been limited due to the high cost of hardware and the difficulty in interfacing with multi-vendor products. As an alternative to fieldbus, the Ethernet (IEEE 802.3) technology is being adapted to the industrial environment. However, the crucial technical obstacle of Ethernet is its non-deterministic behavior that cannot satisfy the real-time requirements. Recently, the switched Ethernet becomes a very promising alternative for real-time industrial application due to the elimination of uncertainties in Ethernet. This paper focuses on the application of the switched Ethernet with multiple levels (that is, cascade structure with multiple switching hubs) for real-time industrial networking. More specifically, this paper presents an analytical performance evaluation of the switched Ethernet with multiple levels from timing diagram analysis, and experimental evaluation from an experimental testbed of networked control system.