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OPC hops aboard EDD bandwagon

01 March, 2005

OPC hops aboard EDD bandwagon

The OPC Foundation (OPCF) has joined forces with three leading fieldbus organisations - the Fieldbus Foundation (FF), the HART Communication Foundation (HCF) and the Profibus users group (PNO) - to extend the reach of Electronic Device Descriptions (EDDs) into the OPCF`s Unified Architecture.

In 2003, FF, HCF and PNO formed a working group to extend the capabilities of the Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL) - a text-based language used in millions of field instruments to describe the digital communication characteristics of intelligent control devices.

The working group has developed extensions to organise and visualise device data, and to support for persistent data storage, while maintaining operating system (OS) and platform independence. The organisations plan to integrate the extensions into their control network technologies, and to add them to the IEC 61804-2 standard when they are completed.

Following the completion of first phase of the project, the working group now wants to extend the open, interoperable EDD standard to the OPC Unified Architecture.

"The inclusion of EDD in the OPC framework is a smart move that will enhance interoperability significantly at the system and enterprise level in a truly open fashion that is independent of any operating system architecture," comments Larry O`Brien, an analyst with the ARC Advisory Group. "EDD also provides OPC with a technology that is an accepted part of the IEC fieldbus standard and is already embedded in millions of Foundation Fieldbus, HART, and Profibus devices and systems that are installed in the field and running today."

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