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Ethernet-based I/O shoots ahead

01 September, 2006

Ethernet-based I/O shoots ahead

Global sales of distributed and remote I/O using Ethernet-based buses will grow at an annual rate of 13.3% through to 2010 — more than twice as fast as the overall market for distributed/remote industrial I/O — a new study predicts. The US-based market analyst Venture Development Corporation (VDC) says that Ethernet-based networks accounted for nearly 15% of global shipments of distributed I/O last year, and this share will rise to more than 20% by 2010.

The three biggest players in the market are Modbus TCP, Ethernet/IP and Profinet, says VDC, and they will still be the market-leaders in 2010. It adds that other Ethernet-based systems, such as EtherCat and Ethernet PowerLink are "gaining traction … particularly in applications requiring high-speed communications".

"The choice of a protocol often comes down to familiarity with the bus or system associated with it," says VDC analyst, Jake Millette. "Ultimately, the choice to migrate to Ethernet from traditional fieldbuses will allow for greater intelligence in distributed/remote I/O, regardless of the brand."

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