Here's an interesting bit of news that just hit my inbox. ODVA announced plans for a new project to develop a network targeted at simple sensors and actuators. This new network will leverage the Common Industrial Protocol (CIP). This new network technology, which is designed to complement and expand the CIP family of networks for automation[~]including DeviceNet and EtherNet/IP[~]is targeted at applications requiring large numbers of distributed sensors and actuators. The result will be a new CIP Network that will enable manufacturers to transmit small packets of data quickly between controllers and sensors and actuators.
Omron, one of the founding members of ODVA, developed the technology and granted ODVA the right to it in order to develop a new CIP Network standard.
The next step will be creation of a Special Interest Group (SIG) within ODVA for Project CipNet SA to develop the specifications. ODVA expects that this specification could be published as soon as the first quarter of 2006.
This effort will extend to sensor/actuator networks the same protocol used in Ethernet implementations. This should enhance automation system communications.