Communications Protocols and Networking Systems

For use within control and instrumentation systems, including process control, automative, embedded systems, etc.

Communications Protocols Articles
  • An Overview of Controller Area Network, M.Farsi, K.Ratcliff and Manuel Barbosa, IEE Computing & Control Journal, June 1998. An informative introduction to the CAN network protocol and implementation.
  • State of Play, Graeme Wood, IEE Review, July 2000. An interesting discussion on the developing fieldbus standards and their prospects for the future.
  • Guide to the Evaluation of Fieldbus Protocols - Selecting the Best Fieldbus for Your Application, UK National Fieldbus Standards Committee. This guide is a beginners guide to fieldbus, and the factors that differentiate the various types. Twelve different fieldbus types are covered, and each are assessed against 26 different topics. The guide is published by BSI Standards (priced 17.50) on +44 (0)20 8996 9001.
Links to Communications Protocols Related Resources
  • Mr Shipmans Network Primer A very good on-line book explaining the general features and issues with communications protocols.
  • Rob Hulsebos' Fieldbus Internet Resource list A very extensive and useful list of resources on the many different types of communications protocols.
  • http://www.smar.com/Services/ A list of useful online documents about the Fieldbus standards.
  • MTL Has a very good downloadable wallchart giving comparisons between difference Fieldbus standards.
  • The Industrial Ethernet Association Promotes the use of Ethernet as an industrial fieldbus. A very good site with general and technical information and published articles.
  • Robust Data Comms Aims to help people solve data comms problems, the site has many application notes for RS-232, RS-485, TCP/IP Ethernet, Fibre and Modbus.
  • DDE vs ActiveX A nice explanation as to the difference and pros and cons of these two inter-process communications mechanisms.
  • http://www.lvr.com Has introductory electronic books for sale on serial comms, USB, etc. Also many useful links.