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PRODUCT NEWS: Add Intelligence to Field Devices, Quickly and Easily

Hilscher has released its new netIC IOT, a modular embedded solution that adds functionality and intelligence to field devices in IIoT applications. A slave device equipped with netIC IOT can transmit value-added data via OPC UA or MQTT in parallel to, and over the same physical cable as, the Real Time Ethernet (RTE) communication, including PROFINET, EtherNet/IP and Modbus TCP.


The new IoT-ready netIC IOT is based on the multiprotocol netX 52 chip and uses an object-oriented data model from the field device to the IT and management level. It implements Hilscher’s netPROXY technology to establish a device-oriented object- and service-interface between application and communication. This abstraction layer hides the complexity as well as the different protocol APIs and allows cyclic and acyclic data exchange with just a few simple services.


The netIC IOT is configured with netX Studio, a next generation engineering tool that significantly simplifies the integration of Hilscher technology into a component vendor’s product. netX Studio guides the OEM through the entire “build” process for object and device definition. The OEM only needs to implement the generic object interface in the application and netPROXY transcribes the objects automatically in corresponding network services. The device manufacturer can focus on the application without being bogged down by the communication requirements. This creates a true multiprotocol device where data is mapped to the chosen network system. The OEM receives a downloadable image for the device, a customized device description file (EDS), and source code for integration into the application.


An internal Dual Port Memory provides a common interface for the data exchange. The DPM’s clearly defined layout consists of a system channel, a handshake channel and up to four communication channels that can be used for independent functionality and protocols, including RTE and IoT (OPC UA server and MQTT client).