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When a Chip is More Than Just a Chip


Hilscher’s netX network controller chips provide universal Master and/or Slave connection to all popular communications protocols. But this “System-on-a-Chip” is so much more. netX is at the heart of every Hilscher solution. It offers flexible integration at all levels of the automation architecture and supports protocols for Fieldbuses, Real-Time Ethernets, TSN, and IIoT, such as OPC UA and MQTT, in a single chip with common tools and software. With netX chips, designers can build their own communications boards. netX modules make it easy to integrate communication protocols into controls and devices.  Our PC cards with netX deliver communications to PC platforms. And for end-users and integrators, our netX-based gateways and IoT solutions bridge disparate automation networks and provide device data to cloud-based solutions. Hilscher builds security functions into netX and guarantees long-term chip availability, with the netX 100 offered for an astonishing 27 years.


netX Chip Platform


netX chips are based on multiple ARM processors and provide multi-protocol Master and/or Slave support for automation solutions. Protocol stacks are offered for all popular automation networks, including: Fieldbuses, such as DeviceNet, Modbus, CC-Link and PROFIBUS; Real-Time Ethernets, such as EtherNet/IP, EtherCAT, PROFINET, and TSN; and IIoT protocols, such as OPC UA and MQTT. Unique to netX is that all protocols use a common tool set, development boards, and software development environment called Eclipse IDE—regardless of protocol selected.


netX Module Variants


If you don’t want to start at the chip level to build your comms solution, Hilscher offers ready-made hardware modules for easy integration of netX technology into automation products and devices. These feature loadable communication stacks and a variety of form factors to suit any application need.


PC Cards


The cifX PC cards with netX on-board make it easy to integrate industrial communications into PCs and embedded platforms. cifX cards support all Real-Time Ethernet and fieldbus protocols in all popular PC card formats: PCI, CPCI, M.2, PC/104, Slotless, and others. The cifX family is unique in that all PC cards use the same drives and tools, regardless of network protocol, card format, and operating system (VxWorks, Windows, LINUX, etc.).




Hilscher’s netTAP family of gateways use netX chip technology to transfer and convert data between two identical or two different industrial automation networks. The netTAP 50 integrates a single field device into a higher-level network with protocol conversions for Real-Time Ethernet, fieldbus, serial. The netTAP 100 is a dual-channel gateway that supports 2-port protocol conversions with slave and master functionality in any combination. And the netTAP 151 bridges any two real-time Ethernet networks, including EtherNet/IP, PROFINET, EtherCAT and Sercos.




Hilscher’s netFIELD is a broad portfolio of solutions for Industrial IoT environments. Based on netX technology, it includes scalable gateway hardware, called netFIELD Edge; a secure operating system, called netFIELD OS; preconfigured apps for the Edge, called netFIELD Apps; an open REST API standard for connecting netFIELD based applications and services, called netFIELD Cloud; and an easy-to-use self-service portal, called netFIELD portal.


It’s easy to see how netX is so much more than a chip. From PCBs to full-scale IoT and cloud solutions, netX serves a multitude of application needs. Contact Hilscher for more information on how netX can serve you.