Open Source Buses

Open source appears to becoming a factor in the industrial automation arena now as well. As Sound Off editor Walt Boyes posted on November 18, the Ethernet/IP stack has gone open source. Links to full story and associated pages on OpenSourceForge site:

http://community.controlglobal.com/content/ethernet-device-gets-another-big-push-rockwell-open-source-ethernetip-stackThe following day I read that Powerlink Safety are now also going the same route http://ethernet.industrial-networking.com/articles/articledisplay.asp?id=2703 and then just the other day, Sercos has joined the Open Source bandwagon http://www.sercos.com/news/042109a.htm by cooperating with the Open Source Automation Development Lab (OSADL) to disclose the SERCOS III master driver.Who will be next? Modbus/TCP would not be a stretch and since it with Ethernet/IP are the largest installed bases of Ethernet based industrial protocols it could make things tougher for the various ‘fieldbus consortia’  to  compete with all the power of the masses available in Open Source. This will be an interesting development to keep an eye on so do not be surprised to see more at some point in the future. - Ian

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