Pat Kinney explains it all for you...

Pat Kinney, CEO of Kinney Consulting LLC, co-chair and chief editor of SP100.11a, is presenting an update on what he titled "the first wireless standard emerging from the industry" which is, of course, wrong. The WirelessHART standard will be the first industrial wireless standard.

The 11a working group will define all specifications, including security and managemetn, for wireless devices serving wireless classes  through 5 for fixed, portable and moving devices. The project's application focus will address performance needs for periodic monitoring...

  • The project charter addresses low energy consumption devices, with the ability to scale to address large installations.
  • Wireless infrastructure, interfaces to legacy infrastructure and applications, security and network management requirements in a functionally scaleable manner.
  • Robustness in the presence of interference found in harsh industrial environments and with legacy systems.
  • Coexistence with other wireless devices anticipated in the industrial work space.
  • Interoperability of SP100 devices.

The workgroup breaks down to the Phy/MAC layer, Network/Transport layer, Security, Network Management (systems manuagement), and finally Applications Gateway. The systems task group is responsible for seeing to it that everybody plays nice in the same sandbox, and the editorial task group is in charge of writing the standard.

We reduced the scope for the first release.

We want to be an open standard for anyone to implement and deploy, be simple to use and depoy for end users, and assure multi-vendor device interoperability.

The first release will focus on the process industries, but without excluding factory automation. It will be in-plant/near-plant. It will provide global deployment, choosing radio bands and security techniques that are globally deployable. It will provide technology for class 1 through class 5 monitoring.

It will adhere to a comprehensive coexistence strategy, using autonomous operation, planned configuration, and cooperative operation. Coexistence must be user-transparent.

The first release will include only 2.4 GHz 802.15.4 radios, for easy vendor interoperability, provide a simple standard, and expedite release of the standard and products based on it. We will use channel hopping to support co-existence and interoperability. Both mesh and star topology will be supported. We will use a single application protocol, and we will provide simple, flexible, and scaleable security addressing major industrial threats leveraging 802.15.4.

We will have a draft standard ready for work group balloting by October 2007.

Now, then, what about Release 2?

Critical class 1-5 applications in addition to monitoring, additional gateway functionality as needed, additional network manager functionality as needed, and dual or multiple PHYs.

Here's the Release 2 roadmap:

  • Factory atuomation (discrete focus)
  • Building automation
  • RFID
  • other industrial requirements

Kinney went through a detailed discussion of system operation parameters, principles of operation status, and showed a picture of an S100.11a network topology.

ISA100.11a is IP-based at the network layer, using the frame format in accordance with IETF 6LoWPan (IPv6 based)! This is hugely important, because the second release will have native IP ability at the chip level.

The first and second releases of 11a will provide the structure for protocol translators, but Kinney expect that the vendors will provide those translators.

Here's the schedule:

PoO draft Q2 2007

PoO 1st release Q2 2007

Draft standard ballot Q3 2007

Standard adopted Q1 2008

Testing and compliance, probably late 2008.

Now Kinney is discussing the relationship between SP100.11a and Wireless HART. Wireless hard standardises wireless hart protocol, while ISA100.11a is mandated to support multiple protocols via single wireless infrastructure, including HART.

HART is not a standards body.

( editor's note: I am strongly wondering why Kinney is spending so much time trashing HART...)

There is no way that ISA100.11a will be released without coexistence. Period.

Mutual coexistence with WirelessHART is a commitment.

Internetworking will be studied.

Interoperability is not part of the S100 program.

Question from audience: why aren't you showing the same issues with Zigbee?