Softing’s PROFINET FPGA passes Net Load Class III

Softing’s PROFINET device implementation has passed the Class III category of the “Net Load Test” performed by PROFIBUS & PROFINET International (PI). This tough-to-reach performance objective ensures that PROFINET field devices that are based on Softing’s protocol software will operate at the highest level of robustness and reliability even under tremendous network load.

Softing’s off-the-shelf industrial Ethernet communications board FPGA RTEM CIII served as the hardware platform for the Net Load Test. The PROFINET protocol software is optimized for and executed by the on-board FPGA. The use of FPGA technology ensures that the tested behavior is also achieved in customized scenarios, e.g. if using the same CPU for the application and for the communication.


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The data security aspect in production networks is becoming more and more important. At the same time, it is essential to ensure stable communication links and predictable device behavior even under extreme conditions such as the integration of production and company network into one secure subnet. The PI Net Load Test is designed to evaluate the effects of extra network load on a PROFINET protocol implementation by introducing additional data traffic up-to the total available network bandwidth. Depending on how well the PROFINET protocol software is able to sustain a reliable communication link determines its ranking into Net Load Classes I, II, or III with Class III identifying the highest level of reliability.

About Softing

In industrial automation, Softing is a specialist for fieldbus technology and has established itself as a world-leading partner for networking automation systems and control solutions. Softing provides customers the key technology to connect devices, controls, and systems with the leading communication technologies. In fieldbus technology, Softing is a world-class expert for Foundation™ fieldbus, PROFIBUS, and CAN/CANopen/DeviceNet. The company’s wide range of expertise includes solutions for OPC, FDT, and Real-Time-Ethernet protocols such as, PROFINET IO, EtherNet/IP, and Modbus/TCP. Many of the products and services developed by Softing since the company was founded in 1979 have become reference standards throughout the world. In addition, Softing has established itself as a provider of sophisticated diagnostic tools for fieldbus systems.

 For more information, please contact: Softing North America, Inc. 29 Water Street, Suite 301, Newburyport, MA 01950; Tel: 978-499-9650; Fax: 978-499-9654; Email: Or visit our company Website: