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Ethernet over two wires is possible for new and existing facilities

New network modules for switches and security appliances allow industrial companies to easily install a two-wire Ethernet network for new or existing facilities.

In many cases, industrial automation systems still employ conventional field buses such as PROFIBUS, which do not make use of communication protocols from the IT world.

However, Ethernet would make it possible to use Web-based services to easily control communications throughout an entire facility.

Unfortunately, the Ethernet network standard is conceived for special, multi-core cables containing 4 or 8 wires, which is why SHDSL modems have had to be installed to connect the systems to two-core cable. Fiber optic cables had to be used if long distances needed to be bridged. 

Siemens has now made it possible to communicate over Ethernet via conventional two-core cables and without needing any modems. As a result, operators will be able to use the existing cabling of their facilities for Ethernet communication.

The industrial communications experts at Siemens developed the new two-core cable Ethernet communication system for infrastructure projects. The developers' goal was to use the Ethernet standard for data transmissions between substations without changing the existing cabling or requiring special modems.

Depending on the length of the cable, two-core cables can now transmit between 10 and 100 megabits per second over a distance of up to 1,000 meters. 

Suitable lines include PROFIBUS cables. The system is connected to the two-core cable via an RJ45 plug, which, in turn, is stuck into the corresponding two-core network module.

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