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Fieldbus Foundation releases updated H1 Conformance test kit

The Fieldbus Foundation has released the H1 Conformance Test Kit (H1 CTK) 3.0. The kit provides enhanced capabilities for development and testing of Foundation fieldbus H1 (31.25 kbit/s) device communications stacks, and has been updated to support a current hardware platform and operating systems and expanded test case functionality.

The H1 CTK is a complete testing solution enabling fieldbus device developers to ensure their H1 communication stack conforms to the Fieldbus Foundation’s test requirements. The fieldbus communication stack is the messaging component of a field device. Specifically, the stack is composed of the data link layer, the fieldbus access sub-layer, the fieldbus message specification, and system/network management agents.

All stack conformance testing is performed by the Fraunhofer IOSB, a non-profit testing agency located in Karlsruhe, Germany, as a prerequisite for official registration.

An tool for troubleshooting and debugging a wide range of fieldbus instrumentation, the H1 CTK will verify the correct communication behavior of an H1 device as defined in the Foundation fieldbus specifications. The latest version of the H1 conformance test kit, H1 CTK 3.0, includes a platform upgrade with support for current hardware such as PCI and PCMCIA NI-FBUS cards. The kit has also undergone a test engine code update to 32 bit. In addition, its enhanced user interface provides support for Windows XP/Vista operating systems.

Most importantly, the H1 CTK 3.0 offers significantly improved testing functionality, with each test case acting as a separate, modular application. Users can now compile and edit test cases according to their own development purposes. With the included Visual Studio 2008 solution, they can also take full advantage of the powerful MS Visual Studio debugging tools to track down any stack implementation bugs.

According to Stephen Mitschke, Fieldbus Foundation manager-fieldbus products, the H1 CTK 3.0 is intended for device developers who purchased a license for the original H1 conformance test kit and want to upgrade to the latest stack testing technology.

“The H1 CTK is a successful, proven testing solution that has been in use around the world for over a decade,” said Mitschke. “The new version of the tool has been updated to the latest testing capabilities, as well as an up-to-date platform offering a familiar, user-friendly Windows interface.”

Mitschke added, “The H1 CTK 3.0 is designed for suppliers developing new H1 communications stacks, as well as those who have modified an existing stack and want to run test cases prequalifying it for the registration process.”

The H1 stack conformance test consists of a suite of both automated and manual test procedures. The automated test procedures validate both Fieldbus Message Specification (FMS) and System Management (SM) messaging. The test system validates that the messages for the different services are both formed and decoded correctly by the stack-under-test (SUT).

Other testing procedures validate the data structures present in the device’s Object Dictionary (OD) are conformant to the current Foundation specifications. Additional tests examine the distribution and synchronization of the application time clock. Finally, those stacks classified as a Link Master undergo special testing to validate Link Active Scheduler (LAS) functionality.

The H1 CTK 3.0 is available now to companies signing a new license agreement, and to current license holders wishing to obtain the updated kit at a special discounted price. For more information e-mail

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