At Powerlink The hardware costs for slave interfaces are up to 45% lower than for industrial Ethernet systems with comparable performance. Less hardware, such as connectors, transformers, and PHY needed to connect to any Ethernet system, processor-based Powerlink solutions today can be realized with hardware costs of less than four euros. For FPGA solutions, the current prices are around five euros. The reasons for the low interface cost are the use of the single telegram method and the patent freedom of Powerlink technology.
Unlike proprietary Ethernet real-time buses, in which a summation frame procedure sends only one large data packet per cycle to all network participants, the single telegram procedure of the standard Ethernet used by Powerlink requires significantly less hardware effort. It also pays off the openness and vendor independence, which requires no proprietary ASICs to meet hard real-time requirements. As a pure software solution, which is also available as an open source version, you completely waive patented technology. Manufacturers can implement the Powerlink stack themselves and are not dependent on purchasing expensive patented interface solutions. In doing so, they benefit from falling prices with each new generation of semiconductors, while the start-up costs for proprietary solutions stagnate at an unchanged high level.