Version 1.1.0 of the Ethernet Powerlink specification offers new features that were added by using reserved bits. The updated specification, released by the Ethernet Powerlink Standardization Group (EPSG), allows the complete integration of high-availability functionality. Until now, users had to implement high-availability Powerlink networks by modifying the protocol’s address management through in-house development, allowing for on-the-fly address changes to redundant control systems.
Version 1.1.0 also supports the integration of redundant Managing Nodes by default. In addition, the new release extends the asynchronous phase. This part of the Powerlink cycle transfers non-time-critical data, as opposed to the isochronous phase, which is used for time-critical process data transfer and which takes up the bulk of the cycle. Until now, only one frame could be transferred during the asynchronous phase. The new specification now allows for the transfer of several ASnd frames.