Browse Prior Art Database

Original Publication Date: 1993-Apr-30
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Apr-06

Publishing Venue

Xerox Disclosure Journal


Process control via a network architecture is rapidly becoming the enabler of distributed processing, where several microprocessors operating on various process functions which make up a networked system. Under certain circumstances it is necessary to "tap" into the high speed communications occurring on such a network, possibly including modifying the contents of the messages for specific reasons. Accordingly, the disclosed device is primarily comprised of three functional elements or blocks, namely: (A) a microcontroller; (B) a switchyard; and (C) interface hardware for converting the voltage levels of the network nodes to that of the switchyard. By sending the appropriate control word to the switchyard, a matrix of communication node interconnects are possible. The microcontroller can initiate or listen for a single event to synchronize its control code to the activity of the network or simply "trap-on" a known message-set to provide the necessary synchronization.