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DCP Master Slave Configuration to Scale the DCP beyond an IP Subnet

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000197497D
Original Publication Date: 2010-Jul-24
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2010-Jul-25

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Network management software (NMS) which manages the devices on a Process Field Bus (PROFIBUS) based network using the Discovery and Basic Configuration Protocol (DCP) faces the problem that the DCP is a layer 2 protocol; hence, it cannot work beyond an Internet Protocol (IP) subnet. The DCP is part of the Process Field Network (PROFINET) standard and represents a uniform method of configuring device parameters, e.g., IP address, name of station etc. This enables the device commissioning engineer to use only one configuration method for all DCP devices irrespective of type and make. Apart from the uniform configuration procedure, the protocol also allows devices on a subnet to be discovered and supplied with device parameters. It is therefore possible to supply all devices with device parameters from a central station on the Ethernet. Due to its layer 2 based transport protocol, the DCP cannot be used between stations in different subnets connected with a router. This protocol only works within an IP subnet.