Ethernet has spread from traditional office environments to various fields, including harsh industrial environments such as factory and building automation. Today, copper cables are the most commonly used option for Ethernet, but optical cables have gained more and more success in industrial applications due to their long distance capabilities and the many advantages of electrically isolated interfaces. Lost or corrupted packets can cause any network to fail, but this is even more problematic for industrial buses. These buses have some level of synchronization to maintain strict control and accuracy. Most industrial buses use specific time synchronization packets to achieve synchronization through continuous and uninterrupted communication. When the data packet does not arrive, it not only affects the synchronization of the nodes moving down to the link, but also causes extra data packet transmission, causing data packets to be lost or damaged. The importance of mitigating packet loss and packet errors requires consideration of several aspects in an industrial environment. Techniques for dealing with issues arising from radiated and conducted emissions and electrical isolation requirements. Shortening the distance between network components can minimize the probability of packet loss and packet errors. Fiber optic cables have inherent characteristics that provide new ways to address these challenges and address potential issues related to lost links or damage to the Ethernet physical layer (PHY).
The distance supported by optical fiber communication is much longer. Among them, the distance between nodes of a copper cable network is tens of meters, and the distance between nodes of an optical fiber network can reach hundreds of meters or several kilometers. Therefore, in industrial applications, networks can be bridged between buildings or between substations connected to high-power grids.
Optical fiber communication will become an important part of industrial networks in the near future. It makes Industrial Ethernet have some very attractive characteristics, which can allow users to operate in harsh environments and long distance conditions, and has excellent electrical insulation characteristics.