POWERLINK is based on the ISO/OSI layer model and supports client/server and producer/consumer communication relationships. The protocol is based on the standard IEEE 802.3 layers. The current physical layer is 100BASE-X. In the future, however, it could also be based on faster Ethernet variants (such as Gbit Ethernet). To minimize path delay and frame jitter, it is recommended to use repeating hubs instead of switching hubs within the real-time domain. POWERLINK refers to the IAONA Industrial Ethernet Planning and Installation Guide available for download from www.iaona-eu.org for proper wiring of industrial networks. Both RJ45 and M12 industrial Ethernet connectors are specified.

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