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PBMaster - An Open Implementation of Profibus DP

Duy Khanh Tran, Czech Technical University, Prague

This paper presents an open implementation of the Profibus DP (Process Field Bus Decentralized Peripherals), probably the most popular fieldbus used in factory automation. Despite of many interesting features like deterministic media access or fast data exchange, Profibus still seems to be a domain of professional applications and commercial solutions. The main reason is probably based on the high price of all Profibus products, whether hardware or software solutions. The project PBMaster was established to offer a cheap solution for connecting common PCs as well as embedded systems to this industry bus. The key to achieving these objectives is in using common inexpensive hardware and open source software.

Presently, the software runs on several operating systems (Linux, FreeBSD and NetBSD) and sys-less embedded hardware based on the ARM architecture. The objectives are to offer multi-platform drivers, libraries and applications capable of carrying out the master, slave and analyzer functions of the Profibus DP. In the future the project will try to offer a complex and inexpensive solution with open code for applications using Profibus DP.

The project will be presented at Profibus Conference in July, where a discussion about openness of the standard will be open. We would like to present a high quality implementation of the standard as well as advantages of the cooperation between companies and the community. The goal is to release project's source code under GNU GPL license and keep the development open for community.