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GSDML file
I am investigating how we can use the Hilscher netPI RTE 3 with the standard GSD file in the short term to implement a project with a short time to market. I have a few questions.
The netPI programming example uses a modified version of the V3.5.35 – V3.x file. However there are three later files in SYCON.net:
  • V3.5.7 – V3.5.17
  • V4.2.0.0 – V4.3.0.x
  • V4.4.0.x
Can you confirm which NETX 51 RE/PNS GSD file I should use or can any of the files be used? I assume that the V4.X.X.X files require a netX51 V4 firmware as the major firmware version incompatibility was the initial issue I had when setting up the NHST-T100-EN/PNM. Is this correct? It so is this available for the netPI or do I need to stick to V3.5X.X files?
The GSD file supports the following (lifted from the Hilscher documentation PROFINET IO Device V3.12.0 | Protocol API DOC111110API17EN and SYCON.net tool):
  • Total cyclic input data: 1440 bytes
  • Total cyclic output data: 1440 bytes
  • Maximum number of submodules: 255 submodules per Application Relation at the same time, 1000 submodules can be configured
I am slightly confused by the use of terminology in the documentation and SYCON.net. The documentation refers to submodules yet I only appear to be able to configure modules (each module added appears to result in a non-editable submodule) and the SYCON.net tool appears to be counting the number of slots used in addition to octets (bytes) not submodules. I have attached a screenshot.
Until I get access to the PI GSDML specification I cannot apply meaning to the entire Hilscher GSD file specification. This is on-going (purchase of PI membership has been approved for the project) and hopefully will be resolved shortly.
Hi Mike,

the terminology of PROFINET is described in this manual: http://us.profinet.com/wp-content/upload...14_web.pdf

I personally speak about slot/subslot usually ... but some others may speak about submodules meaning pretty much the same.

Basis for the netPI example GSDML file is the original netX51 chip device and its GSDML file "NETX 51 RE/PNS V3.5.35 - V3.x" that we provide. While this original GSDML file is flexible and allow you to configure many "IO modules" (in SYCON.net or netX configuration utility) the modified one for netPI have two modules already preconfigured in the IO size that fits exactly to the given PROFINET example source code.

It is correct the netX 51 chip on netPI supports up to 1440 inputs and 1440 outputs overall. It is not a different netX51 then all the others in the world.

In order not to make it too complicated for customer in configuring the IO size for netPI we have chosen an example of just configuring a single additional slot/subslot for inputs and a single slot/subslot for outputs. If you want to support a netX 51 device with multi slot support the configuration is getting extremely complicated and in my eyes and needs a netX workshop at Hilscher to understand it in all details. This is more for customers who want to totally integrate a netX chip in their embedded hardware. This is not what I would invest for a product netPI alike where just the amount of inputs and outputs counts in the end and not modularity.

But I agree everything is possible. But the support for netPI ends with single input/single output module as provided with the example code.

V4.x GSDML files can't be used since the netX51 firmware stack isn't available for netPI product. V4.x was written to downsize the firmware to work on netX52 chip based devices which support no external RAM ... but netX51 used on netPI has it . So there is no need for V4.x

You never fail until you stop trying.“, Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)

Well you might got the impression that with netPI and "support of just a single input and output module in PROFINET" there is a dead end if you want to have more modules. This is not the case.

netPI is a unit that uses netX51 as underlying network controller. It is the very same thing as if a customer would come to us and want to design-in netX in his own embedded device, but this time it is Hilscher itself making use of their own network controller to build such an embedded device - named netPI.

What I want to say is, if you are a netX customer you have to go through all this documentation here: https://kb.hilscher.com/display/NETX/netX+51. Tons of material needs to be studied and also a workshop is offered that provides much more knowledge than a simple code example can provide. The netX support team welcome you for a workshop at any time to help out.

One word to the single input and output module. Next to the PROFINET example there is EtherCAT, EtherNet/IP, POWERLINK, SERCOS ... da da da. Aim with the examples was to deliver source code that behaves the very same for all networks. There are some network that do not support multiple slots/submodules like PROFINET does ... and hence the decision has been made to find a common denominator by stipping down all the fulminant capabilities to a level that applies to all networks. So now in the end there is just the app.h file to be edited deciding on the IO size and the rest is all hidden and handled in the subordinate network specific files. So the easiest way was to implement the single slot solution in PROFINET here ... while accepting cutting off 90% of the possibilies you really have with netX51.

Another thing I want to mentioned here is that the source code we provide on github is 100% based on the source code we provide to real netX51 customers when they come for a netX workshop.

netX52 chip has no external RAM. The software V4.x is a PROFINET stack with less capabilities to fit in the internal RAM memory of netX52. With netPI we have netX51 with external RAM ... so forget any discussion about V4 stack. It is the same as V3.x but with reduced functionality.

You never fail until you stop trying.“, Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)


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