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  5. Bus d'instrumentation - GPIB et IEEE 488, HART, LXI, M-Bus, Gige Vision
Control buses for motion control and robotics - CAN bus, ControlNet, Drivecom, Ethercat, Powerlink, SERCOS Hart modem technology basics. You are here: Home > Resources > For control engineers > Communications > Devices buses


Measurement buses | Vision systems networks


Here you will find some informations about instrumentation, measurement and devices buses used in the industry. Devices can be measurement or actuators transducers, machine vision cameras...

All these buses are used to communicate with sensors and actuators transducers. The main purposes are generally first sending or receiving of the current datas, and second configuring, adjusting and calibrating of the instruments and the interfaces in general. An other important use is data exchange for maintenance and sensors / actuators control.


DIN-MeßBus | GPIB - IEEE 488 | Hart | LXI | M-Bus | Profibus-PA


 See also: Instrumentation


DIN-MEßBUS - Measurement Bus

DIN-MeßBus official site | Infoside


"The Measurement Bus was devised as a low-cost interface for the entire range of industrial test and measurement techniques. [...]

In addition, it has also been successfully employed for stored program control. Due to its technical characteristics, the Measurement Bus is also suited for use in measuring systems which are subject to calibration regulations. [...]

Other fields of application for measurement bus networking are environmental measurements, building services automation and energy, gas, oil or heat supply control.

The Measurement Bus is distinguished from other field buses by its use of full duplex transmission. [...]."

GPIB (General Purpose Interface Bus), HP-IB and IEEE488



"The IEEE-488 bus was developed to connect and control programmable instruments, and to provide a standard interface for communication between instruments from different sources. Hewlett-Packard originally developed the interfacing technique, and called it HP-IB. The interface quickly gained popularity in the computer industry. Because the interface was so versatile, the IEEE committee renamed it GPIB (General Purpose Instrumentation Bus)."

HART - The Highway Addressable Remote Transducer Protocol

HART protocol | Hart modem


HART protocol

HART official site | Hart Romilly's site | Analog Services | Downloads

"HART ("Highway Addressable Remote Transducer") is a popular digital communication protocol designed for industrial process measurement applications.

The special feature is that it uses a low-level modulation superimposed on the standard 4-to-20 mA current loop which is now widely used for such measurements. Because the HART signal is small, and composed of sine waves, its average value is zero and does not significantly affect the accuracy of the analogue current signal, which can therefore still be used.

This provides compatibility with existing systems, while allowing simultaneous digital communication for device configuration, status checking, diagnostics and so forth."

Romilly Bowden

The HART Communication Foundation is an independent, not-for-profit organization providing worldwide support for application of the HART Protocol.

After a short resume about HART communication protocol and about Wireless HART communication protocol, you are learning the history of both protocols, what they are, and how they work.

Then you can access a device descriptions library (DDL), and you can download all the specifications in relation with the HART protocol through a very long list (about the protocol itself as well, and about OPC HART servers, all "pdf" formated).

The foundation also offers a HART system users guide to help you selecting, setting, integrating, calibrating and commissioning an installation. In particular, you will find some useful informations about cabling lengths, and all informations relative with cabling from the sensors or actuators, up to gateways and user devices.

Last but not least, you will see real applications examples, and you have the possibility to access to other resources such as "pdf" documents, CD, inline learning etc...
by Romilly Bowden


HART modem technology basics

HART modems are used as interfaces to enable the exchange of datas between a terminal (computer, mobile terminal, programmable logic controller and more...) and instrumentation devices (such as a measurement sensor) over a 4-20 mA current loop in compliance with the HART protocol.

Terminal side, the datas are carried over a serial communication port (RS232, Bluetooth...) which can be either a real port or a virtual serial port.

A HART modem allows an automation engineer to dialog with a local sensor or to dialog with a remote sensor over ethernet.

  HART modem fundamentals.

LXI NETWORK - Local Area Network-based Extensions For Instrumentation

Introduction | LXI consortium


"In 2004 the latest standard, Ethernet-based LXI (LAN-based extensions for instrumentation), was announced. It is claimed to incorporate the best features of both GPIB instruments and VXI modules. It boasts the reduced size of VXI, the high throughput of LAN, and the high performance measurements of GPIB. Its backers claim it to be "the next generation of test systems that harness the power of Ethernet". LXI was introduced jointly by Agilent Technologies and VXI Technology. To ensure widespread and rapid acceptance across the test and measurement industry the LXI Consortium was created to promote the development and adoption of LXI as an industry wide open and accessible standard."

Steve Gledhill -

( VXI is an instrumentation dedicated system bus which integrates the best features of both VME and GPIB buses.
PXI is a younger instrumentation dedicated system bus, which incorporates the best features of both PCI and GPIB buses. )

M-BUS - The Meter Bus

M-Bus official site


"The M-Bus ("Meter-Bus") is a new European standard for remote reading of heatmeters and it is also usable for all other types of consumption meters as well as for various sensors and actuators. With its standardization as a galvanic interface for remote readout of heat meters this bus wins a great importance for the energy industry as relevant users."

"The Meter-Bus is a low cost bus system for remote reading and powering utility meters"

PROFIBUS-PA - Profibus For Process Automation

Profibus Alliance | Miscellaneous


 See also: Profibus | Profinet



Cameralink™ | DCAM - IEEE 1394 | GigE Vision™


 See also: Industrial vision | USB


Photon focus | Miscellaneous


"Cameralink™ is a hardware specification designed by camera and frame grabber manufacturers specifically for the need of the machine vision industry.

Cameralink™ enables a high speed data transfer between one or more cameras and frame grabbers with data rates up to 1.9 Gbit/s. In addition, Cameralink™ provides mechanisms to control the camera."

DCAM - Digital Camera Protocol - IEEE 1394

Damien Douxchamps | 1394 Imaging | 1394 trade association


IEEE 1394 "DCAM" protocol is also known as "IIDC", "Firewire", "iLink" or "I-Link"

"The IEEE 1394 multimedia connection enables simple, low-cost, high-bandwidth isochronous (real-time) data interfacing between computers, peripherals, and consumer electronics products such as camcorders, VCRs, printers, PCs, TVs, and digital cameras. With IEEE 1394-compatible products and systems, users can transfer video or still images from a camera or camcorder to a printer, PC, or television, with no image degradation..."

1394 trade association

"The 1394TA association groups manufacturers and users of equipment using the IEEE 1394 (firewire) communication standards.

It develops and provides standards for the serial bus IEEE 1394, and promotes it."

GIGE VISION™ - Gigabit Ethernet For Vision

Introduction to GigE Vision | Automated Imaging Association


"The GigE Vision standard from the AIA is a new interface standard for high-performance machine vision cameras. GigE (Gigabit Ethernet), on the other hand, is simply the network structure on which GigE Vision is built. The GigE Vision standard includes both a hardware interface standard (Gigabit Ethernet), communications protocols, and standardized means of communicating with, and controlling, a camera. The GigE Vision camera control registers are based on a command structure called GenICam which is administered through the European Machine Vision Association (EMVA). GenICam seeks to establish a common camera control interface so that third party software can communicate with cameras from various manufacturers without customization. GenICam is incorporated as part of the GigE Vision standard. GigE Vision is analogous to Firewire's DCAM (IIDC) and has great value for reducing system integration costs and for improving ease of use."

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