PROFINET for product development

PROFINET technology for product developers

Expert support for your device development with PROFINET

Shorten your development time for PROFINET devices and perfectly satisfy your customers’ requirements. As a committed PI member, Siemens has been actively driving forward the development of PROFINET from the outset. By choosing us, you therefore benefit from end-to-end PROFINET expertise, advanced consulting skills, and proven technology components to help you develop your devices faster and more efficiently. You can count on our support during the entire development process from technology consulting through to certification.

Our support teams are happy to offer advice and support

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The Industrial Ethernet Standard PROFINET is the communication backbone for Industrie 4.0 in automation technology. For production or process automation, drive applications with or without functional safety or modular machine designs, PROFINET is your first choice for industrial communication. At the same time, PROFINET is easy to handle, integrate and put into operation.

PROFINET is an open, manufacturer-independent standard: Besides Siemens many other technology providers offer solutions and support. Manufacturer-independent standardization of PROFINET is assured by PI (PROFIBUS & PROFINET International). Learn more about technology providers and their products:


PROFINET & technology providers

Benefits of PROFINET:
- Open architecture and convergence with TCP/IP (complies with IEEE 802.3)

- Rapid data exchange, high data speed, and deterministic communication with minimal jitter

- Choice of media for networking (copper, glass fiber, wireless)

- Flexible network topologies (line, star, tree, ring) and functions to read out topologies

- Extensive diagnostic functions and tools

- Future-proof for Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) through full compatibility with IEEE 802

For further information on flexibility, efficiency, and performance of PROFINET, see:

Device development

The right technology for the perfect foundation

For your PROFINET development project you shall take the following aspects into account: Which Conformance Class must be met? And what type of communication is needed – real-time or isochronous real-time communication? Find out more here.

The PROFINET standard defines what we call Conformance Classes. These are used to standardize functionality and performance. Depending on the required functionality, the most suitable type of PROFINET implementation must be chosen for each area of application. Siemens offers the right basic PROFINET technology for all Conformance Classes to facilitate device development.

Selecting the Conformance Class to be implemented depends on the application (e.g. coordinated axis control or measuring technology), but the Class may also be determined by the end customer’s requirements.

The Conformance Classes are described in more detail below:

PROFINET specifies two different device types:

  1. Controller (Master, usually the machine controller)
  2. Device (Slave, e.g. the field device)

The hardware to be used depends on the Conformance Class that must be met. PROFINET over RT (Conformance Class A and B) can be implemented using standard Ethernet hardware. PROFINET over IRT (Conformance Class C) requires specific hardware support.


Naturally, a device that meets Conformance Class C can also support RT.

Information for future-proof device development:

Download brochure


Support for controller and device development

For PROFINET Controllers or PROFINET Devices – with Siemens you can streamline and simplify development of your PROFINET Devices thanks to ready-to-use hardware and software components like PROFINET stack, PROFINET Drivers, communication modules, development kits, APIs or ERTEC ASICs, and the appropriate development kits.

Development of PROFINET RT/IRT Controller for embedded and PC-based products with PROFINET Driver with or without CP1625/SOC1

Low-cost components are a major competitive advantage in machine mass production in particular, where users often utilize control software developed in-house. The individual application is implemented on standard PCs due to performance, flexibility or cost. The PROFINET Driver supports these applications and requires no special hardware since it uses a standard Ethernet interface.


Since the PROFINET Driver is supplied as source code, in-house solutions can be ported to a range of operating systems and hardware platforms. That means the PROFINET Driver is also perfectly suited for use in the embedded systems for in-house control solutions. Configuration is easy via an open XML interface with no need for engineering tools. It can also be done conveniently in the usual way via the TIA Portal. The centerpiece is the SIMATIC PROFINET stack, which has been proven in use for many years.


Development of a PROFINET RT Controller solution: PROFINET over RT has no special requirements for Ethernet hardware. Almost any Ethernet controller can be used with the PROFINET Driver. Since PROFINET Driver V2.2 any Ethernet interface can be used with RAW socket support.


Development of a PROFINET IRT Controller solution: PROFINET over IRT requires hardware support of the Ethernet controller. This is provided by the PROFINET Driver in conjunction with the CP 1625 or the SOC1-ASIC installed on it. For the development of an embedded system we offer the layout of the CP 1625 and the design constrains of the SOC1.


The PROFINET Driver is suitable both for simple applications, e.g. individual PROFINET lines, and for complex machines. The standard Ethernet interface supports PROFINET over RT for cycle times from 1 ms and PROFINET over IRT from 250 µs.


Network convergence is an essential topic for industry 4.0. The PROFINET Driver is designed in such a way that, in addition to PROFINET over RT or IRT, standard TCP/IP applications can also be operated on the same line and thus on the same Ethernet controller.

  • Update times:
    • PROFINET over RT from 1 ms cycle time when using a real-time operating system
    • PROFINET over RT from 32 ms cycle time when using Windows
    • PROFINET over IRT from 250µs when using CP 1625 / SOC1 and a real-time operating system
  • Quantity structure: 128 devices for Debian Linux, 16 devices for Windows
  • Standard implementation for Debian Linux with RT patch and Windows
  • Support of Linux IP Stack for parallel TCP/IP-services and PROFINET traffic on the same interface (network convergence of PROFINET and TCP or and IIoT protocols such as OPC-UA or MQTT)
  • Support of Standard Linux Ethernet Driver for Ethernet hardware independency
  • PROFINET Performance Upgrade through IRT with DFP, Fragmentation, Fast Forwarding
  • Support of Project Integrated I-Device
  • Option handling
  • Fast device start-up
  • Shared device access
  • Adaptation of device and vendor ID
  • Including standard examples for mechanical engineering and TIA Portal projects
  • Programming examples for PROFIdrive controller application and PROFINET certification app

PROFINET Controllers require configuration of the devices being used. This includes network design, device design and parameters, update rate settings, addressing, etc. The PROFINET hardware configuration can be configured in two different ways:

1)  Using PNConfigLib

2)  In the TIA Portal

With the SIMATIC CP 1625 Dev, Siemens offers a Development Board to develop a PROFINET IRT Controller for cycle times of 250 μs or more. The centerpiece is the ASIC SOC1, which assures the hardware support needed to construct an IRT Controller.


The IRT controller based on the PROFINET Driver with CP 1625/SOC1 supports isochronous mode. Control systems for metrology or sophisticated motion control applications can be created, e.g. electronic switchgear, path interpolation, coordinated axle control. An example containing a PROFIdrive connection is available for download.


The PROFINET Driver and PNConfigLib are supplied as source code. This facilitates adaptations or porting needed for integration into specifically developed target systems. A faster and easier start can be achieved using the Evaluation Board CP 1625 Dev as the development platform. For the development of an embedded system we offer the layout of the CP 1625 and the design constrains to the SOC1. The SOC1 can thus be connected to a host processor via PCIe.

Ready to use PC based PROFINET RT/IRT Controller with SIMATIC Industrial OS including an integrated PROFINET Driver

  • Package containing SIMATIC IPC with SIMATIC Industrial OS and fully integrated PN Driver
    • Programming PROFINET control application directly in C/C++
    • No system customization necessary
    • Motion Control, measurement technology isochronous with PROFINET IRT (IPC with PCIe slot and CP1625 required)
  • Real-time capable Linux-based operating system, compiled and tested for and on SIMATIC IPC
    • Reduced costs for development and maintenance
    • Long-term secured update supply
    • Professional and familiar high-quality SIMATIC support
  • PROFINET Driver is integrated as of SIMATIC Industrial OS Version 1.5

PROFINET Controller or Device development for PC-based systems with CP1604, CP1616

The manufacturers of proprietary control solutions often need to be able to integrate their application in a PROFINET network (both in RT as well as IRT operation). This can be done quickly and easily with the help of our CPs, whether it’s as a PN IO controller and/or as a PN IO device. Thanks to the supplied Windows driver, operation is possible with no special programming knowledge required, and the cards can be planned and configured as usual via the TIA Portal. Since machine manufacturers frequently use other operating systems as well, the Development Kits (drivers and IO-Base software) for the CPs are also included. They are available in source code for all operating modes under Linux and can be ported to any PC-based operating system. This applies to both IRT and RT operation. Using the appropriate software extension (see PROFIsafe Starter Kit), the device functionality can also be converted to a PROFIsafe device.


Three different card interfaces are available to support a broad application area. In addition, there is a version with rail approval for the CP 1604.

DK-16xx PN IO Download

  • Full duplex with auto-negotiation
  • With Ethernet real-time ASIC ERTEC 400 / SOC
  • Integrated 4-port real-time switch
  • Communication services:
    - PROFINET IO controller and/or PROFINET IO device
    - IRT support for motion control applications
  • High performance thanks to direct memory access
  • Integration in network management systems thanks to SNMP support
  • Extensive diagnostic options for installation, commissioning, and operation of the module
  • Powerful engineering tools are included in the scope of delivery of the module

Development Kit DK-16xx PN IO included in the scope of delivery Driver and IO-Base software for CP 1604/1616 PROFINET IO controller and IO device in the source code under Linux for porting to any PC-based operating system with IO-based interface for:

  • PROFINET communication:
    - PROFINET IO Controller:
      Connection of field devices to Industrial Ethernet with PROFINET
    - PROFINET IO Device:
      Connection to a PROFINET IO Controller via real-time communication according to PROFINET standard
  • Access for clock-synchronous access to real-time data for PROFINET via IRT, extremely short cycle times with high-precision clock rates, jitter accuracy, isochronous mode, and cycle time enable high-performance motion control applications.
  • Direct memory access to the process data, the process data of the IO devices is always consistent. The IO programming interface provides the PC programmer with function calls for data exchange.
  • IO routing
  • The design of the interface not only enables fast access as a PROFINET IO Controller, it also provides easy portability into other operating system environments (such as VxWorks, QNX, RMOS, RTX). With the development kits, the CP 1604/1616 communication processors can be integrated in any PC-based operating system environment. The development kits contain the necessary driver and IO-base source code including porting instructions as well as sample code running under Debian Linux.

PROFINET Device development for embedded products with Evaluation Kit ERTEC 200P-2

PROFINET profiles

Manufacturer-independent standardization ensures strong end-customer satisfaction

Application profiles are jointly established by manufacturers and users to define specific properties, performance features, and behaviors of devices and systems. General application profiles like PROFIsafe, PROFIdrive, and PROFIenergy enable use with various applications.

PROFIsafe starter kit – Create fail-safe field devices faster

PROFIsafe starter kit – Create fail-safe field devices faster

Functional safety is a serious consideration in automation. The PROFIsafe starter kit can be used to easily implement failsafe field devices. Sample implementations for easy connection to ERTEC platforms are available for the PROFIsafe stack.


F messages between an F host (safety controller) and its F device are transported as payloads in PROFINET telegrams.


The PROFIsafe protocol eliminates the need for the user to evaluate the safety of his individual backplane bus system or other channels beyond PROFINET. It therefore ensures the functional safety of the entire path, from the sender of an F signal, such as an F module in the remote bus terminal, to the receiver, the F host, and vice versa. This is achieved by additional safety measures in the F messages.

PROFIsafe is defined in IEC61784-3-3 as the protocol for implementing functional safety (failsafe), and is recognized by IFA (industrial safety institute of the DGUV, German Social Accident Insurance) and TÜV. PROFIsafe can be used equally with PROFIBUS and PROFINET.


Fail-Safe (F) is the ability of a system to safely protect against hazards or reduce the risk to an acceptable level through the use of appropriate technical and organizational measures.

The PROFINET user organization urgently recommends compliance with the following key preconditions to ensure efficient initial development of a PROFIsafe product:

  • Establish development processes for functional safety in accordance with IEC 61508
  • Use a PROFIsafe Development Kit to avoid traps and wrong turnings
  • Have the development process monitored by a testing center (as per the “V” model of IEC 61508)

PROFIdrive – Implement drive concepts quickly and easily

PROFIdrive describes a standardized drive interface for PROFIBUS and PROFINET. This application-oriented profile, also codified in accordance with IEC 61800-7, includes standardized parameters (syntax and semantics) for communication between drives and automation systems, ensuring independence from any specific manufacturer.


The PROFIdrive application profile forms the basis for multiple drive tasks in industrial automation technology. It defines device behavior and the process of accessing drive data from electric drives, and also perfectly incorporates the additional PROFIsafe and PROFIenergy profiles.

The application example includes:

From the drive perspective, PROFIdrive (orange) functions as an application layer between the PROFINET stack (green) and the drive application (blue).

Information for future-proof device development:

Download brochure


Certify PROFINET field devices

PROFINET communication in industrial systems is based on standards IEC 61158 and 61784. For safety assemblies and devices, standards IEC 62061/ISO 13849-1 also apply.

Reasons for certification

Device certification by an accredited PI Test Laboratory (PITL) is mandatory for PROFINET to ensure the interoperability and conformance of automation devices from different manufacturers. This increases plant availability for end customers and significantly reduces the risk of costly service calls for device manufacturers.


Certification involves checking whether automation devices comply with standards, which ensures that the components in an automation system will work together seamlessly. Although certification is mandatory for every PROFINET Device, the cost of certification will vary depending on the technology used.


Global support for developing your PROFINET Device

Comprehensive consulting prior to starting the development project is particularly important for an efficient and successful development process. The final step in field device development is certification. For PROFINET, Siemens also offers you independent, accredited test laboratories like ComDeC in Germany, PIC in the USA and ITEI in China, and an Test labs in the Czech Republic.

Contact to Siemens PI Competence Centers:


Our support teams are happy to offer advice and support

Siemens support team will advise you in choosing the right technology component for developing your PROFINET Device, offer training opportunities, and support you throughout the entire development period from technology consulting all the way to successful certification. Talk to us.

Siemens PROFINET Competence Center (ComDeC)
Questions about PROFINET?

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