A netHOST is a full-featured and autonomously operating Real-Time Ethernet or Fieldbus master allowing industrial PCs and other embedded systems the control of Real-Time Ethernet or Fieldbus networks over an ordinary LAN connection.
A simple TCP/IP based transport protocol transfers the services between the controlling unit and the device. For device integration a DLL for Windows and a ‚C‘ source code for embedded solutions is provided. In both cases the call interface (API) is identical to Hilschers PC cards. This makes a netHOST a „remotely controllable PC card for field installations“. 100 bytes process data inputs and outputs are exchangeable over the LAN network in about one millisecond. Acyclic services to the subordinate Real-Time Ethernet or Fieldbus stations are supported as well.
Two devices can be used in combination to realize redundant applications. Services are provided to execute a controlled switchover in the event one device fails or a line breaks. In case a device fails the memory card slot allowsservice personnel to perform a firmware and configuration recovery on a replacement device in less than a minute.