Ethernet Advanced Physical Layer by Pepperl Fuchs

Ethernet Advanced Physical Layer by Pepperl Fuchs

Pepperl Fuchs (Germany) - The fastest and most efficient way to continuously communicate large amounts of data from hazardous areas to the cloud.

Ethernet APL—for IIoT Applications in Process Industries:

Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of Things are standard in the manufacturing industry. In the process industry, on the other hand, there was previously no network standard capable of quickly transferring large amounts of data from the field level to the information level of the Industry 4.0 architecture.

With the new Ethernet advanced physical layer, Ethernet APL for short, Pepperl+Fuchs and other companies are now setting a major milestone. APL includes long cable lengths, explosion protection, and interoperability, enabling continuous and transparent communication across all hierarchy levels. Learn more about the pioneering technology that is paving the way for demanding IoT applications in the process industry.


  • Detection range of up to 1,000 m: spur up to 200 m, trunk up to 1,000 m
  • Power supply of up to 50 field devices with up to 60 W
  • High transfer rates: 10 Mbit/s, full-duplex
  • Download approx. 100 configuration parameters in only a few seconds per field device
  • Intrinsic safety protection easy to apply
  • Simultaneous transmission of data and power along the same two-wire cable


Efficient Communication across All Levels:

Ethernet APL enables the direct connection of field devices to higher-level systems, allowing a uniform communication infrastructure across all process management and company levels for the first time. At 10 Mbit/s, enormous amounts of data are transmitted over long ranges at least 300 times faster than with current technologies such as HART or fieldbus.

Increased Plant Availability:

In addition to pure process values, modern field devices provide valuable additional data. With Ethernet APL, plant operators can make the most of the devices in real time, centrally monitor the status of their components, and identify maintenance requirements early on. This avoids unplanned downtime and increases plant availability significantly.

Simple, Cost-Effective Plant Modernization:

Ethernet APL supports the trunk-and-spur technology established in the process industry and is applicable to any industrial Ethernet protocol such as EtherNet/IP, HART-IP, and PROFINET. This simplifies integration for planners, plant designers, and plant operators since existing installations and infrastructures can still be used and investments are protected.

Flexible Use Worldwide:

Based on the established IEEE and IEC standards, the new Ethernet advanced physical layer allows communication that can be certified in every region of the world. In addition, the testing and certification of products ensures interoperability, so that even devices from different manufacturers work together without issue.

Working Together to Create a New Standard:

For the global process industry, the effort to standardize the physical layer of a communication system is a unique project. Supported by leading associations Fieldcomm Group, OPC Foundation, ODVA, PROFIBUS, and PROFINET International, as well as key players in the industry, the largest collaboration to date in the field of process automation has emerged. Along with the companies ABB, Endress+Hauser, Krohne, Phoenix Contact, Rockwell Automation, SAMSON, Siemens, Stahl, Vega, and Yokogawa, Pepperl+Fuchs is working on the development of the new "advanced physical layer" for Ethernet.

Ethernet APL combines all the experience and needs of process professionals: long cable runs, two-wire lines, interoperability, and use in hazardous areas up to Zone 0/Class 1, Div. 1. As an expert in electrical explosion protection, Pepperl+Fuchs is actively driving these developments within the APL project. As early as 2015, a separate demonstrator showed a miniature version of process plant architecture with Ethernet APL.


Video Caption:

In this video, Michael Kessler, Executive Vice President Components and Technology, Process Automation at Pepperl+Fuchs, demonstrates the typical communication architecture of a process plant with signal transmission via Ethernet.

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