FOUNDATION HSE is a control network technology specifically designed for process automation to connect higher-level devices such as controllers and remote-I/O, high-density data generators etc., and for horizontal integration of subsystems.

FOUNDATION HSE is based on unmodified IEEE 802.3 Ethernet and, therefore, is compatible with standard Ethernet equipment. Unlike mere "ring topology,” FOUNDATION HSE provides complete “DCS style” redundancy with redundant network switches, redundant devices, and redundant communication ports ensuring unsurpassed availability.

FOUNDATION HSE is also based on standard IP, enabling it to coexist with other devices and ensuring compatibility with standard tools. At the highest level, FOUNDATION HSE includes a standard application layer that provides interoperability between devices beyond the mere coexistence provided by Ethernet and TCP/IP. FOUNDATION HSE communication is schedule-driven to minimize dead-time and jitter with support for peer-to-peer communication directly between devices. Again, a rigorous interoperability testing program ensures quality connectivity.

The hub-and-spoke tree topology of Ethernet makes it very easy to add and remove devices without upsetting the operating network. Because FOUNDATION HSE is based on unmodified Ethernet, standard Ethernet tools can be used for installation qualification, testing, and troubleshooting. These tools speed up the resolution of communication problems.

FOUNDATION HSE is supported by better troubleshooting tools not available for RS485 and coax. Since FOUNDATION HSE is based on UDP and TCP, standard network management tools employing SNMP, RMON, etc., can be used. Similarly, familiar IP addressing is used including support for DHCP.

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A fieldbus is used to connect field equipment (such as sensors and actuators) in an area for the purpose of communication with a control unit. If several communication members send their messages over a line, it is then necessary to establish the identification, the measured value and when (initiative) something was said. There are standardized protocols for this.

The Fieldbus Foundation is a non-profit organization consisting of the leading process and manufacturing automation companies. The first generation of the fieldbus technology was developed in the 1980s to replace the parallel wiring of binary signals that were usual at that time as well as analog signal transmission using digital transmission technology. Today, many different fieldbus systems with different characteristics have been established on the market. Since 1999, the fieldbus technology is standardized in the entire world using the IEC 61158 standard. The second generation of fieldbuses is based on real-time Ethernet.

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