I believe the "Industrial Ethernet" already exists...Ethernet designed from Industrial environment, rugged, reliable. In this article it is mentioned about difficulties in inter-operability between Industrial Ethernet equipments from different manufacturers. But there are open protocols such as PROFINET, EtherCAT, PROFISAFE etc. exist, which enables this interoperability between devices. What are the new things those are being discussed?
Well, I suspect TI has the AM335x Sitara lineup in mind, available at low cost in the BeagleBone Black, since it has a PRU-ICSS co-processor designed for real time Ethernet (e.g. Ethernet PowerLink, EtherCAT, Profinet-IRT), although the BeagleBone users are typically using the PRU for stepper motor control.
And, no, those Ethernet procotocls aren't very compatible. You can probably run the non-real time procotols over the same network (e.g. Modbus/TCP, Ethernet/IP), but real time procotols don't mix, so it's still field bus wars, round 2.
Speaking as an automation developer, I'm not planning on using Ethernet anytime soon, since CANOpen is still plenty fast enough for us, so Ethernet would just add cost (e.g. EtherCAT servo drives are substantially more expensive than CANOpen servo drives).
To make industrial Ethernet being used pervasively on the factory shop floors - the elad role has to be taken by the machine tool manufacturers - most of which offer proprietary systems for controlling their machines so much so that the maintenance of such systems becomes a major issues.
Most the machine tools have a very long life cycle - many being used over decades but the software or the firmware in such machine tools is of such a proprietary nature that unless the OEM support is available the machines are difficlut to maintain.
As we unveil EE Times’ 2015 Silicon 60 list, journalist & Silicon 60 researcher Peter Clarke hosts a conversation on startups in the electronics industry. Panelists Dan Armbrust (investment firm Silicon Catalyst), Andrew Kau (venture capital firm Walden International), and Stan Boland (successful serial entrepreneur, former CEO of Neul, Icera) join in the live debate.