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Ethernet IP

EtherNet/IP is an industrial network protocol that adapts the Common Industrial Protocol to standard Ethernet. EtherNet/IP is one of the leading industrial protocols in the United States and is widely used in a range of industries including factory, hybrid and process. The EtherNet/IP and CIP technologies are managed by ODVA, Inc., a global trade and standards development organization founded in 1995 with over 300 corporate members.

Ethernet IP schematic

EtherNet/IP uses both of the most widely deployed collections of Ethernet standards –the Internet Protocol suite and IEEE 802 project – to define the features and functions for its transport, network, data link and physical layers. EtherNet/IP performs at level session and above (level 5, 6 and 7) of the OSI model. CIP uses its object-oriented design to provide EtherNet/IP with the services and device profiles needed for real-time control applications and to promote consistent implementation of automation functions across a diverse ecosystem of products. In addition, EtherNet/IP adapts key elements of Ethernet’s standard capabilities and services to the CIP object model framework, such as the User Datagram Protocol (UDP), which EtherNet/IP uses to transport I/O messages.

Technical Detail

EtherNet/IP classifies Ethernet nodes as predefined device types with specific behaviours. Among other things, this enables:

  • Transfer of basic I/O data via User Datagram Protocol (UDP)-based implicit messaging
  • Uploading and downloading of parameters, setpoints, programs and recipes via TCP (i.e., explicit messaging)
  • Polled, cyclic and change-of-state monitoring via UDP
  • One-to-one (unicast), one-to-many (multicast), and one-to-all (broadcast) communication via IP
  • EtherNet/IP makes use of unknown TCP port number 44818 for explicit messaging and UDP port number 2222 for implicit messaging

Open source implementation

A portable opensource (modified BSD) implementation named OpENer was started in 2009. The source code is available on GitHub.

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Westermo Ethernet switches


Development of EtherNet/IP began in the 1990s within a technical working group of ControlNet International, Ltd.(CI), another trade and standards development organization, In 2000, ODVA and CI formed a joint technology agreement (JTA) for the development of EtherNet/IP. In 2009, the JTA was terminated and EtherNet/IP became under the sole control of ODVA and its members. Today, EtherNet/IP is one of four networks that adapt CIP to an industrial network along with DeviceNet, ControlNet and CompoNet. All of these networks are managed by ODVA, Inc.


Ethernet IP Logo