Knowledge Base /
Release Notes
PROFINET Driver for VIM2 v1.0.0 Release Notes
By Nobin William
Product: DeltaV Virtual IO Module - VIM2


These notes are for the first release of the PROFINET VIM2(Virtual I/O Module) firmware v1.0.0. This firmware conforms to v2.2 of the PROFINET protocol standard.

Functionally, the VIM2 is implemented as a PROFINET I/O Controller, and behaves as a gateway between DeltaV and plant floor devices residing in a PROFINET network. Specifically, real-time (RT) data exchange between the VIM2 and other I/O controllers (PLC, etc.) and I/O devices (field devices) is implemented. Isochronous real-time (IRT) communication is not supported. Field device communications comprise I/O data, alarms and diagnostics. Other aspects of field data, e.g., data records and logbook information, are not supported. Alarm and diagnostic information is reported to PC based VIMNet Explorer tools. Only I/O data and corresponding status are reported to DeltaV.

DeltaV I/O space comprises a maximum of 4 PROFIBUSI/O cards in slots 57-60 or 61-64. PROFINET device I/O data and status are mapped into PROFIBUS devices and signals.

When mapping to DeltaV PROFIBUSI/O cards, a maximum of 256 devices may be configured per card. Each PROFIBUS device has a maximum of 1020 signals of various data types, with a maximum of 10,000 signals per VIM2.Data from PROFINET field devices are mapped to PROFIBUS device signals. A maximum of 128 PROFINET devices may be configured per VIM2.

Note that the 256 device maximum under PROFIBUS emulation, and 128 PROFINET device maximum for field devices are configuration limits. As a practical implementation, network performance and data throughput must dictate the number of devices connected per VIM2.

This driver functions in Simplex mode only. For enhanced field device reliability and availability, simplex VIM2's may be deployed with an external switch which handles media redundancy network (ring) topology (via MRP). The external switch is expected to be the ring master.

The following diagram shows the DeltaV network architecture and the role of the PROFINET VIM2 Network Gateway:

The DeltaV system with S-series VIM2 and PROFINET I/O integration (simplex VIM2 and DeltaV controller shown)

Release Components:

IOD-4117 PROFINET Driver v1.0.0
VIMNet Explorer v9.4.0.34 or later

What's in this Document?

1. Field Communication Brief discussion of supported PROFINET messaging
2. VIM2 Configuration Steps required to configure a VIM2 with PROFINET diver
3. Add PROFINET Connection Adding a connection to be used under a PROFIBUS card
4. Add Network Devices and Connections Adding field network devices and connections
5. Generating DeltaV FHX File Exporting the configuration as FHX file for import into DeltaV
6. Flash Procedure Describes the steps to flash the firmware into a VIM2

1. Field Communication

The VIM2PROFINET Driver is implemented as an I/O Controller providing communications with field devices using 100 Mbps, Full Duplex, switched Ethernet. The following table describes aspects of communication:

Cyclic Data Exchange
Supported Real-time I/O data and status
Acyclic Data Exchange Supported Configuration and diagnostic data
Alarms Supported Alarm information is reported to the PC based VIMNet Explorer tools
Context Management Supported Connection processing

PROFINET I/O field devices are addressed using MAC addresses and IP addresses. I/O device address resolution is based on a symbolic name of the device, to which a unique MAC address is assigned. To perform this function, you must use a Siemens application called Proneta. This free software can be downloaded from the Siemens website using the following link:

After assigning the device names and corresponding IP addresses, the VIMNet Explorer is used to load and configure all information required for data exchange. This information is contained in a GSDML file supplied by the I/O device manufacturer. The resulting configuration is saved in the VIMNet Explorer VIO file, and also uploaded into the VIM2 where it is saved in non-volatile RAM.

Following configuration upload, the VIM2 reboots. Based on the uploaded configuration which contains device names and associated MAC addresses, the VIM2 can recognize the configured field devices and assign them the specified IP addresses using the DCP protocol (Discovery and Configuration Protocol) integrated in PROFINET. Following address resolution, device parameters are transmitted to the I/O Devices. This completes the startup process and productive I/O data traffic is initiated.

PROFINET uses a scalable real-time (RT) concept solution for data exchange which is implemented with standard network components, such as switches and standard Ethernet controllers. RT communication takes place without TCP/IP information. It is based on cyclical data exchange using a provider/consumer model. The communication mechanisms use layer 2 of the ISO/OSI model. A special Ethertype (0x8892) and VLAN tag according to IEEE 802.1Q (prioritization of data frames) are used for optimized processing of RT PROFINET frames.

Cyclic data frames communicated with each device are based on two user configured parameters:

Phase Calculated This is the smallest unit of the schedule. Each IO Device is assigned a phase in the scan schedule during configuration. The distribution is handled automatically by VIMNet Explorer and the VIM. The I/O Devices are distributed evenly over the available phases. This helps reduce jitter and latency between I/O messages of the same I/O Device. The length of time of a phase is calculated from the Send Clock Factor.
Send Clock Time (uSec) User configurable The Send Clock Factor is the base time unit for the scan schedule. The value can be between 1 and 128. The value defines the amount of time for a phase in the schedule. The Send Clock Factor is the number of 31.25 microseconds increments that constitute a phase. Each I/O Device configured in VIMNet Explorer can have its own Send Clock Factor.The send clock factors supported by a given I/O Device are listed in its GSDML configuration file. The PROFINET specification requires that all devices support a send clock factor of 32 (1000 microseconds). All other send clock factors are optional.
Reduction Factor User configurable The Reduction Ratio indicates how frequently the cyclic I/O messages should be exchanged. A reduction ratio of 1 indicates that I/O messages will be exchanged on every phase in the schedule. A reduction ratio of 16 indicates that I/O messages will be exchanged every 16 phases. Each I/O Device configured in VIMNet Explorer can have its own reduction ratio. The reduction ratios supported by a given I/O Device are listed in its GSDML configuration file.

For additional details, please see the VIMNet Explorer online help.

2. VIM2 Configuration

The VIMNet Explorer is used to configure the VIM2 and the PROFINET driver. Launch the Explorer to see the following top level interface:

VIMNet Explorer

Click the Physical Network to select the NIC on your computer as shown. The Explorer will access the VIM network via this NIC.

Network Settings

Click the Decommissioned VIMs to see the list of available, decommissioned VIM's in the LAN.

Decommissioned VIMs

Right Click I/O Net to create a Controller as follows:

New Controller

Right Click the Controller and select New IO VIM. Specify the VIM properties as follows:

VIM Properties

Specify the driver type as PROFINET, emulated DeltaV I/O card range, VIM IP address and sub-net mask. By default, the VIM will emulate 4 PROFIBUS cards. If the VIM will emulate M-Series I/O cards, the M-Series IO checkbox should be checked.

Click OK to create the VIM placeholder. The Explorer will show this as follows:

VIMNet Explorer

Right Click the VIM placeholder and select Commission. Then select a decommissioned VIM from the list as follows:

Commission VIM

Click OK to complete the commissioning process. The Explorer will show the result as follows:

VIMNet Explorer

With the VIM commissioned, we can now configure the field devices and connections. Connection definitions are stored in VIMNet Explorer libraries, with connection instances added to the I/O Net tree.

3. Add PROFINET Connection

To add a new PROFINET connection definition, select Add Connection Definition from the PROFINET definition library branch of the I/O tree. You will be prompted to select the I/O Device GSDML file.

Select I/O Device File

Select the device GSDML file and click Open. The file will be parsed and the device configuration details will be displayed in a dialog as follows:


Specify Definition name or leave it blank. If blank, the VIMNet Explorer will fill in a default name for the connection. Drag and drop the configuration modules from the Available list box to the Selected list box. Complete other configuration parameters, as required. For more details, please see the VIMNet Explorer online help.

Click the OK button to complete the device definition.

The detail display of the library definition shows details of the definition, including the prototypes of the signal names and the buffer locations.

Definition Details

4. Add Network Devices and Connections

Select Add Connection from the mapped I/O Card - Port in the IO tree.

Add Connection

The displayed dialog will prompt you to add a new device or a new connection.

No Available Connections

Click Add Device to add a new device under this Port, or click Add CR to add a new connection. Click Add Device, then click OK.

PROFINET Device Definition

Select the VIMNet Explorer device number for this device. Then specify the symbolic field device name which was assigned using Proneta. Specify all other required parameters, then click OK.

The following dialog will be displayed to assign a connection to this device. A list of available connection definitions shows connections which exist in the library. Select one and click OK.

PROFINET Connection
Specified IP Addresses

The above dialog shows the added device with user specified IP addresses.

You can see the mapped device with all signals, DeltaV tags, and field IO definitions for the connection.
Mapped Devices

5. Generating VIM Configuration as FHX File

An FHX file containing the I/O definitions may be generated for import into DeltaV as follows. Various DeltaV versions up to v12.3 are supported. This FHX export functionality and subsequent import into DeltaV shortens the development cycle and eliminates reconfiguration of VIM IO cards in the DeltaV Explorer.

Export FHX File

6. Flash Procedure

The PROFINET Driver v1.0 release requires a two step flash procedure as follows:

1. Flash the VIM2 (with any existing firmware) to Simulation firmware using the file: Simulation-Vim2-v256.hex

2. Flash the VIM2 a second time using the file: PROFINET-Vim2-v100.hex

Who Should Upgrade?

Required for all PROFINET users.

Please contact us for any questions about these release notes at: