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Industrial Ethernet (IEEE 802.3 and 802.3u) is an international Ethernet standard that enables you to incorporate devices for the control and monitoring of production processes into existing LAN architectures. Industrial Ethernet also enables powerful, wide-area communications networks to be set up in hostile industrial environments. You can use this standard as a plant and terminal bus for multiuser systems in a client/server architecture.

In medium to large plants, SIMATIC PCS 7 relies on modern Gigabit and FastEthernet technologies due to the high requirements on throughput and speed. These technologies combine the high security of optical ring architectures with scalable performance by means of switching technology with high transmission rates of up to 1 Gbps. For small systems, "Basic Communication Ethernet" (BCE) is available: The BCE communication integrated into the SIMATIC PCS 7 industrial workstations allows single stations and servers to be operated on the plant bus without any additional communication modules.