EtherNet/IP (Ethernet Industrial Protocol) is an industrial application layer protocol designed for industrial automation applications. It is supported by ODVA.

Built on the standard TCP/IP protocols, it utilizes long established Ethernet hardware and software to define an application layer protocol for configuring, accessing and controlling industrial automation devices.

EtherNet/IP classifies Ethernet nodes as predefined device types with specific behaviors. This allows for:

1.) Transfer of basic I/O data via UDP. For example: digital or analog I/O. (Implicit messaging)

2.) Uploading and downloading of parameters, setpoints, programs and recipes via TCP. (Explicit messaging)

3.) Polled, Cyclic and Change-of-State via UDP. For example RPI and COS in Allen Bradley's ControlLogix system.

4.) One-to-one(unicast), one-to-many(multicast), and one-to-all(broadcast) via TCP.

The EtherNet/IP application layer protocol is based on the Common Industrial Protocol (CIP) layer used in both DeviceNet, CompoNet and ControlNet. Building on these protocols, Ethernet/IP provides a seam-less integrated system from the Industrial floor to the enterprise network. An overview of the EtherNet/IP technology can be found here:

ODVA is the organization that supports network technologies built on the Common Industrial Protocol (CIP). These currently include the network adaptations of CIP—EtherNet/IP, DeviceNet and CompoNet—and major application extensions to CIP: CIP Safety, CIP Motion and CIP Sync. More information on the CIP technologies and standardization can be found here:


In 2000, the ODVA and CI introduced EtherNet/IP. Here “IP” stands for “Industrial Protocol”. The EtherNet/IP protocol was however originally created by Rockwell Automation, with little or no inputs taken from other ODVA member companies.

Subsequently, additional CIP profiles have been developed that also operate with EtherNet/IP, these include CIP Safety, CIP Sync (this embodies IEEE 1588) and CIP Motion.

EtherNet/IP was intended to be opened to the public, and at once it was suggested to publish the Level 2 source codes in, but failed. Although freeware source code can now be downloaded from the ODVA's website at (registration required to access download)

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