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History of Automation: This Week , Ethernet

ethernetIn 1973, personal computers were slowly being adopted into offices and a few homes. With this wider adoption came a market for peripheral devices, such as printers. These devices required a way to send and receive data from a personal computer, and one solution for this problem was a network designed to communicate with these newly connected devices. In a memo dated May 22, Robert Metcalfe proposed a “multipoint data communications system Ethernet,” which is still the standard computer network in use today. Metcalf filed for a patent for Ethernet in 1977 along with co-creators of the protocol, and the patent was awarded to the Xerox Corporation.

Ethernet Still a Standard Today

Today there are countless protocols used to aid communication between interconnected devices, and many still use Metcalfe’s Ethernet to transmit data. Protocols such as MQTT, MODBUS, BACNet, and IEC-60870-5-101 all make use of an Ethernet interface to transmit data.

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