Protocol IP - Designing For Multiple Industrial Ethernet Protocols

Block Diagram

Solution Type: IP Core, Qsys Component

End Market: Industrial

Evaluation Method: Source Code

Technology: Interface Protocols: Ethernet

Cyclone Series: Intel® Cyclone® 10: Intel® Cyclone® 10 LP; Cyclone® IV, Cyclone® V, Cyclone® V SoC

MAX Series: Intel® MAX® 10


Industrial Ethernet Implementation for Intel FPGAs - Simple and Efficient Solution for Designing Industrial Devices supporting Multiple Industrial Ethernet and Fieldbus Protocols As a leading supplier of industrial communication solutions Softing teamed-up with Intel and has generated an offering providing all the required hardware and firmware for implementing Industrial Ethernet and PROFIBUS field device functionality based on Intel FPGAs. This hardware and firmware bundle is named "Softing Protocol IP" and is available via Intel's worldwide sales channel as well as directly from Softing. Softing Protocol IP allows for easy implementation of Industrial Ethernet (PROFINET RT and IRT, EtherNet/IP, EtherCAT, Modbus TCP) and PROFIBUS slave devices based on Intel’s family of Cyclone FPGAs.


  • Simplified, No-Hassle Slave Device Implementation for Industrial Ethernet Protocols Plus PROFIBUS
  • Ready-to-Use and Intel FPGA Tested Protocols Including FPGA IP and Software Protocol Stack running on Nios IIf
  • Uniform Software API and Hardware Interface for All Protocols
  • Flexible Integration Capabilities
  • Short Time-to-Market

Device Utilization and Performance

PROFINET RT (2 ext. ETH ports, MRP enabled): switch IP (~4200 ALMs, 31 M10K), total subsystem (~7900ALMs, 72 M10K) PROFINET IRT (2 ext. ETH ports, MRPD, IO via DMA): switch IP (~8200 ALMs, 31 M10K), total subsystem (~12300ALMs, 91 M10K) EtherNet/IP (2 ext. ETH ports): switch IP (~4200 ALMs, 31 M10K), total subsystem (~7900ALMs, 72 M10K) Modbus/TCP (2 ext. ETH ports): switch IP (~4200 ALMs, 31 M10K), total subsystem (~7900ALMs, 72 M10K) EtherCAT (2 ext. ETH ports): ESC IP (~7900 ALMs, 9 M10K), total subsystem (~13000ALMs, 50 M10K) PROFIBUS: PB IP copre (~1900 aLMs, 10 M10K), total subsystem (~4600ALMs, 33 M10K)

Getting Started


IP Quality Metrics

Year IP was first released2020
Latest version of Quartus supported18.0
Altera Customer Use
IP has been successfully implemented in production with at least one customerY

Customer deliverables include the following:

  • Design file (encrypted source code or post-synthesis netlist)
  • Simulation model for ModelSim Altera edition
  • Timing and/or layout constraints
  • Testbench or design example
  • Documentation with revision control
  • Readme file
Any additional customer deliverables provided with IP
ready to run QSYS subsystem including binary protocol software for Nios IIf
Parameterization GUI allowing end user to configure IPY
IP core is enabled for OpenCore Plus SupportN
Source language
Testbench languageVHDL
Software drivers providedY
Driver OS supportHAL (bare metal), Linux
User InterfaceAvalon-MM
IP-XACT Metadata includedN
Simulators supportedModelSim
Hardware validated Y. Altera Board Name DK-DEV-5CEA7N, DK-DEV-5CSXC6N
Industry standard compliance testing performed
If yes, which test(s)?PROFINET conformance test
If yes, on which Altera device(s)?Cyclone V E
If Yes, date performed
IP has undergone interoperability testing
Interoperability reports available  Y

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