PLCnext Technology in PLCnext Control devices

PLCnext Technology can be operated as a firmware platform on different controllers. In this topic you see the main features of all available PLCnext Control devices. For a sneak peek into our further development and current activities, please refer to the Development roadmaps.

Latest update: July 16th, 2021

PLCnext Control product family

PLCnext Control portfolio

General features of the PLCnext Runtime System

These features come with all PLCnext Control devices but may vary in different releases of the PLCnext Runtime. For more information on a specific feature, just click its icon which will pop up more details.

PLCnext Control features

  • pop-up icon Real-time programmable, with:
    • pop-up icon IEC 61131-3 languages
    • pop-up icon C++
    • pop-up icon C#
    • pop-up icon Simulink®
  • pop-up icon PROFINET®, EtherNet/IP™
  • pop-up icon Industrial Cyber Security features
  • pop-up icon OPC UA server integrated
  • pop-up icon HTML5 web server
    • pop-up icon Web-based management
    • pop-up icon PLCnext Engineer eHMI

PLCnext Runtime features

  • pop-up icon Linux® OS based
  • pop-up icon Global Data Space (GDS)
  • pop-up icon Proficloud services support
  • pop-up icon PLCnext Store interface
  • pop-up icon Docker ready (OCI containers)
  • pop-up icon Notifications
  • pop-up icon Datalogging

PLCnext Control featuresShow all PLCnext Control features at once

Real-time tasks

Firmware version 2019.0
LTS
2020.0
LTS
2020.3 2020.6 2021.0
LTS
2021.6 2021.9
Default / Idle
Cyclic
System event tasks (e.g. system events & exceptions)
User Event tasks
(C++ API)

(C++ API)

(C++ API)

(C++ API)

(C++ API)

(C++ API)

(C++ API)
Task-synchronous Axioline I/O update*
Real-time enhancement -
optimized jitter by using ≥ 1ms task

*Only supported by PLCnext Controls with Axioline local bus (e.g. AXC F 2152)

Real-time IEC 61131-3 languages programming

Refer also to the PLCnext Engineer features overview since that is the preferable tool for IEC languages programming in PLCnext Technology context.

Firmware version 2019.0
LTS
2020.0
LTS
2020.3 2020.6 2021.0
LTS
2021.6 2021.9
Compatible PLCnext Engineer versions PLCnext Engineer
≥ 2019.0 LTS
PLCnext Engineer
≥ 2019.0 LTS
(new features
≥ 2019.9)
PLCnext Engineer
≥ 2019.0 LTS
(new features
≥ 2019.9)
PLCnext Engineer
≥ 2019.0 LTS
(new features
≥ 2019.9)
PLCnext Engineer
≥ 2019.0 LTS
(new features
≥ 2021.0 LTS)
PLCnext Engineer
≥ 2019.0 LTS
(new features
≥ 2021.6)
PLCnext Engineer
≥ 2019.0 LTS
(new features
≥ 2021.9)
Download changes
AX_Control (Axioline firmware commands)*
IB_Control (INTERBUS firmware commands)**
PROFINET® RDREC & WRREC
PROFINET® Alarm & AR management
TLS Sockets
Force values from I/O variables
WSTRING data type 

*Only supported by PLCnext Controls with Axioline local bus (e.g. AXC F 2152)

**Inline local bus support by additional AXL F IL ADAPT (Article No. 1020304)

Real-time C++ programming

Firmware version 2019.0
LTS
2020.0
LTS
2020.3 2020.6 2021.0
LTS
2021.6 2021.9
Real-time C++ programs
Call of RSC services
Threads
Retain memory access
Axioline RSC services
INTERBUS RSC services
PROFINET® RSC services
TLS Sockets
License management RSC services
Support for component ports

Real-time C# programming

The C# real-time implementation does not support all .Net™ framework classes. For all details, please refer to the supported C# functions.

Supported Microsoft® Visual Studio® versions

  Firmware version
>= 2019.x >= 2020.0 LTS
Microsoft® Visual Studio® 2015 PLCnext Technology Development Tools for Visual Studio 2019.x PLCnext Technology Development Tools for Visual Studio 202x.x
Microsoft® Visual Studio® 2017
Microsoft® Visual Studio® 2019

IEC 61131-3 runtime features in C# programming

Firmware version 2019.0
LTS
2020.0
LTS
2020.3 2020.6 2021.0
LTS
2021.6 2021.9
Functions
Function blocks
Programs  ✔

Real-time Simulink® programming

Firmware version 2019.0
LTS
2020.0
LTS
2020.3 2020.6 2021.0
LTS
2021.6 2021.9
PC Worx Target for Simulink - compatible tool version 1.40 and 1.42 1.40 and 1.42 1.40 and 1.42 1.40 and 1.42 1.40 and 1.42 1.40 and 1.42 1.40 and 1.42
PC Worx Target for Simulink - Programs
PC Worx Target for Simulink - Function blocks
PLCnext Engineer - Model Viewer*
External mode
Co-simulation
Demo mode
Multi-modal instantiation
Parameter tuning
Multirate/Multitasking
Meta flagging
Debug information gathering**
Multicore support 

*   Supported by PC Worx Target for Simulink v1.4x and using PLCnext Engineer ≥ 2019.0 LTS

** Supported by PC Worx Target for Simulink v1.42 only

PROFINET® and EtherNet/IP™ - industrial real-time Ethernet

Firmware version 2019.0
LTS
2020.0
LTS
2020.3 2020.6 2021.0
LTS
2021.6 2021.9
PROFINET® specification compliant 2.3 2.3 2.4 2.41 2.41 2.41 2.41
PROFINET® Controller 
PROFINET® Controller supports Fast Start-up (FSU)
PROFINET® Device
Media Redundancy Protocol (MRP) - Client
LLDP compliant
PROFINET® System Redundancy Layer (SRL)
EtherNet/IP™ Device

Industrial Cyber Security

Firmware version 2019.0
LTS
2020.0
LTS
2020.3 2020.6 2021.0
LTS
2021.6 2021.9
Remote SSL connection
User Management - predefined roles
Firewall (nftables)
VPN (OpenVPN®)
IPsec (StrongSwan®)
Trust & Identity Store
TLS Sockets
Usage of the external SD card can be configured and disabled
LDAPS user authentication
Firmware update via proficloud.io   AXC F 2152only

OPC UA server

Firmware version 2019.0
LTS
2020.0
LTS
2020.3 2020.6 2021.0
LTS
2021.6 2021.9
Data Access – Primitive datatypes
Data Access – Arrays and Structs
Data Access – PLC status information
Data Access – Date & Time data type
Alarm & Condition – Send alarms
Alarm & Condition – Enable/disable alarms
Alarm & Condition – Confirm alarms
Alarm & Condition – Acknowledge alarms
File Transfer – Access directories and files
File Transfer – Open, read, write, seek and close files
Support of GDS push certificate management
Historical Access* – Primitive datatypes
Historical Access* – Get history of a specific time frame
Historical Access* – Cyclic Read
Subscription type – Real-time
Subscription type – Direct Read 
Information models – Basic support 
Certification according to OPC UA version 1.0.4  AXC F 2152only

*via file-based configuration only by now – configuration via PLCnext Engineer will be implemented later

Web server

Firmware version 2019.0
LTS
2020.0
LTS
2020.3 2020.6 2021.0
LTS
2021.6 2021.9
HTML5
HTTPS
Support of PLCnext Engineer HMI
REST data interface - access GDS ports
REST data interface - access global and external variables

Web-based management (WBM) on PLC

Firmware version 2019.0
LTS
2020.0
LTS
2020.3 2020.6 2021.0
LTS
2021.6 2021.9
Login authentication
User management
LDAPS configuration
PLC state
Firewall configuration
Certificate management (Trust and Identity Store)
Proficloud client settings
Firmware update
PROFINET® Device list
PROFINET® Device tree view
Local bus device list (Inline/Axioline)
Local bus diagnostics (Inline/Axioline)
Local bus device details (Axioline)
Status view for external SD Card
PLCnext App installations overview
PLCnext App status
PLCnext App offline installation
View and download system notifications 
Status information regarding Ethernet interfaces 
Configure an HTTPS certificate for nginx web server
Configure IP settings 
Enable/disable System Services 

PLCnext Engineer eHMI

Software version 2019.0
LTS
2020.0
LTS
2020.3 2020.6 2021.0
LTS
2021.3[1] 2021.6 2021.9
Basic forms and elements
Symbols
Symbol in symbol (one level)
Symbol in symbol (multi-level) 
Animations
Actions - Execute an event
Actions - Multiple events
Actions - Write value
Search and replace in symbols and dynamics
Import and export HMI Libraries
Import pages from other projects
Access IEC 61131-3 external variables
Access local variables of function blocks
Tags - Primitive data types
Tags - Any Bit (e.g. var. %X1)
Tags - Array
Tags - Struct
Tags - Array of Struct
Tags - Local function block variables
Tags - Assign UDTs to symbol parameters
Tags - Define local tags for symbols 
Folder in HMI application tree
eHMI Easy Login - refresh without re-authentication 
Object Explorer shows a hierarchic tree view of HMI objects
Actions triggered on page-activated event
Actions triggered by data 
Trending chart view 
Multi-language applications 
Expressions in symbol parameters 
Editor for page templates 
  1. Release 2021.3 is valid only for the PLCnext Engineer software suite. A PLCnext Runtime release 2021.3 has been not been published (see Releases).

PLCnext Runtime featuresShow all PLCnext Runtime features at once

PLCnext Linux Operating system

Firmware version 2019.0
LTS
2020.0
LTS
2020.3 2020.6 2021.0
LTS
2021.6 2021.9
Linux® kernel 4.14 LTS 4.14 LTS 4.14 LTS 4.14 LTS 4.14 LTS 5.4 LTS 5.4 LTS
OSADL Preempt real-time patch
Network Time Protocol (NTP)
Trace Controller (based on LTTng)
Performance enhancement - optimized kernel setting
Docker™ ready (support for OCI containers)

Global Data Space (GDS)

Firmware version 2019.0
LTS
2020.0
LTS
2020.3 2020.6 2021.0
LTS
2021.6 2021.9
Extended Retain Handling
Backup and restore retain values 
OctetString GDS connector 

Proficloud

PLCnext Runtime version 2019.0
LTS
2020.0
LTS
2020.3 2020.6 2021.0
LTS
2021.6 2021.9
Proficloud.net TSD Interface
(incl. GDS Ports)

(incl. GDS Ports)

(incl. GDS Ports)
Proficloud.io Device Management Interface
only AXC F 2152

all PLCnext devices

all PLCnext devices

all PLCnext devices
Proficloud.io TSD Interface
(incl. GDS Ports)

(incl. GDS Ports)

(incl. GDS Ports)

PLCnext Store Interface

Firmware version 2019.0
LTS
2020.0
LTS
2020.3 2020.6 2021.0
LTS
2021.6 2021.9
Solution Apps
Function Extension Apps
License Mechanism for Apps (Copy protection)
PLCnext App offline installation 

Notification Manager and Logger

Firmware version 2019.0
LTS
2020.0
LTS
2020.3 2020.6 2021.0
LTS
2021.6 2021.9
System notifications (diagnostic)
PROFIsafe® notifications (diagnostic) 
View and download notifications via PLCnext Engineer cockpit
View and download notifications via WBM 
Register, send and receive notifications (C++)
Log notifications (SQLite database)

Task-synchronous Datalogger

First implemented with

Firmware version 2020.0
LTS
2020.3 2020.6 2021.0
LTS
2021.6 2021.9
Logging of GDS ports
File format - SQLite
Mode - Infinite
Mode - On change (Sequence of Event)
Mode - Time frame
Mode - Trigger
C++ API (Remote Service Call - RSC) to query the database
Time stamp according to ISO 8601
Session configuration and management via PLCnext Engineer 
Session configuration and management via RSC IDataLoggerService2 
Sampling values in a specified ESM task 

Firmware on controllers

These PLCnext Runtime versions are (or have been) available as firmware for controllers:

PLCnext Control item no. / product info 2019.0
LTS
2020.0
LTS
2020.3 2020.6 2021.0
LTS
2021.6 2021.9
AXC F 1152 1151412
AXC F 2152 2404267
AXC F 3152  1069208
RFC 4072S 1051328

Controller-specific features

These features show the differences and similarities between the controllers, determining the performance and fields of application:

  AXC F 1152 AXC F 2152 AXC F 3152 RFC 4072S
Field of application Ideal for small applications Ideal for small to medium-sized applications Ideal for medium-sized applications High performance for sophisticated applications
CPU ARM® Cortex®-A9
1x 800Mhz
ARM® Cortex®-A9
2x 800Mhz
Intel® Atom™ x5-E3930
1,3 GHz Dual Core
Intel® i5 6300U
2,4 GHz Dual Core
RAM 512 MB 512 MB 2048 MB 4096 MB
Integrated Flash memory* 512 MB 512 MB 1 GB 8 GB
Retain memory 48 kByte (NVRAM) 48 kByte (NVRAM) 1 MByte 2 MByte
Ethernet ports 2x 10/100 Mbit/s
switched
2x 10/100 Mbit/s
switched
3x 10/100/1000 Mbit/s 2x 10/100/1000 Mbit/s;
2x 10/100 Mbit/s
switched
Trusted platform module (TPM)
Real-time clock
Configuration and diagnostics via WBM via WBM via WBM via touch display
and WBM
Task cycle time (ESM) 5 ms 1 ms 500 μs 500 μs
Real-time (ESM) cores 1 2 2 2
Control tasks running on an ESM core 8 up to 2020.3:
8
from 2020.6: 16
up to 2020.3: 8
from 2020.6: 16
up to 2020.3: 8
from 2020.6: 16
Maximum parallel tasks 8 up to 2020.3: 16
from 2020.6: 32
up to 2020.3: 16
from 2020.6: 32
up to 2020.3: 16
from 2020.6: 32
PROFINET® update rate 4 devices (2 ms),
16 devices (4 ms)
4 devices (2 ms),
64 devices (16 ms)
32 devices (1 ms),
128 devices (4 ms)
64 devices (1ms),
256 devices (8ms)
Support for left-side extensions up to :
AXC F XT IB only
from :
all AXC F XT modules
Axioline F local bus support
Inline local bus support by means of
AXC F IL ADAPT
by means of
AXC F IL ADAPT
by means of
AXC F IL ADAPT
Safety controllers
( PLCnext Engineer Functional Safety editor necessary)
ARM® Cortex®-A8
1x 600 MHz,
ARM® Cortex®-A6
1x 800 MHz
Netload limiter from 2020.6:
from 2019.9:
Active Fan Control with AXC F 3
FAN MODULE,
item no. 1173450
with RFC
FAN MODULE,
item no. 2404085
Integrated uninterruptible power supply (UPS)

* Depending on the firmware in use and/or PLCnext Store Apps and/or other components, not all the memory is available to the user
In case of memory shortage, we recommend using an additional Phoenix Contact SD Card.Refer to the accessories of your specific PLCnext Control on the Phoenix Contact website. 
Note: These SD Cards come with an underlying file system which is necessary for proper operation in PLCnext Technology. Do not use any other SD Cards available on the market, nor reformat a Phoenix Contact SD Card you want to use with your PLCnext Control further on.

Extensions to PLCnext Control devices

In this topic you see the main features of all available extensions and adapters to PLCnext Control devices. For a sneak peek into our further development and current activities, please refer to the Development roadmap.

For use at AXC F series devices

The following extension modules can be used with every Axioline-based PLCnext Control (e.g. AXC F 2152) with PCI express interface. 

For more technical details, see the data sheets.

Extension modules

AXC F XT ETH 1TX

Extend your PLCnext control with an additional high-performance 1 GbE network card, based on Intel® i210 chipset. This left-alignable extension module adds another independent MAC address to your AXC F station and supports PROFINET®.

Item no. 2403115

AXC F XT IB

Integrate new or older (meaning Supi 3 device chips or higher) INTERBUS networks with this left-alignable INTERBUS G4 Master extension module.

Item no. 2403018

AXC F IL ADAPT

The Inline adapter terminal (INTERBUS master) is designed to be aligned to the right of an Axiocontrol series PLCnext Control device (e.g. AXC F 2152). The Inline adapter terminal can be used to set up an Inline station for PLCnext Technology and to integrate INTERBUS devices.

Item no. 1020304

AXC F XT EXP

If you need more functions for your application than available with just one of the above AXC F extensions you can use the AXC F XT EXP module to align three extensions at the expansion module. 

Item no. 1139999

AXC F XT SPLC 1000

The AXC F XT SPLC 1000 is a safe PLC left-alignable extension module which communicates with up to 32 PROFIsafe® devices via PROFINET® or Axioline, while the integrated F-Device instance enables networking to a higher-level PROFIsafe® controller

Item no. 1159811

SD cards

Program and configuration memory for storing the application programs and other files in the file system of the PLC:

  • SD FLASH 8GB PLCNEXT MEMORY (item no. 1061701)
  • SD FLASH 2GB PLCNEXT MEMORY  (item no. 1043501)

Program and configuration memory for storing the application programs, other files and licenses:

  • SD FLASH 8GB PLCNEXT MEMORY LIC (item no. 1151112) 
  • SD FLASH 32GB PLCNEXT MEMORY LIC (item no. 1151111) 
  • SD FLASH PLCNEXT MEMORY LIC CFG (item no. 1308064)
 

 

 


 • Published/reviewed: 2021-10-11 • Revision 026 •