ControlNet® provides users with the tools to achieve deterministic, high-speed transport of time-critical I/O and peer-to-peer interlocks. ControlNet offers a choice of topology options including trunkline-dropline, star or tree. Hardware options are also offered for applications requiring intrinsically safe hardware. Redundant network communication is available as well. 

Like all CIP Networks, ControlNet utilizes the Common Industrial Protocol (CIP™) for its upper layers. CIP Networks follow the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model, which defines a framework for implementing network protocols in seven layers: physical, data link, network, transport, session, presentation and application. Networks that follow this model define a complete suite of network functionality from the physical implementation through the application or user interface layer. 

ControlNet Technology Overview Series
Read the ControlNet Technology Overview Series: CIP on CTDMA Technology (PUB 200)

CIP encompasses a comprehensive suite of messages and services for a variety of manufacturing automation applications, including control, safety, energy, synchronization & motion, information and network management. As a truly media-independent protocol that is supported by hundreds of vendors around the world, CIP provides users with a unified communication architecture throughout the manufacturing enterprise. 

The “Technology Overview Series: ControlNet,” published in the Document Library, gives a comprehensive overview to ControlNet.