ARCNET (Attached Resource Computer NETwork) is a token bus LAN communication protocol defined by the standard ATA 878.1. It was popular in the 1980’s as a commercial LAN technology. Today, it is used as an embedded networking technology in real-time industrial applications. It uses baseband signalling scheme and provides a reliable transfer of variable length packets among multiple end-points or nodes. A token is passed around between the nodes for media access control. Each node can transmit only one packet at a time. This scheme avoid collision and allows for communication between the nodes in a deterministic way. ARCNET is one of the approved communication protocols for the BACnet (Building Automation and Control) standard. It is also used in transportation, robotics, and gaming applications.

Salient features
  • Open standard and a well proven technology
  • Support for several network topologies (daisy chain, bus, line, star, tree, etc.)
  • Support for up to 255 nodes in a network. Hubs can be used to expand the network.
  • Max packet length of 507 bytes
  • Standard data rate of 2.5 Mbps. Options are available for data rates between 19 Kbps to 10 Mbps.
  • At standard data rate maximum transmission delay is capped at 31us.
  • Multiple cabling options — coaxial, twisted pair, and fiber optic.
our expertise

CouthIT has vast experience with the design and implementation of industrial and motor control communication protocols. We are a preferred vendor for Texas Instruments for “enhanced/modified” Ethernet protocols such as HSR, PRP, RSTP, TSN, EtherCAT, industrial Ethernet switches (with support for cut-through), and motor control protocols such as BiSS-C, ENDAT, and Nikon-A. We have advanced level experience on TI’s Sitara platform with Linux/RTOS running on the ARM core and the firmware running on the Programmable Real-time Unit (PRU) core within the Industrial Communication Sub-System (ICSS). We are fully familiar with the conformance testing and the compliance criteria requirements for industrial applications and have mature verification and validation processes to ensure quality. For any requirements regarding ARCNET, please reach out to us at

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