WirelessHART vs ISA100-Difference between WirelessHART and ISA100.11a

This page compares WirelessHART vs ISA100.11a and mentions difference between WirelessHART and ISA100.11a wireless technologies.

Both the wireless technologies are based on IEEE 802.15.4-2006 standard and operates on 2.4GHz frequency band. They are used for wide variety of applications including process automation and plant automation.

Both are used as low rate wireless personal area networks. ISA100.11a uses MAC layer which is modified version of MAC used by wirelessHART. They use same mechanism for data transportation to/from Gateway. As these technologies operate on very low power, battery will last for longer duration. The radio uses channel hopping and DSSS to achieve co-existance on the same frequency spectrum without any interference from each other. These are the similarities between wirelessHART and ISA100.


WirelessHART network architecture

Following are the key features of WirelessHART technology:
• TDMA/CSMA based wireless mesh networking technology
• WirelessHART network consists of field devices, gateway, network manager, security manager and handheld devices.
• Uses 16 channels with 5MHz gap in 2.4GHz band.
• Supports 128 bit AES encryption.
Refer Article on WirelessHART basics➤.

ISA100.11a Wireless

ISA100.11a network architecture

Following are the key features of ISA100.11a Wireless technology:
• The network consists of field devices (handheld, I/O devices-sensors,actuators), backbone routers, gateway, system manager and security manager.
• Supports IPv6 protocol and hence all the benefits of it.
• It supports star, mesh, star-mesh topologies.
• It uses TDMA/CSMA for communication as well as resource sharing.
Refer Tutorial on ISA100.11a Wireless➤.

The table below mentions comparison between WirelessHART and ISA100.11a wireless technologies with respect to similarities and differences.

feature of comparison WirelessHART ISA100.11a
Architecture level Network Access Points; Peer-to-peer communication with potential security risks Backbone device; Provisioning device; Well-defined security manager; Subnet definition; Contract provides QoS for device communication
Digital Link Layer One channel hopping scheme; Passive neighbor discovery; Fixed timeslot Three channel hopping schemes; Active and passive neighbor discovery; Subnet routing; Configurable length of timeslot
Network layer Only one header specification; End-to-end session security; Based on HART addressing Three header specifications; Fragmentation and assembly; Based on IPv6 addressing; Compatible with 6LoWPAN
Transport layer TCP-like reliable communication service Connectionless service (UDP); End-to-end session security; Compatibility of 6LoWPAN
Application layer Command-orientation; Predefined data types; Support HART protocol Object-Orientation; Standard management objects, industrydependent/independent objects, and ASL services; Three communication interaction models; Support legacy protocol tunneling
Joining Process Only symmetric method Symmetric and asymmetric methods; Symmetric and asymmetric key agreement during the key distribution scheme
Provisioning Process Cable connection to the maintenance port using Handheld OTA symmetric and asymmetric methods; Out-of-Band methods

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