The Fieldbus Foundation ( released Interoperability Test Kit (ITK) 5.0. The test kit has been updated from previous versions with additional functionality, enabling the testing of FOUNDATION fieldbus devices employing current Device Description (DD) 5.0 files.

The Fieldbus Foundation”s ITK 5.0 test kit verifies the functionality of an H1 (31.25 kbit/s) device and its conformity with the FOUNDATION fieldbus Function Block and Transducer Block specifications. The test kit includes all hardware and software required to ensure complete device interoperability as specified by the foundation”s official registration testing procedure.

By using the H1 ITK 5.0, device developers can run tests identical to those used by the Fieldbus Foundation before submitting their device for official registration.

The following test cases, including two new features, have been added/modified: multi-bit alarm testing now tests for both single and multi-bit alarms, which provides for more thorough testing; block instantiation as specified in the capabilities file has been added, ensuring interoperability on a FOUNDATION fieldbus network when a block is instantiated; and testing for valid/invalid behavior during common software download has been added, to ensure interoperability when downloading software/firmware to a device via a FOUNDATION fieldbus network.

Developed by the Fraunhofer Institute, the Fieldbus Foundation”s ITK testing tool consists of a test engine, communication stack and Function Block interface card. The ITK test engine executes a set of over 400 test cases that exercise the device implementation. The tester also includes a DD “Super Viewer” that allows examination and verification of a device”s DD, and a conformance test procedure for the Physical Layer. The DD Super Viewer has been enhanced to support validation of existing DDs and the new DD 5.0 format.