The PROFIBUS Trade Organization (PTO) now offers a PROFInet real-time extension for general automation applications. Based on Ethernet, PROFInet is a modern standard for distributed automation standards that integrates existing fieldbus systems, specifically PROFIBUS. The new extension is called Soft Real Time, which features cycle times of 5 to 10 msec. It is compatible with the TCP/IP Ethernet protocol. In addition, a second PROFInet real-time extension is being developed, and is scheduled to be available in 2005 for high-performance motion control applications. For more information, visit the PTO website at www.us.profibus.com.