SNAP Ethernet & Ultimate I/O


SNAP Ethernet I/O (EIO)

SNAP Ethernet brainIntroduced in 1998, the SNAP Ethernet brain with SNAP I/O modules was the first Ethernet-based I/O unit. This award-winning brain communicated over a standard 10/100 TCP/IP Ethernet network interface, bringing information technology (IT) standards to automation systems.

At the time, SNAP Ethernet I/O was a radical departure from the traditional serial and proprietary networks. But it was the first step toward real data sharing between IT and control systems, and the first step toward the industrial internet of things (IIoT). Today, Ethernet is the accepted standard for automation. 

EIO units were originally used with a SNAP-LCM4 controller equipped with an Ethernet card and programmed with legacy FactoryFloor software. After the introduction of SNAP Ultimate I/O and ioProject software, EIO units were typically used with a UIO controller.

SNAP Ultimate I/O (UIO)

SNAP Ultimate controller/brainFollowing SNAP Ethernet I/O—and also communicating over a standard Ethernet network—came SNAP Ultimate I/O, the first combination controller/brain, a programmable I/O and communications processor.

Mounted on a rack with local SNAP I/O, UIO could be used on its own for local control, could also control SNAP Ethernet I/O units, or could be used as an I/O unit in a larger control system based on a more powerful Opto 22 controller. 

The UIO controller/brain was programmed using the legacy ioProject software suite, the forerunner to today's PAC Project suite.

Use today

Just like our old SSRs and G4 I/O, EIO and UIO are still in use today in thousands of installations worldwide. We still support and in some cases still manufacture this older equipment, but we recommend upgrading to newer hardware and software to gain the benefits of additional features like new I/O modules and more extensive data communications.

Upgrading EIO/UIO systems

While still fully supported with some models still in production, EIO and UIO were largely replaced by SNAP PAC controllers and brains

SNAP PACs are more powerful, less expensive, use the current PAC Project software, and support all SNAP I/O modules.

For new installations, see the Ethernet-based groov RIO edge I/O and the groov EPIC system, both designed for hazardous locations and easier data communications.

If you need to replace an EIO brain or UIO controller, see suggestions on the product page for your part number:

Before you upgrade, read the SNAP PAC System Migration Technical Note.
Also be sure to see the Legacy and Current SNAP Product Comparison and Compatibility Chart for details on products that work together.