OPC Foundation Announces OPC UA PubSub Release

The OPC Foundation announces the landmark release of the long-anticipated Part 14 of the OPC UA Standard known as Publish-Subscribe or “PubSub” for short.  Release of the OPC UA PubSub specification is significant because it broadly extends the use-cases where adoption of OPC UA is feasible and preferable.

PubSub fully integrates into the existing OPC UA technology but enables further adoption of OPC UA at the deepest levels of the shop-floor where controllers, sensors, and embedded devices typically require optimized, low power and low-latency communications on local networks. First implementations could be realized in 8bit controllers using just 2kB SRAM. On the other hand, PubSub also enables the use of OPC UA in highly scalable cloud-based applications where a virtually unlimited number of edge data sources such as sensors can supply data securely to internet-based broker applications over public Wide Area Networks (WANs).

The OPC UA open standard has emerged as the de facto platform for implementing secure end-to-end data exchange between third party systems and for facilitating interoperability between third-party devices and applications. With its rich data modeling capabilities OPC UA Client/Server provides the largest eco system for industrial interoperability. The new PubSub extension (Part 14) takes it to the next level reaching out to an even broader scope of applications.

More specifically, PubSub enables the use of OPC UA directly over the Internet (Wide Area Networks) by utilizing popular data transports like MQTT and AMQP while retaining its key OPC UA end-to-end security and standardized data modeling advantages. Similarly, PubSub also enables use of the User Data Protocol (UDP) for establishing low-latency, loss tolerating connections on LANs.

The release of OPC UA PubSub is an important basic milestone to be tunneled through real time channel Time Sensitive Networking (TSN) which will open further scenarios.

Thomas Burke, OPC Foundation President explained “By extending the reach of where OPC UA can be used both in-and-beyond the enterprise, the Pub-Sub specification helps  firmly position OPC UA as a fundamental standard for enabling the implementation of universal data interconnectivity and information integration interoperability in the rapidly growing world of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Industrie 4.0 (I4.0), and Machine to Machine (M2M) applications.”