IO-Link Wireless Technology

Wireless Communication on The Factory Floor

Enabling Machines & Production Lines to Do More

IO-Link Wireless was developed as a global wireless communication standard designed to replace cables in remote sensor and actuator control and monitoring for factory automation. Based on the IO-Link IEC 61131-9 standard, it is a system extension to the already established IO-Link technology.


Similar to the original  IO-Link protocol, IO-Link Wireless technology offers high reliability, low latency, scalability, deterministic communication, high client density capacity, and robustness, all in a wireless format. It is uniquely suited to meet the demands of Industry 4.0 and is already being implemented by some of the world’s largest automation equipment manufacturers and machine builders.


IO-Link Wireless enables connectivity at the factory-floor level, with seamless, vendor-agnostic, cable-free communication. It expands on the advantages of IO-Link by offering:

  • A single wireless communication protocol for both control and monitoring
  • Support for novel applications and systems (wireless control and sensing on transport track movers/rotary-tables/carousels, wireless intelligent tooling, wireless end-of-arm devices for robotics, etc.)
  • Simple and cost-effective deployment for both retrofits and new-builds
  • Enhanced flexibility and modularity
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High Performance Industrial-Grade Wireless Communication

IO-Link Wireless technology provides a reliability performance level of 1e-9 Packet Error Rate (PER). In comparison, wireless standards such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and ZigBee demonstrate a PER of 1e-3, which is 6 orders of magnitude (a million times) less reliable. This is achieved by a repetition mechanism that is used for critical data in IO-Link Wireless.

To ensure low latency, this mechanism is implemented automatically and is controlled by the physical layer of the radio. IO-Link Wireless also uses the Gaussian Frequency Shift Keying (GFSK) modulation, which is an extremely robust modulation for dealing with interferences and noise.

IO-Link Wireless was designed as a deterministic protocol with a guarantee that each data packet is delivered within a bounded delay. The structure of the IO-Link Wireless cycle is strictly defined, with a limitation on the maximum number of wireless devices per IO-Link Wireless Master.

Critical data is transmitted periodically in a deterministic manner. The deterministic attributes of IO-Link Wireless ensure the predictable properties of the network and enable algorithms that cannot be similarly applied with non-deterministic protocols such as Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

IO-Link Wireless provides a deterministic low latency of 5msec with 40 nodes (sensors, actuators, or I/O hubs) per Wireless Master. Each IO-Link Wireless cycle of 5msec is comprised of 3 sub-cycles each with a duration of 1.6msec. Each sub-cycle is transmitted on a different frequency.

The sub-cycles include a downlink portion which is broadcasted by the wireless master to all wireless devices on each track, and an uplink portion which is a single-cast time-multiplexing message sent to the master from the devices according to a predefined timeslot.

IO-Link Wireless is designed to coexist with other wireless networks and interferers through mechanisms such as blacklisting and adaptive frequency hopping. Blacklisting is a mechanism designed to avoid potential air collisions with other wireless systems such as Wi-Fi.

Frequency hopping is used to ensure adequate performance for an IO-Link Wireless system components and to reduce the impact of interferences. Frequency hopping alternates frequency channels for each transmission as a measure against interference, resulting with a PER of 1e-9 which is on par with wired connections.

IO-Link Wireless is designed to support a large number of devices while still maintaining the required low latency and high reliability. A single IO-Link Wireless Master can support up to 40 IO-Link Wireless Devices divided into 5 tracks. Each track in a Wireless Master can support up to 8 IO-Link Wireless Devices.

All tracks of a Wireless Master communicate at the same time on different frequencies, providing an optimal medium utilization. An IO-Link Wireless Cell can support up to 3 Masters with 120 IO-Link Wireless Devices.

IO-Link Wireless is a global mission critical wireless communication standard designed for factory automation based on the IO-Link IEC 61131-9 standard, and defined as a system extension to the already established base technology of IO-Link. It is a communication technology intended to replace the cables for remote sensor/actuator control and monitoring in factory automation.

The key features of IO-Link Wireless technology are high reliability, low latency, scalability, deterministic communication, capability of dealing with a high density of clients, and robustness.

See what IO-Link Wireless can do for your operation

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