netX communication module in HAT format


Real-Time Ethernet for Raspberry Pi®


  • Adds a Real-Time Ethernet slave interface to Raspberry

  • Compatible with Raspberry Pi® 2+3, Zero®

  • PROFINET, EtherNet/IP and EtherCAT firmware

  • Input and output data configured with 32 bytes

  • With device description files, drivers and examples


netX communication module in HAT format


The netHAT module upgrades a Raspberry Pi® to a Real-Time Ethernet capable slave device allowing the exchange of cyclic process data between a Pi application and a Real-Time Ethernet network. The module is compatible with the Hardware Attached on Top (HAT) specification of Raspberry. Pi and netHAT communicate via the SPI0 interface. Thanks to the multiprotocol capability of the Industrial Network controller netX the integration into networks such as PROFINET, EtherNet/IP or EtherCAT is just a matter of a firmware load procedure. The DVD includes a ready-to-use driver that configures the module to 32 bytes input and 32 bytes output fix for each of the networks. Also included are the device description files needed for the network engineering softwares during commissioning times.


Due to the module’s preconfiguration specific knowledge about network commissioning is not required. Just use the provided device description files for it and focus on your application and the PLC programming. The module demonstrates the capabilities of Hilscher’s Network Controller netX in a very simple manner. Since the netX API remains the same independent of the loaded protocol firmware an application needs to be programmed only once and hence supports any Real-Time Ethernet network.

Technical details


Parameters Value
Processor netX 52
Memory 4 MB Quad SPI Flash
Communication interface 2 x Ethernet 100 BASE-TX
Host interface SPI up to 125 MHz
Displays System-LED
COM LED for protocol-specific diagnosis
Operating temperature 0 ... + 50 °C
Operating voltage +5 V / typ 300 mA
Dimensions (L x W x H) 65 x 57 x 20 mm
CE marking yes
RoHS compliant yes
Compatible with Raspberry Pi®3, PI®2, Zero®
Module standard HAT standard for RaspberryPi®
This product serves for test- and education- / teaching purposes for industrial applications and controls. Every liability is excluded with industrial use.


Frequently Asked Questions


Please read the following Q&A for further information regarding purchase options and technical advice.

Where can I buy the netHAT?

Hilscher´s netHAT is available at the netIOT Shop and at AMAZON.


More information can be found in the "Buy" section at


Can I buy the netHAT directly from Hilscher?

No. The netHAT is exclusively offered at the netIOT Shop and Amazon.


Where can I find documentation and further information of the netHAT module?

The product CD that contains documentation, driver, EDS and firmware files as well as examples can be found at the "Downloads" section.


Which power supply unit do I require?

A power supply unit with at least 1800mA is required. We recommend 2A – 2.1A (for any other devices connected to the Raspberry Pi 2).

Whom should I contact if I have technical questions relating to the netHAT?

For the netHAT you can make use


We recommend the forum of the Raspberry Pi® Foundation for questions about any issues relating to Raspberry Pi®.


Some technical questions we have received are listed below.


Which SD card do I require?

An SD card with a storage capacity of at least 8GB should be used, since the Raspbian image is 4GB in size.



Which operating systems does the netHAT support?

Currently only Linux is supported.


Can I manage to read more than 32 Bytes or are they limited?

The configuration file *.nxd for the current netHAT is presently only available for 32 Byte In/Out. The stack can also be configured using the Packet API. This is much more complex and requires specific knowledge of the bus. The configuration can be found in the API manuals of the relevant protocol, which are included with the CD.


Does the netHAT support more than one channel?

Not with the default configuration. In addition, specific knowledge of the bus is also necessary. For PROFINET, up to 4 IO-ARs and a supervisor DA AR are supported.


Is there a 3D CAD model of the netHAT?

No, a 3D CAD model is not available.


Where can I find documentation on the protocols?

The product CD contains “Additional Documentation” where further information on the handling of the protocol stacks by Hilscher are described.


What cycle times can be achieved when the data are received?

With the standard configuration, a cycle time of 1 ms is possible for all protocols.


Can drivers for other protocols (e.g. CC-Link or Sercos) be purchased?

No, only the three systems are available for the netHAT.


The SYS LED blinks alternately yellow and green, is this normal?

The alternating blinking means that the Second Stage Loader is waiting for a firmware. This is because probably no stack package was installed.


Can other expansion boards be used in combination with the netHAT?

Other expansion boards can be used between Raspberry Pi and netHAT. Alternatively, a pin header can be soldered on, and another HAT module can be inserted. These modules are not allowed to assign the pins ([24,21,19,23] SPI0, [22,18] Interrupt to netX). 

Which SPI pins of the Raspberry GPIO pin header uses the netHAT?

Only SPI0 is used.



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Get in touch with the netHAT Team in the official forums

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Raspberry Pi®

For issues relating to Raspberry Pi® we recommend the official forum.




netHAT Module

DVD Content

The netHAT DVD contains the .deb driver and firmware packages for Linux, device description files, documentation and a C-coded application example


Buy here


The netHAT can be purchased via different channels. Either through the netIOT Shop (shipps globally), (for North America) or (Europe).


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netIOT Shop

At the netIOT Shop you can order your netHAT - globally

To the netIOT Shop
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At you will be able to purchase the netHAT in North America

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At you will be able to purchase the netHAT in Germany and Europe