This company has released a free firmware upgrade enabling new and existing MicroSmart FC6A Plus PLC CPUs (photo) to support the industry-standard MQTT protocol. The upgrade can be downloaded to the FC6A CPU, so it is easy for users to connect all types of field data to on-site and cloud-based brokers, and make the information readily available for users and analytical applications. Users can also send commands to the FC6A using MQTT. MQTT has emerged as the preferred industrial internet of things (IIoT) communications protocol because it uses a lightweight and efficient publish/subscribe methodology for secure messaging between devices and centralized brokers, making information easily available for all authorized applications. A large number of clients can publish data to the broker, subscribe to any broker data, or bi-directionally do both. – IDEC Corp., Sunnyvale, Calif.