SPS: Fraunhofer shows Ethernet of the future

Communication Systems Group convinces in Nuremberg

A TSN technology exhibit by Fraunhofer IOSB-INA and the company NXP Semiconductor was on display at Smart Production Solutions (SPS) in Nuremberg, Germany, Nov. 26-28.

TSN - network standard of the future 

Industry 4.0 describes dynamically networked production with frequent reconfiguration of machines and plants as well as the use of cloud technology and data-based smart services. This requires continuous, powerful and flexible communication from the field level to the Internet, in which different protocols can be used simultaneously. Under the name Ethernet TSN (Time-Sensitive Networking), the IEEE is developing standards for Ethernet-based real-time communication that can achieve this. The use of Ethernet TSN for industrial automation is currently defined in the profile standard IEC/IEEE 60802 TSN-IA.

In the interoperability demo, the communication class "Isochronous cyclic communication with bounded low latency" is tested on the basis of "Scheduled Traffic" (maximum QoS - Quality of Service). The test network is built with components from different vendors (multi-vendor) and with link speeds of 100 MBit/s and 1 GBit/s (mixed link speed). It is shown how several protocols (PROFINET and OPC UA) can be transmitted over a TSN network without influencing each other (even in the mentioned highest QoS class). The basic TSN mechanisms used are time synchronization, preemption and time aware traffic shaping.

Carsten Pieper, the scientist responsible for the project, summarizes the current development in this area and is pleased about a successful trade fair presence: "The standardization process of the TSN profile for industrial automation under the IEC/IEEE 60802 standard is currently underway - results from prototyping and testbed projects like this one to validate the technical concepts are extremely valuable for good standards. Therefore, we are happy about the positive cooperation with our partner NXP and a successful exhibition in Nuremberg."