TSN approaches broad industrial application, Xilinx says

December 03, 2018 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
At the SPS/IPC/Drives industrial fair in Nuremberg, Germany, Xilinx presented new activities in the field of Time Sensitive Networking (TSN) for Ethernet sponsored by the OPC UA Foundation. In addition, the computing platform manufacturer is releasing a TSN Evaluation Kit in cooperation with Avnet.

When Xerox PARC developed Ethernet in the 1970s, the focus was on connectivity; latency or throughput were not the most important factors in the 3 Mbit/s network technology of the time. At the few network nodes there were people sitting with workstations and laser printers, and nobody was bothered if the data packets occasionally collided during transfer and had to be transferred several times. The joint transmission of long and short packets resulted in certain delays for the shorter packets as they had to wait for the priority transfer of the longer packets.

Today, Ethernet is the most widely used wired data transmission technology, and the application landscape has expanded enormously. Transmission speeds have multiplied. This significantly increases capacity, but does little in terms of latency or bandwidth optimization. Packets are still suppressed under high network load and must be transmitted repeatedly. 

In response to this limitation of the usefulness of Ethernet in applications that require precise and deterministic timing, the IEEE 802 Committee responsible for Ethernet specifications has created a set of new substandards known as Time Sensitive Networking (TSN), which allow different classes of traffic on a common link and guarantee its synchronization in terms of latency and quality of service.


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