TSN – A vendor independent standard for deterministic networking
Time Sensitive Network or TSN is a new networking technology that recently came up and now everyone talks about it. TSN overcomes the disadvantages of different state of the art networking protocols in industrial communication, but still raises many questions. Can TSN be easily migrated into running systems? How easy will the configuration of TSN networks be? Which other advantages does it offer in comparison to the existing solutions?
These questions will be addressed by my talk at the 2018 Automatica trade fair at the IT2Industry forum (B4.216) on Tuesday, 19th June, 2018 from 3:40 to 4 pm. For all the curious readers, here are some details in advance.
TSN is an extension of the Ethernet standard (ISO OSI layer 2) and also standardized by the IEEE. Particularly, TSN is not a new fieldbus protocol. Existing Ethernet-based protocols on higher layers can use the new features provided by TSN. Its purpose is to provide the infrastructure for Ethernet-based protocols, like OPC UA, MQTT, UDP and others, to be deterministic and real-time capable. In the context of networking, determinism means that the transmission of packets is guaranteed. The add-on to determinism is real-time, which ensures the packet transmission within a specific time, or in other words with a guaranteed latency.
Lecture on Time Sensitive Network at IT2Industry Forum 2018
Other enabling functionalities of TSN for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) are convergence and interoperability. A successful IIoT network is highly dependent on the ability to send data with different kinds of requirements over a convergent network i.e., the same network cable. Examples for the different traffic types are real-time motion control, data acquisition into the cloud and best effort traffic. Interoperability ensures that devices from different vendors can communicate via a common network protocol. The combination of OPC UA and TSN satisfies these interoperability requirements and is the first vendor independent, real-time industrial communication solution.