promwad Network switch

TSN Solutions

TSN Solutions

TSN solutions offered by Promwad help solve complex real-time and mission-critical tasks, making them well-suited for various sectors, including industrial automation, audio/video streaming, and automotive.

Time-sensitive network (TSN) is a set of standards for real-time data transmission in deterministic Ethernet networks. It is a Layer 2 technology developed by IEEE under the 802.1 working group.

What is Time-Sensitive Networking?

Most industrial automation networks leverage Ethernet for real-time communication at the physical level. They implement data transmission methods and time synchronisation to guarantee timing, latency, and jitter stabilisation. But there is a particular limitation to such an approach, as it leads to vendor lock-in and less-than-optimal use of network infrastructure.

Initially, the Ethernet standard wasn't designed for real-time network needs. However, in recent years, the IEEE 802.1 TSN Task Group has introduced Time-Sensitive Networking Ethernet sub-standards to specifically address these requirements for real-time and deterministic networks.

The IEEE 802.1Q standards operate at Layer 2 of the OSI model. TSN is not an internet protocol standard, it focuses on Ethernet technology. In a time-sensitive network, routing and forwarding decisions are based on the contents of the Ethernet header rather than the IP address.

How Promwad Drives TSN Switch Development

Through close collaboration with Microchip Technology, Promwad’s TSN Ethernet switch solution offers customers a reliable way to strengthen and expand a network infrastructure that’s used for critical and non-critical data transmissions. Clients that utilise TSN-based solutions can converge numerous services over a single physical network.


Why is TSN Suitable for All Industrial Applications?

Ethernet frames are not limited to IP and can be used in any environment.

The number of industries that require deterministic communication is countless: automotive and transportation, manufacturing, industrial automation, and more. The primary reason for this flexibility is the high optimisation and connectivity levels, which ultimately results in cost reduction.

Our Chip Vendors Offering TSN Feature

Core TSN Standards

Timing and Synchronisation: IEEE 802.1ASrev, IEEE 1588

All network elements must share the same time concept as outlined in IEEE 802.1ASrev to ensure a deterministic network. The timing synchronisation protocol outlined in IEEE 802.1ASrev describes the use of multiple grandmaster clocks in high-availability scenarios. IEEE 802.1ASrev is a subset of the IEEE 1588 PTP synchronisation protocol.

Scheduling: IEEE 802.1Qbv, IEEE 802.1Qbu / IEEE 802.3br

TSN utilises the IEEE 802.1Qbv-defined time-aware scheduler. It allows time-slicing on the network in order to be able to serve different types of traffic.

The primary difference between TSN and non-TSN Ethernet frames lies in the transition methodology:

  • TSN – transits on a schedule,
  • non-TSN – transits on a best-effort basis.

IEEE 802.1Qbu defines frame preemption, which is a method to interrupt the transmission of extended Ethernet frames in favour of high-priority TSN Ethernet frames. As soon as this frame is through, the remaining part of the interrupted frame can be transmitted. IEEE 802.3br describes frame preemption for the Ethernet MAC component.

Fault tolerance and redundancy: IEEE 802.1Qca, IEEE 802.1CB

IEEE 802.1Qca describes the discovery of the network topology. It works by collecting information from nodes. The main goal of this standard is to find redundant paths in the network.

IEEE 802.1CB FRER sends duplicates of each Ethernet frame over multiple paths, which is how it ensures redundancy for real-time control applications that cannot tolerate packet loss. For example, as specified in IEC 62439-3, redundancy protocols such as HSR and PRP are supported. 


Configuration and management: IEEE 802.1Qcc

This standard determines management protocols and interfaces to enable TSN network configuration.


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