Time Sensitive Networking (TSN) will be the most important addition to Ethernet and networking since WiFi. The standard has not yet been adopted, but it is close. So Belden is jumping into the fray early with a “TSN ready” product.
While I’m in Hannover in a couple of weeks, this is one of the things that I’ll be researching.
Belden is to release a software update for the modularly-managed Hirschmann switch types RSPE35 and RSPE37. The update, which will be available in the second half of this year, will enable Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) features. As a visible sign, the devices will have a “TSN ready” logo on the front panel. In addition, older switches of both RSPE types can also be upgraded for the new real-time technology. The “TSN ready” logo is not exclusive to the RSPE35 and RSPE37: other Hirschmann industrial Ethernet Switches with fitting capabilities will display the logo as well in the near future.
“For the first time, TSN allows a simultaneous transfer of time-critical and non-time-critical data with a guaranteed end-to-end latency via Ethernet in accordance with IEEE 802.1 and 802.3,” says Dr. Oliver Kleineberg, advanced development manager at Belden. He adds: “Because of the comprehensive functions and high bandwidths, the technology is suitable for nearly all automation applications. Moreover, since TSN is not a proprietary system like many other established real-time solutions, it can be used with devices from different manufacturers, which paves the way for the Industry 4.0 in modern heterogeneous industrial networks.”
The managed switches of the RSPE product family consist of a basic unit with eight twisted pair and four combo ports, which can be expanded through the various media modules. The RSPE35 and RSPE37 versions support the Precision Time Protocol (PTP) in accordance with IEEE 1588-2008 and feature a FPGA module (Field Programmable Gate Array), which means it’s possible to implement selective hardware-based redundancy mechanisms such as HSR (High-availability Seamless Redundancy), PRP (Parallel Redundancy Protocol) and DLR (Device Level Ring) directly in the field. The new software update, which also enables TSN, can now be loaded into the FPGA as an alternative to previous redundancy mechanisms. “This provides users with an additional possibility for responding flexibly to the wide range of requirements and building high-performance industrial IT infrastructures,” according to Dr. Kleineberg.
For additional information about TSN, please refer this white paper “TSN – Time Sensitive Networking”.
Time-Sensitive Networking holds the promise for great advances in industrial networking when it gets adopted for deterministic high-speed Ethernet. The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) has taken a leading role in advancing the standard. Belden Inc. has joined the IIC Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) Testbed, which aims to improve multi-vendor interoperability and to display the value of the IEEE 802.1 Ethernet standards for time-sensitive networking in a manufacturing ecosystem.
“By enabling a single Ethernet network to deliver time-guaranteed messages for both mission-critical and time-sensitive applications, while simultaneously delivering high-bandwidth, supervisory, data collection, video and other traffic, TSN fulfils a critical need in bringing the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to manufacturing environments,” said Jeff Lund, senior director of product line management at Belden and co-chair of the IIC marketing working group. “Belden has been a leading participant in the IEEE standardization effort of TSN since 2009 and we’re excited to be at the point where that hard work is now demonstrated in a multi-vendor environment. We hope our many years of experience with TSN will add valuable insight to the testbed and ensure it delivers on its mission.”
The TSN Testbed was on display at the 2016 IoT Solutions World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, on Oct. 25-27. Event attendees viewed live demonstrations of the testbed, which includes Hirschmann’s prototype TSN-enabled RSP Ethernet switches, and see first-hand the possibilities TSN enables for industrial networks.
“The addition of Belden to our TSN Testbed will help bring our collective efforts one step closer to reality – as we all work together in the pursuit of converging IT and operational technologies,” said Dr. Richard Soley, executive director of the IIC. “Testbeds serve as a center of innovation, and we know Belden’s TSN experience will help us achieve our goal. This testbed in particular seeks to show the value of TSN technology, as well as identify and address any implementation challenges to continue improving the standards.”
Following the event, the testbed will be moved to National Instruments’ headquarters in Austin, Texas. In addition to National Instruments, Belden is working alongside leading industrial companies, including Schneider Electric and Bosch Rexroth, among others.
Belden’s “The State of Security” blog has published “5 Key Challenges for the Internet of Things (IIoT)” featuring thoughts from a variety of experts and observers. They included a couple of paragraphs from me. Check it out.
Key Challenge #1: Settling on Device Capabilities
Key Challenge #2: Supply Chain Concerns
Key Challenge #3: Security
Key Challenge #4: Bridging the Gaps that Divide Us
Key Challenge #5: Safety
I have been quoted a couple of times on some Belden blogs as a subject matter expert on Industrial Internet of Things.
IT and OT Must Adapt for the IoT – 13 Experts Share How
And the other is:
The IoT Convergence: How IT and OT Can Work Together to Secure the Internet of Things
The industrial automation space has been building up for this convergence for years. Do you think we are about to really exploit the technology?
Looks like it.