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Ruggedized Switch for High Availability and Safety Requirements from TTTech

Ruggedized SIL Switch

TTTech, the leading supplier of dependable networking solutions based on time-triggered technology and modular safety platforms, has developed a ruggedized switch for real-time Ethernet communication. The key benefit of this switch is to support network partitioning with functional safety. The fail-silent switch architecture addresses IEC 61508 SIL 2, while the unique deterministic Ethernet features provide guaranteed timing properties of critical network traffic. The switch is intended for use in industrial applications with high availability and safety requirements.

This 24-port switch is part of a family of rugged and certified switches that support the deterministic Ethernet technology TTEthernet. TTEthernet enables hard real-time operation in distributed systems based on Ethernet networks. The technology provides full scalability for real-time architectures. Certifiable partitioning allows for changes in one application without the need for recertification of other applications.

In a traditional network, safety-relevant channels are safeguarded with "black channel" methods. These methods are able to identify broadcast storms and other error conditions that adversely affect latency and availability of communication, but can not prevent impact on other applications. TTEthernet offers, through certifiable network partitioning, mechanisms tolerant for such errors, and thus the guarantee that communication errors in a subsystem of the network do not affect the real-time critical communication of other applications in the same system.

Combined with the fail-safe properties of IEC 61508 certification guidelines, TTEthernet switches allow building network architectures where critical traffic is transmitted simultaneously over multiple network routes, providing transparent, lossless and immediate fail-over in case of network or switch failures. Fault-tolerant network routes with zero fail-over time can be created to meet even the strictest requirements for real-time communication availability and zero data loss. The switches contain a dedicated certifiable deterministic switching engine, but also an additional non-certifiable processor for adding layer-3 or customer-specific functions.

The rugged 24-port TTEthernet switch model offers 18 ports with 100 Mbit/s and 6 ports with 1 Gbit/s with SFP slots for flexible choice of the transmission medium in standard 19-inch rack format and with passive cooling. A variant with RJ45 connectors for low-cost standard cabling is also available. Customization is possible.