IEEE standard Ethernet for guaranteed real-time communication
Time Sensitive Networking (TSN) is a set of IEEE 802 Ethernet sub-standards that are defined by the IEEE TSN task group. These standards enable deterministic real-time communication over Ethernet. TSN achieves determinism over Ethernet by using time synchronization and a schedule which is shared between network components. By defining queues based on time, Time-Sensitive Networking ensures a bounded maximum latency for scheduled traffic through switched networks. This means that in a TSN network, latency of critical scheduled communication is guaranteed.
In control applications with strict deterministic requirements, such as those found in automotive and industrial domains, Time Sensitive Networking offers a way to send time-critical traffic over a standard Ethernet infrastructure. This enables the convergence of all traffic classes and multiple applications in one network. In practice this means that the functionality of standard Ethernet is extended so that:
The communication platform OPC UA (Open Platform Communication Unified Architecture), which enables data exchange from sensor to cloud, has been chosen as the reference standard for Industry 4.0. The Publish/Subscribe enhancement for OPC UA now allows for multicast communication between thousands of sensors and the cloud, and also coordination between machines. OPC UA in combination with IEEE TSN enables open data exchange between industrial controllers from different vendors, making the vision of open, real-time machine to machine communication a reality for all applications, including those with critical safety requirements.