Belden Inc. has made significant advancements in bringing standardized real-time communication to industrial applications through time-sensitive networking (TSN). In addition to significant contributions to the IEEE 802.1 TSN standardization process by engineers from its Hirschmann brand, Belden continues to make TSN a reality by integrating emerging standards into its industrial networking equipment.
With the ability to transmit regular data and time-critical control information simultaneously, TSN and the emerging standards offer many benefits, including:
"Ethernet is a widely accepted communication technology, and an indispensable part of industrial automation. There is one application, however, that standard Ethernet has struggled to deliver on - network communication with rigid, real-time requirements," said Dr. Oliver Kleineberg, advance development manager for Belden's Hirschmann brand.
"Through our contributions to the IEEE 802.1 TSN taskforce, we have made great strides to help define and achieve a degree of determinism that meets the real-time needs of modern and future control networks - and it's possible to take advantage of this technology right now."
Belden recently showcased TSN in action through a live demonstration at the 2016 Hanover Fair in Germany. Through Hirschmann's RSP series of Ethernet switches, Belden demonstrated how the TSN standards allow simultaneous transmission of time-critical messages and background traffic, and the benefits this offers to industrial networks.
"With the unique challenges introduced by the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Industry 4.0, mission-critical networks need to provide high-bandwidth and the possibility to support communication streams with different quality of service on the same network. TSN enables exactly that, with a standardized solution for real-time Ethernet communication," added Kleineberg. "As we unveiled at Hanover Fair, we can already incorporate TSN into our standard products today, through firmware updates. Over time, TSN will be built into the chips and software of most, if not all, of our switches."
Belden and its Hirschmann brand continue to help lead the evolution of TSN standardization, through its role in the IEEE 802.1 committee, with the aim of defining a standard solution and providing customers with a complete industrial networking ecosystem that offers TSN functionality. Standardization will ensure interoperability between different vendors, scalability with future Ethernet speed increases and investment security. "From small motion control applications to the factory-wide intelligent automation networks of the future, TSN is the basic technology that ties everything together and enables the IIoT," added Kleineberg. "With TSN's unprecedentedly low latency and frame delivery precision, it goes beyond anything that was ever possible with standardized IEEE 802.1 technology."