Calnex attends the Time Sensitive Networking (TSN) 2018 conference

Eric Percival

I attended the first of the two days of the Time Sensitive Networking conference, held for the second year running in Stuttgart. There were approximately 200 attendees and a number of companies also had stands with demonstrations and sales brochures.

A number of the demonstrations showed the use of time aware shaping to synchronise and control devices. There was a wide range of subjects covered in the presentations on the first day, including TSN security, TSN over wireless and TSN software implementations, particularly using Linux. The second day was split between separate automotive and industrial tracks.

Within the industrial sector, interest has largely moved to Qbv – or the use of time aware shaping – to implement and manage control loops and control and management functions to configure and control industrial networks. There is a lot of work going on looking at the migration from existing industrial standards such as Profinet to the newer TSN based technologies. A number of companies are working towards a hybrid approach where new technology is introduced into so-called Brown Field sites, having both old and new technologies co-exist. One quote of note is that “Control loops require hardware timestamping”.

The automotive sector is moving from complex wiring looms to zonal ethernet networks, where electronic control units for different functions are linked together over ethernet. A lot of work is also going on in the autonomous vehicle space, using many sensors and control mechanisms to move from driver assistance to fully autonomous vehicles with no human input. This is being addressed in a 5 stage model. Not all of these functions require tight time synchronisation, but many of them do.

Although telecoms wasn’t explicitly represented, it still clearly leads the way in terms of timing accuracy implementation and measurement. Next year’s conference will again be in Germany, in Bad Homburg near Frankfurt.

Eric Percival - Project Manager

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