Time Sensitive Networks approaches the car: Page 2 of 4

September 28, 2016 // By Julien Happich
During the Ethernet & IP @ Automotive Technology Day organized in Paris by the IEEE Standards Association, Time-Sensitive Networks (TSN) were all the rage.

Chip vendor Innovasic who has been offering deterministic industrial networking solutions for over ten years was running a demonstration with two Ethernet network segments running side by side, one TSN-enabled, the other for non-critical data. For the TSN gateway boards, the demonstration was using its fido5000 Real-time Ethernet Multi-protocol (REM) Switch, a configurable device the company released nearly three years ago.

At the show, Innovasic was also launching a TSN evaluation kit pre-installed with the most mature TSN features (802.1AS and 802.1Qbv) while promising software updates to support the other options as they would stabilize.

Innovasic's stand and demo.

Innovasic's COO Jordon Woods was quite upbeat about automotive Ethernet. "We've been doing deterministic networking for ten years, we've got all the know-how in house to integrate our switch with other IP and deliver a complete TSN SoC" he boasted. According to Woods, with the right partner, the automotive sector could drive Innovasic's business (automotive customers only represent 10 to 15% of the company's business today).

On Bosch's stand, a ball was kept in balance in the centre of an actuated plate controlled through real-time vision-processing. You could nudge the ball and see how the plate would immediately compensate for the deviation and centre the ball back in place. The TSN network was setup in such a way that the camera feed linking to the real-time image processing unit would compete for bandwidth with data from a network traffic generator. Different switches would activate some TSN features while at the same time adding traffic on the network, illustrating how without the pre-emptive option, the ball would no longer be kept in the centre of the plate when disturbed.

Bosch's TSN gateway demonstration.

Bosch's TSN gateway demonstration was built around Marvell’s 7-port automotive qualified 88EA6321 Audio/Video Bridging switch (with 2 integrated PHYs). The guys at the Bosch stand hinted that Marvell would release engineering samples of a TSN chip for the automotive market before the end of the year. Marvell's Director for the Automotive Solution Group, Alexander Tan who was present as one of the conference speakers on PHY solutions declined to comment on the specific features and IP blocks that would be integrated on the upcoming chip.

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