Time Sensitive Networks approaches the car: Page 3 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.

Renesas Electronics too was running an Ethernet TSN demonstration, alongside a large poster comparing current and future car network architectures, around 2020. The car network of the future was illustrated with an Ethernet backbone connecting different domains, each with its TSN control unit, maybe in the shape of master MCUs integrating Ethernet PHYs  and TSN switch functionalities together with security modules and various protocol converters for local legacy serial networks.

The FPGA-based TSN gateways in the demo were demonstrating all the conceivable TSN features. A real-time control loop linking a flash-light and a position sensor aside an encoded rotating wheel was ensuring a perfectly static stroboscopic effect. When uncontrolled traffic was fed into the network by a "babbling idiot" board, the stroboscopic effect was only maintained if ingress policing was performed through a TSN gateway, while a live video feed in AVB mode would be pre-empted when needed.

Renesas' TSN pre-emption demo.

So when will Renesas' first TSN-ready automotive MCUs hit the market?

Principal Engineer for Automotive Network Communication Protocols, Tobias Belitz remained evasive, only accepting the possibility that Renesas could produce "intelligent TSN switches" depending on customer demand. The poster mentioned the 2020s, so surely parts would be needed before such architectures would be built, but among the Renesas engineers at the booth, none would agree on a specific time frame.

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